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Status of Medical aid in dying
Medical Aid in Dying is authorized in Montana!
Medical aid in dying became available in Montana when the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of terminally ill U.S. Marine veteran Bob Baxter in 2009, finding that “[The] Rights of the Terminally Ill Act clearly provides that terminally ill patients are entitled to autonomous end-of-life decisions.” Compassion & Choices litigated this court case.
In 2023, anti-choice lawmaker State Sen. Carl Glimm (R-Kila), introduced Senate Bill 210 (read our bill summary here) the “Physician Imprisonment Act.” Fortunately, it failed on the Senate floor, and medical aid in dying remains an end-of-life option for the residents of Montana.
Legislative Activities in 2023
Six months ago, given the election results, which shifted the political makeup of the state Legislature to make it decidedly unfriendly toward bodily autonomy issues, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the opposition's biannual efforts to criminalize medical aid in dying might be successful in 2023.
Despite the odds being stacked against us, we had a few key elements working in our favor, including the fact that lawmakers were completely out of step with most of their constituents and that Compassion & Choices had the most amazing, dedicated volunteers who refused to give up.
Given the political climate in the state, our only hope of stopping this bill was in the state Senate. Despite intensive efforts by Compassion & Choices, our in-state lobbyist and Compassion & Choices volunteers, the “Physician Imprisonment Act” committee. The second read on the floor was 26 to 24 in favor of criminalizing the practice of medical aid in dying.
We commissioned a survey that showed 88% of Montanans opposed the bill. After the release of our survey, media support and aggressive lobbying by Montana residents and our in-state lobbyist, three lawmakers changed their vote.
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Tools and Resources
For Patients Access the Montana Advance Directive
End-of-Life Planning Use our step-by-step guide to chart your journey.
Los recursos en Español Los recursos en Español.
COVID-19 Toolkit Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and end of life care.
Resources for Providers Find resources tailored to the needs of healthcare providers.