Massachusetts Judge Urged to Stop Attempt to Legalize Assisted Suicide

State   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Jan 11, 2017   |   6:40PM   |   Boston, Massachusetts

In late October 2016, two doctors filed a court case challenging the Massachusetts assisted suicide law in order to give them the right to prescribe lethal drugs for assisted suicide.

Patricia Wen of the Boston Globe reported, on January 9, that Attorney General Maura Healey and Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe urged the judge to dismiss the case based on the principle that issues, such as assisted suicide, are properly decided by the legislature and not the court.

Dr Roger Kligler, who has metastic prostate cancer, is the plaintiff in the case and Dr. Alan Steinbach, also from Cape Cod, is willing to prescribe lethal drugs to Kligler or others who, if proven mentally sound, want to die due to their terminally ill state. Dr Kligler has not been deemed to be terminally ill.

Kligler and Steinbach are acting on behalf of the suicide lobby group, Compassion & Choices.

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According to the Boston Globe article, O’Keefe told the judge that:

he is “very sympathetic” to patients like Kligler, but that the doctor is making his petition “to the wrong branch of government.”

Compassion & Choices failed in New Mexico, Connecticut, Tennesee, California and New York with similar court cases.

The Massachusetts Superior Court should reject this case and honor the results of the voter initiative whereby Massachusetts residents rejected assisted suicide in 2012. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.