On December 5, 2008, the Montana First Judicial District ruled that terminally ill patients in the state have the right to physician-assisted suicide. The plaintiffs in the case, Baxter v. Montana, alleged that their right to assisted suicide was guaranteed by the Montana Constitution under provisions relating to their rights of privacy, individual dignity, due process, equal protection and the right to seek safety, health and happiness in all lawful ways. The court agreed and found that physicians assisting in this could not be prosecuted by state authorities. The ruling was later overturned by the Montana Supreme Court, which found that physician assisted suicide was legal in the state due to a statutory loophole only.
Learn more about physician assisted suicide from the JURIST news archive.