Group: Enact new assisted suicide ban

A pro-life group is calling on the Georgia legislature to enact a ban on assisted suicides, saying the state is at risk “to become a haven for merchants of death unless we act.”

The state’s Supreme Court on Monday unanimously struck down the state’s ban on assisted suicides that were offered publically. The state’s ban violated free speech protections, the court said.

“We understand the pain of terminal illnesses, but taking a human life in the name of mercy or compassion is morally wrong,” Georgia Right to Life President Dan Becker said in a news release. “We should concentrate on providing help to those in desperate situations, not kill them.”

The court made its ruling as part of an appeal of a case involving four people indicted in Forsyth County on charges of offering to assist in commission of suicide.

In its ruling, the court noted that the previous statute targets anyone “who publicly advertises, offers, or holds himself or herself out as offering that he or she will intentionally and actively assist another person in the commission of suicide” However, “as the State admits (the law) was carefully drafted and intentionally enacted for the purpose of preventing a ‘Dr. Kevorkian type actor’ from offering to assist in suicide while leaving others free to do so.”

“Monday’s Supreme Court decision striking down our pitifully weak assisted suicide ban will open the door for Georgia to become a haven for merchants of death unless we act,” Becker said.
He added: “There is still plenty of time for the Legislature to honor the sanctity of all human life and completely outlaw this horrific practice, which currently is banned in a majority of states.”

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