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State Senate agrees to debate assisted suicide ban

By Associated Press
Published On: Apr 11 2013 03:20:04 PM MDT
HELENA, Mont. -

The Montana Senate is deciding whether to allowing debate on two measures that had been stuck in committee.
    
The chamber voted 31-17 Thursday to advance a measure that would criminalize physician-assisted suicide. The measure had been tied up in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    
Supporters say it is needed to protect elderly people from potential abuse. Opponents, led by Democrats, argue people have the right to die with dignity when facing certain death.
    
The Legislature has struggled with physician-assisted suicide since a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling that said nothing in state law prohibits it.
    
The Senate also decided in a 26-22 vote to advance to the floor a measure that seeks a little more disclosure on campaign materials from so-called "dark money" group.
    
Both could receive full debate Friday.