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Georgia Overturns Assisted Suicide Restrictions

February 7, 2012 by  

Georgia Overturns Assisted Suicide Restrictions

On Monday, the highest court in the State of Georgia struck down a law that restricted assisted suicides, siding with a suicide group that said the law was a violation of free speech rights.

The Georgia Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling said the law violates the free speech clauses of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. The court’s decision means that four members of the Final Exit Network who were charged in February 2009 of helping a 58-year-old man with cancer die will not have to stand trial, according to The Associated Press.

Georgia lawmakers adopted a law that bans people from publicly advertising suicide, in hopes of preventing assisted suicide in 1994. The law made a felon anyone who “publicly advertises offers or holds himself out as offering that he or she will intentionally and actively assist another person in the commission of suicide and commits any overt act to further that purpose.” Because Georgia State law does not expressly forbid assisted suicide, the court found that preventing advertisement for something not deemed illegal is a violation of free speech.

Voters in Oregon and Washington have legalized doctor-assisted suicide and Montana’s Supreme Court determined that assisted suicide is a medical treatment, but other States imprison people involved in assisted suicide.

 

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • 4-just_us

    I have a natural right to die and seek some help with it. Mommy and daddy government seems to think they own my body by taking away my choices. I go to prison if I put drugs in MY body. I go to prison for having sex with a prostitute. Were a long way from being a free country.

    • ajax

      I agree;we are not owned by the government.Government sees us as a source of income and as such they must protect their revenue. My life is mine to do with as I see fit. I won’t get into the religious angles here since that is also mine. No person has any right to place their prejudices above mine in such a personal decision.

  • Ted Crawford

    I can appreciate the fact that we should all have the right to self-terminate, I like most I assume have had to watch a loved one slowly waste away from a terminal illiness.
    I’m also concerned that this might be used to promote the End of Life Councils that were in the first House version of PPACA, untill Sarah Palin called them out!

    • Robert Smith

      Hi Ted, Sarah Palun called NOBODY out. Her entire gambit was a “pants on fire” lie. There were no such “death pannels.”

      What was in the legislation was some money budgeted for counciling for folks in end of life issues. Decisions should be made ahead of time so family and medical folks KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.

      Do you have a living will?

      Rob

      • DoubleE

        Robert,
        You obviously have misconceptions about to what Palin referred. She was not speaking out against end of life counceling. As a Registered Nurse, I do this as part of my overall function as a professional. Rather she pointed out that Obamacare [not the official name of course] has a panel of appointed persons who will decide whether or not someone will qualify for certain treatments, covered under Medicare/or Medicaid, based on subjective criteria. I say subjective because this panel gets to decide who has value enough to live another day or week or year. You may object to Palin’s term “death panel,” but a rose by any other name….

        • Bono

          So what is the difference with private insurance they also tell you what treatments you may or may not have. Are they death panals also?

  • jopa

    Robert Smith; I myself do have a living will and everyone should have one.You have hit the nail on the head with your post, the Palin bit and all.The Palin spoof was the lie of the year and she scared a lot of old folks out of the ability to have a living will and now if they want counseling it will have to be paid by them at inflated prices.It’s hard to imagine but some day you may be lying in a hospital bed like a vegetable for years, unable to eat and breathe on your own.That would not be my choice and I would want out of here and that’s what it states in my living will.There are literally thousands of comatose people on such equipment today costing the taxpayer billions.I don’t want to be a burden to future generations so I had the counseling and made the choice.Many of the folks that are comatose are being kept alive so their offspring can cash there social security and other benefits as long as they are alive.Make a will so as not to crate such a situation down the road.

    • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

      jopa,

      Essay on voluntary euthanasia – Tripod
      http://members.tripod.com/~Amis_Lee/fallingtree/eu.html -
      As such, voluntary euthanasia should be legalized for terminally ill patients. For many people, euthanasia is a preferable option to dependence and unbearable.

  • ChristyK

    You may make the argument that someone has the freedom to kill themselves, but allowing assisted suicide is a slippery slope that we don’t want to allow. How do you tell an assisted suicide from a murder? How do you tell if someone was manipulated into agreeing to suicide? What if a person is having a bad day and is helped to kill themselves quickly? They might have changed their mind if given a little more time to think about it. Bad plan. Protect all life. Life is precious.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    Ga. court overturns assisted suicide restrictions – Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120206/us-georgia-assisted-suicide/ -
    1 day ago … ATLANTA — Georgia’s top court has struck down a state law designed to discourage assisted suicides after a legal battle brought by four …

  • Bono

    A person should be free under our constitution to excercise their right to dignity. If you are suffering and chose to die than no moralist should deny you. No law should oppress ones free will as a human being and no government nor religious zealot should have the last word. Our constitution has declared us sovereign citizens and free men.

  • James

    The problem with assisting someone in their death, is proving that it wasn’t murder. One could sneak up on someone he hates, who was asleep and inject him with some lethal poison, then claim his dear friend just begged him to do it.

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