Wisconsin Bill Would Legalize Assisted Suicide, Will Die in Committee

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Bill Would Legalize Assisted Suicide, Will Die in Committee Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 15
, 2005

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Lawmakers in the Wisconsin state legislature plan to introduce a measure that would legalize assisted suicide. However, the legislation won’t go far as the head of a committee that would hold hearings says she won’t bring it up for consideration.

State Senator Fred Risser, one of the two Democratic legislators introducing the bill, told WMTV, "This is not a case of whether or not you’re going to die, you are going to die. The question is how are you going to die? And this bill gives the person who’s dying one more option."

Risser said he wanted to introduce the legislation following watching the saga of Terri Schiavo, who died at the end of March after a painful 13 day starvation and dehydration death.

He told the Madison television station many Wisconsin residents may worry the bill will bring forward people like Jack Kevorkian, the assisted suicide crusader who claims to have helped kill more than 130 patients.

However, he indicated his bill will have safeguards to prevent that.

"We don’t want Kevorkians coming around and telling people what to do, we want people to make their own decision," he told WMTV.

Senator Carol Roessler, a Republican, tells the Madison station the bill, filed annually, will again go nowhere.

Roessler said her committee on Heath, Children, Families, Aging and Long Term Care will not hold hearings on the bill.

Under the proposal, anyone seeking a physician to help them kill himself must be 18 years old, and be declared both mentally competent and terminally ill by two doctors. After an oral request and written request signed by three witnesses, the physician can prescribe the drugs necessary to kill the patient.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org