Montana judge: Man has right to assisted suicide - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Montana judge: Man has right to assisted suicide

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The state of Montana is likely to appeal a judge's ruling that doctor-assisted suicides are legal there.

Attorney General Mike McGrath says lawyers in his office will discuss the ruling next week and he expects to file an appeal.

McGrath, who will be sworn in as chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court in January, says "It's a major constitutional issue and the Supreme Court should rule on it."

The case involves a Billings man with terminal cancer, who sued the state with four physicians who treat terminally ill patients and a nonprofit patients' rights group.

The state argued that the Legislature, not the court, should decide whether terminally ill patients have the right to take their own life.

For now, the judge's ruling makes Montana the third state after Oregon and Washington to allow doctor-assisted suicides.            

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)      

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