Compassion & Choices was instrumental in establishing Montana as the first state to authorize medical aid in dying through a court challenge. On December 31, 2009, Montana’s highest court ruled in Baxter v. Montana, a case brought by Compassion & Choices and four Montana doctors, that physicians are authorized under state law to provide medical aid in dying.


Compassion & Choices has worked since 2009 to fend off challenges to Montana’s law and continues working to protect the Baxter ruling from lawmakers and opponents seeking to take away the rights it affords to the state’s residents. Most recently, in 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard SB 360, a bill that sought to undermine the Baxter v. Montana decision. Supporters sprung into action, including terminally-ill advocate TJ Mutchler, the courageous grandson of Bob Baxter, who was the original plaintiff in the Baxter v. Montana case. Watch a video of TJ and his mother, Leslie Mutchler, here. Compassion & Choices is proud that the bill did not advance, and we continue to monitor threats to Montana’s law.  

The 2019 legislative session begins January 7, 2019. We have every reason to expect legislative attempts to challenge the Baxter ruling. Click here to sign our 2019 petition, and let us know if you can volunteer to protect access to medical aid in dying in Montana!


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