Wyoming Legislature Kills Assisted Suicide Ban to Protect Elderly, Disabled
by Steven Ertelt
January 29, 2009
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — The Wyoming legislature has put to death a bill that would have added the state to the list of 42 states that ban assisted suicide. With Washington state becoming the second to legalize the practice and Montana primed to become the third, pro-life groups hoped to ban the practice there.
The House Labor Committee essentially defeated the legislation, HB 120, after holding a hearing on it on Wednesday.
During the hearing, pro-life advocates, including Right to Life of Wyoming along with the Diocese of Cheyenne and WyWatch Family Institute joined together to urge lawmakers to protect the elderly, disabled and terminally ill by banning assisted suicide.
The bill would have held defendants who engage in assisted suicide accountable with a 20-year prison term, but members of the panel gutted most of the bill after complaints from the Wyoming Medical Society.
The doctors group, which deviates from the position the American Medical Association takes opposing assisted suicide, told members of the committee it took no position on the bill but asked legislators to remove the section of it effectively prohibiting doctors from giving patients drugs with the intent to kill them.
After gutting the bill with other weakening amendments, the committee approved it 5-3 on a party-line vote, but with committee chairman Jack Landon, a Republican representative, opposing it and Democratic Rep. Lori Millin supporting it.
Because the bill had been so badly changed and making it virtually ineffective, pro-life Rep. Kathy Davison, the sponsor of the assisted suicide ban, made the decision to pull the bill from consideration.
As a result, the measure is likely dead for the remainder of the legislative session and pro-life advocates will need to try again to ban assisted suicide again next year.
Pro-life advocates are preparing for hearings next week on two more bills — one to allow women to see an ultrasound prior to an abortion and another to have the state health department keep more accurate abortion records.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.prolifewyoming.com
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