Wyoming Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide Fails by Large Margin

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wyoming Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide Fails by Large Margin

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 13, 2004

Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — Wyoming state Senators defeated legislation that would have legalized assisted suicide in the state for the terminally ill. The proposal received the support of only 8 of the 20 votes needed to be successfully introduced into the legislature for consideration.

The bill was drafted in honor of Casper attorney Jim Fagan, who took his life last year after suffering from emphysema coupled with leg and hip problems.

Sen. Keith Goodenough, a Democrat from Casper, drafted the bill, which died on a 19-8 vote. Lawmakers were expected to defeat the legislation and even Goodenough doubted he would get the two-thirds vote needed to introduce the bill. Fagan was Goodenough’s friend.

"A capable adult who is a Wyoming resident, has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal disease and has voluntarily expressed his wish to die may request medication for the purpose of ending his life," the bill said.

Patients considering ending their lives would also have been required talk with a mental health professional beforehand.

They would have had to initiate an oral request and a subsequent written request that they are not being coerced, and then a final oral request. A witness who is not an attending physician or a family member must be present to certify the oral requests.

To see how members of the state Senate voted, go to https://legisweb.state.wy.us/2004/digest/SF0007.htm