The Supreme Court in Montana has upheld the legality of physician-assisted suicide, making the state the third in the nation to do so and spurring opponents of the practice to promise to continue fighting against it.
Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation, pledged to keep the organization’s "battle for life" going.
"It’s up to us now to go into the next legislative session and put a statute in place that completely and once and for all bans physician-assisted suicide in the state of Montana," he commented after the court’s decision was announced.
However, the verdict was greeted with praise by supporters of euthanasia, such as Jerry Dincin, president of Final Exit Network, a nonprofit organization that provides support for people with incurable conditions who want to end their lives.
According to Dincin, the ruling brings America closer to "the final human right of the 21st century." However, he noted that the law does not take care of "the needs of mentally competent, suffering patients who have not been declared ‘terminal’ (having fewer than six months to live),"and he vowed to continue fighting for their right to die, as well.
The Supreme Court’s decision stemmed from an appeal triggered by the death of a 76-year-old Montana man who passed away in 2008 after a 12-year battle with cancer.
The state joins Oregon and Washington in allowing physician-assisted suicide.