2011 Montana Legislature
Additional Bill Links PDF (with line numbers)
SENATE BILL NO. 116
INTRODUCED BY G. HINKLE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT PROHIBITING AID IN DYING; AMENDING SECTIONS 45-2-211 AND 50-9-205, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, the phrase "aid in dying" is commonly used to describe assisted suicide and euthanasia; and
WHEREAS, the vast majority of states to consider legalizing such practices have rejected them; and
WHEREAS, in the context of assisted suicide, Baxter v. State, 354 Mont. 234, 224 P.3d 1211 (2009), holds that a patient's consent to aid in dying constitutes a statutory defense to a charge of homicide against the aiding physician;
WHEREAS, Baxter overlooked elder abuse, which is often difficult to detect because of the unwillingness of victims to report the abuse; and
WHEREAS, with the difficulty of detecting and proving homicide generally and the difficulties in preventing and detecting abuse specifically, it is against public policy to allow a victim to consent to the victim's own homicide; and
WHEREAS, aid in dying is otherwise against Montana public policy.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 45-2-211, MCA, is amended to read:
"45-2-211. Consent as a defense. (1) The consent of the victim to conduct charged to constitute an offense or to the result thereof is a defense.
(2) Consent is ineffective if:
(a) it is given by a person who is legally incompetent to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense;
(b) it is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense;
(c) it is induced by force, duress, or deception; or
(d) it is against public policy to permit the conduct or the resulting harm, even though consented to.
(3) It is against public policy for a victim to consent to the victim's own homicide, and consent is ineffective if a victim consents to the victim's own homicide in the context of being provided with aid in dying. This consent includes the victim's agreement to being provided with an agent capable of causing death by any means for the intended purpose of causing the victim's death or for mercy killing, euthanasia, or assisted suicide."
Section 2. Section 50-9-205, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-9-205. Effect on insurance -- patient's decision. (1) Death resulting from the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in accordance with this chapter does not constitute, for any purpose, a suicide or homicide.
(2) The making of a declaration pursuant to 50-9-103 does not affect the sale, procurement, or issuance of any policy of life insurance or annuity, nor does it affect, impair, or modify the terms of an existing policy of life insurance. A policy of life insurance is not legally impaired or invalidated by the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from an insured, notwithstanding any term of the policy to the contrary.
(3) A person may not prohibit or require the execution of a declaration as a condition for being insured for or receiving health care services.
(4) This chapter does not create a presumption concerning the intention of an individual who has revoked or has not executed a declaration with respect to the use, withholding, or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in the event of a terminal condition.
(5) This chapter does not affect the right of a patient to make decisions regarding use of life-sustaining treatment, so as long as the patient is able to do so, or impair or supersede a right or responsibility that any person has to effect the withholding or withdrawal of medical care.
(6) This chapter does not require a health care provider to take action contrary to reasonable medical standards.
(7) This chapter does not condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing, or euthanasia, assisted suicide, or aid in dying as provided in 45-2-211(3). These practices are against public policy and are prohibited."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of SB 116 (SB0116.01)
Processed for the Web on January 6, 2011 (6:21pm)
New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.
Sponsor names are handwritten on introduced bills, hence do not appear on the bill until it is reprinted.
See the status of this bill for the bill's primary sponsor.
Status of this Bill | 2011 Legislature | Leg. Branch Home
All versions of all bills (PDF format)
Authorized print version of this bill w/line numbers (PDF format)
[ NEW SEARCH ]
Prepared by Montana Legislative Services