More defeats for euthanasia and assisted suicide in United States

There were two defeats for the euthanasia and assisted suicide lobby in the United States last week.

In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that there was not a constitutional right to assisted dying that would have overturned a suicide prevention law. (The plaintiff in the case was Dr Katherine Morris, who had provided an affidavit for Ms Seales in Seales vs Attorney-General last year.)

The Court’s decision stated:

  1. the State has legitimate interests in (1) protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession; (2) protecting vulnerable groups—including the poor, the elderly, and disabled persons from the risk of subtle coercion and undue influence in end-of-life situations, including pressures associated with the substantial financial burden of end-of-life health care costs; and (3) protecting against voluntary or involuntary euthanasia because if physician aid in dying is a constitutional right, it must be made available to everyone, even when a duly appointed surrogate makes the decision, and even when the patient is unable to self-administer the life-ending medication.

Click here to read the full decision.

In Massachusetts a bill to legalise assisted suicide failed to pass out of committee before its deadline.  This follows six other failed bills in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and a failed ballot initiative in 2012.

Click here to read more.