Status of Medical Aid in Dying

Medical aid in dying was authorized in Montana when the state Supreme Court found in 2009 that “[The] Rights of the Terminally Ill Act clearly provides that terminally ill patients are entitled to autonomous end-of-life decisions.” Compassion & Choices litigated this case.

In 2023, Sen. Glimm introduced SB 210 (read our bill summary here), the Physician Imprisonment Act. It failed on the Senate floor by a vote of 24 to 26, and medical aid in dying remains an end-of-life option in Montana.

In a February 2023 poll, 88% of Montana voters opposed the Physician Imprisonment Act. In the 2025 legislature, we will protect medical aid in dying if criminalization legislation is introduced.

Victory in Montana - SB 210 Fails

VICTORY: SB 210 is defeated in the Senate. However, we are already preparing for another fight. If you agree with 88% of Montanas who reject lawmakers’ attempt at criminalizing medical aid in dying, let lawmakers know today.

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Latest Montana News

Toma de Decisiones de Cuidados de Fin de Vida Se Ven Amenazadas en el Caso de Montana Que Prohíbe Cuidados Médicos a Personas Transgénero, Advierte Informe
April 22, 2024

 Compassion & Choices presentó un amicus brief  o escrito amicus curiae ante la Corte Suprema de Montana, afirmando que una ley estatal que prohíbe ciertos tratamientos médicos para transgéneros menores de edad, puede amenazar los derechos de privacidad para tomar decisiones médicas en cada etapa de la vida, incluyendo el fin de vida. Un tribunal…

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Announcing Allyne Hammer Excellence in Advocacy Award Winner Doris Fischer
September 26, 2023

This year, Compassion & Choices honors Doris Fischer, the co-winner of the inaugural Allyne Hammer Award. For 16 dedicated years, Doris has volunteered with Compassion & Choices, leaving an indelible mark in Montana. Medical aid in dying was authorized in Montana by court ruling in 2009, with Doris participating in the efforts to keep it…

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MT Senate Praised for Rejecting Physician Imprisonment Act Opposed by 88% of Voters
February 2, 2023

Montanans representing 88% of state voters who oppose legislation that would subject physicians to homicide charges if they provided medical aid in dying to terminally ill adults who requested it, praised the state Senate for rejecting the bill, SB 210, in a 24-26 vote Wednesday. Homicide is a felony crime that in Montana carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison…

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I show up to make it harder for them to pass me over when I tell my story.
March 29, 2021

My dad Bob was terminally ill with chronic lymphocytic leukemia when he became the lead plaintiff in the 2009 Baxter ruling, which authorized aid in dying in Montana. He wanted to decide when he had endured enough suffering and wanted the option to die peacefully at home. He continued the effort, even when he realized the decision…

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What a week:
March 5, 2021

  This week, we saw some incredible victories: In Montana, on Monday, we struck down an egregious attempt to criminalize doctors for relieving their patients’ unbearable pain. In New Mexico, in partnership with the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition, we’ve cleared legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying through the House. On Monday, it…

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Montana Senate Blocks Physician Imprisonment Act
March 1, 2021

The Montana Senate today failed to approve a bill that would have allowed the state to prosecute doctors and imprison them, simply for writing a prescription for aid-in-dying medication for a mentally capable terminally ill adult who requests it to peacefully end their suffering.  The roll call was a tie, 25 to 25, with both…

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Montana Senate Committee Approves Physician Imprisonment Act
February 26, 2021

The Montana Senate Judiciary Committee today voted to advance a bill that would allow the state to prosecute doctors and imprison them or sentence them to death, simply for writing a prescription for aid-in-dying medication for a mentally capable terminally ill adult who requests it to peacefully end their suffering. Despite hearing from dozens of…

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Missoulian: Guest Column: Maintain death with dignity
February 23, 2021

An excerpt from the Missoulian guest column, “Maintain death with dignity,” by Mark Connell, published February 23, 2021: “Since 2008, our state courts have recognized Montanans’ fundamental right of ‘death with dignity,’ also known as ‘medical aid in dying.’ That’s the right of a terminally ill patient, one who’s experiencing intractable suffering as death approaches,…

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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.