Bill to ban assisted suicide awaits Governor's signature

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Associated Press

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 28 at 8:17 PM

BOISE -- The House voted overwhelmingly to send a bill banning helping somebody else commit suicide to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for signature.

Monday's 61-8 vote came after brief debate on the chamber's floor.

Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise argued that outlawing assisted suicide was necessary to help prevent abuse of elderly residents by their caregivers who are seeking to profit from their patients' demise.

Luker says this bill, which foresees penalties of five years in prison for violations, protects "all concerned."

Democratic Rep. Grant Burgoyne complained this is inappropriate government intervention in a private decision. 

Burgoyne says, "My life is mine. It's mine for me to decide when and how it should end. It's not the business of the government to tell me when and how I should end it."

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