Monday, February 27, 2012

Bill to protect Georgia citizens from Assisted Suicide.

Wesley Smith, a bio-ethicist and expert on issues related to euthanasia and assisted suicide, reported in his blog that a bill to protect Georgia citizens from assisted suicide was introduced.

A bill to prevent assisted suicide was introduced in response to a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision that struck down a poorly written law that prevented advertising assisted suicide. The Georgia Supreme Court was correct to strike down the previous bill as an affront to free speech.

Smith stated that Bill HB 1114 proposes to do the following:
(3) ‘Suicide’ means the intentional and willful termination of one’s own life. (b) Any person who knowingly and willfully assists another person in the commission of such person’s suicide shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years. 
(c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to any otherwise lawful withholding or withdrawal of medical or health care treatment pursuant to, without limitation, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a Physician Order for Life-sustaining Treatment developed pursuant to subsection (l) of Code 36 Section 29-4-18, or a written order not to resuscitate.
Smith stated that HB 1114 also permits survivors to sue the person who breaks the law. Smith pointed out that the bill states:
a) The decedent’s surviving spouse, child or children, either minor or sui juris, parent, sibling, or guardian appointed pursuant to Title 29, or the administrator or executor of the decedent, may recover for the homicide of the decedent the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence, and for the funeral, medical, and other necessary expenses resulting from the injury and death of the deceased person.
When the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the previous poorly written law I suggested that a bill would soon be introduced to protect Georgia citizens from assisted suicide. I hope this bill passes.


Doris said...

How dare you or anyone try to take away what is probably the most fundamental right of all citizens -- the right to live or die. I believe in assisted suicide to help those who are unable to commit the act for themselves, for whatever reason. There is nothing more devastating than to fear wasting away in an institution for years, using up all financial and emotional resources of self and family without alternatives. I never want that to happen to me and I have specified in my Will that I want assisted suicide if I am incapacitated and unable to accomplish it alone.

Leave me with this one final right, please!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Doris:

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is not about having a "right to die" but rather it provides another person the right to be directly and intentionally involved with causing your death.

If you wish to die, the law does not prevent you from committing suicide, not to say that I want you to commit suicide.

Giving others the right to cause your death is a public safety issue. Society should never go down that road.