The Corner

Politics & Policy

Utah Bill: Assisted Suicide = Manslaughter

A bill to explicitly criminalize assisted suicide has passed its first committee hurdle. 

The bill would add to the definition of “manslaughter” the act of providing the means for someone to commit suicide with knowledge of the suicidal person’s intent to act lethally. From HB 86:

(a) “Aids” means the act of providing the physical means.

(b) “Aids” does not include the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment…

[(1)] (2) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter if the actor… (b) intentionally, and with knowledge that another individual intends to commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide, aids the other individual to commit suicide.

There should also be a provision added that prescribing aggressive pain controlling drugs without the intent to cause death does not constitute the crime if the patient dies as an unintended side effect, along the lines of the Pain Relief Promotion Act passed by Rhode Island years ago (as one example). It is worth noting that after that bill became law, Rhode Island’s standing as a good state for palliative care soared.

One member who voted against the bill in committee is probably a yes vote if that kind of protection is included. It should be. So I say, amend the bill accordingly.

And don’t give me the word engineering garbage that assisted suicide when committed by a doctor at the request of a terminally ill patient is actually “aid in dying.” Come to think of it, the bill should make that point explicitly clear as well. Why should a doctor have the right to assist a suicide–which, after all, doesn’t take any medical skill–and not me? 

Then, pass the bill!

Most Popular

World

Trump’s Disgraceful Press Conference in Helsinki

On Monday, President Trump gave a deeply disgraceful press conference with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The presser began with Trump announcing that although the Russia–U.S. relationship has “never been worse than it is now,” all of that “changed as of about four hours ago.” It was downhill from ... Read More
White House

The President’s Do-Over

I agree with Jonah on all counts: On net, President Trump’s do-over of his Helsinki remarks is a good thing; regrettably, it is not sincere; and while I hope the revised version is the one he sticks to, I don’t have confidence that will be the case -- as posited in my column Tuesday on the folly of having the ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Helsinki Discord

Donald Trump is not, and never will be, the Moscow correspondent for The Nation magazine, and he shouldn’t sound like it. The left-wing publication is prone to extend sympathetic understanding to adversaries of the United States and find some reason, any reason, to blame ourselves for their external ... Read More