Montana vs. Baxter
Legalizing assisted suicide would have drastic public policy implications. The question whether some citizens (doctors) should be allowed to kill other citizens (patients) is a decision with profound ramifications for the safety and well being of the whole community, not least its most vulnerable members.
April 27, 2009
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA Case No. DA 09-0051
STATE OF MONTANA, etal.
ROBERT BAXTER, etal.,
On Appeal from the Montana First Judicial District Court, Lewis and Clark County
The Honorable Dorothy Mccarter, Presiding
BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PRO-LIFE OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS, CATHOLIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, DR. DONALD BERDEAUX, DR. RICHARD u. BLEViNS, DR. PAUL L. GORUSCH, JR., DR. KIRSTEN L. MORISSETTE, DR. CARLEY C. ROBERTSON, DR. D. PERRIN ROTEN, JR., DR. RONALD P. SKIPPER, nR. STRPHEN R. SHAUB, DR. CRAIG TREPTOW, DR. JAMES THREATT, DR. THOMAS A. WARR, and MS. BROOKE E. CANTU, IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANTS.
AMICI CURIAE HAVE COMPLIED WITH RULES 2 AND 12 OF THE MONTANA RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE
The Court has granted the motion of amici curiae (“Concerned Physicians”) to file this brief, and none of the parties objected. Accordingly, Concerned Physicians have complied with the Montana Rules of Appellate Procedure.
INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE CONCERNED PHYSICIANS
Concerned Physicians are various individual physicians in Montana along with national physician and public policy organizations who are deeply troubled about the impact of judicially imposed assisted suicide on vulnerable patients, on their own practices, and on the State of Montana in general. Concerned Physicians described the interests of their doctors, nurse and organizations in their motion for leave to file. The description of their individual interests is attached again here for ease of reference as Appendix A.
STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES
Legalizing assisted suicide would have drastic public policy implications. The question whether some citizens (doctors) should be allowed to kill other citizens (patients) is a decision with profound ramifications for the safety and well being of the whole community, not least its most vulnerable members. Interpreting the Montana Constitution’s protections of dignity and privacy to require legalization of assisted suicide threatens rather than protects the individual dignity of vulnerable patients. Therefore, this Court should reverse the district court and hold that the Montana Constitution does not require the legalization of assisted suicide.