The Senate State Affairs approved a motion by Sens. McGee and Hill to send SB1070 to the Senate floor with a “do pass” recommendation. The motion passed on a voice vote without dissent.
Testimony was provided by a number of pro-Life groups, including Right to Life of Idaho and Cornerstone Family Council. Attorney Bob Aldridge and representatives of the Idaho Medical Association also spoke in favor of the legislation.
The Assisted Suicide Ban legislation is being carried in the Idaho Senate by Sen. Russ Fulcher and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cliff Bayer. A number of legislators have signed up to co- sponsor the proposed law: Sens. Steve Vick, Sheryl Nuxoll and Reps. Pete Nielsen, Lynn Luker and Reed DeMordaunt.
The only opposing testimony to the legislation was presented by a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Idaho currently has no law specifically addressing the practice of “aid-in-dying” or assisted suicide, though a number of attorneys believe it would be illegal as a matter of common law. An opinion from the Attorney General’s office last fall found that prosecution in Idaho would be nearly impossible, and recommended that the Legislature address the issue through statute.
Interest in the matter became acute after organizers for “Compassion & Choices” became active in Idaho last spring. This organization, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, has been working to recruit doctors to establish case law in the state.
Supporting testimony by Dr. Sherri Brown of Caldwell confirmed that SB1070 would uphold current standard of care practice in Idaho – while giving doctors clearer protections as they treat patients in difficult situations.
“We are very encouraged by this strong start to our legislative effort,” said ICL Executive Director David Ripley. “We are blessed to have solid pro-Life leadership in Idaho and we have every hope that the Legislature will take action to prevent our state from going the way of Oregon, Washington and Montana.”
Follow coverage of the day’s work in Idaho Reporter.
If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.