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Kathryn Tucker: Aid In Dying in Idaho

Compassion & Choices Director of Legal Affairs, Kathryn Tucker, has a featured article in the latest ACLU of Idaho newsletter.  Ms. Tucker’s piece entitled Aid In Dying in Idaho discusses how the state is especially qualified to allow physicians to offer legal aid in dying subject to the medical standard of care developed by the medical profession:

Few states have addressed aid in dying in their statutes. Oregon and Washington have made the practice affirmatively legal by statute and in Montana the right to choose aid in dying is recognized by a recent decision of the Montana Supreme Court.

Idaho is situated in the middle of this group of states. Idaho does not have a statute specifically addressing aid in dying, either to permit or prohibit the practice. It does not even have one of the vague statutes that makes a crime of assisting another to “commit suicide.” Accordingly, in Idaho, physicians can provide this option subject, as is most medical practice, to the standard of care developed by the medical profession. Idaho physicians can look to the standard of care in Oregon, Washington, and Montana, as it is evolving among medical professionals in these surrounding states.

The rest of Kathryn Tucker’s article can be read on page 3 of the ACLU of Idaho’s Spring/Summer 2010 newsletter.