WATCH Sgt Matthew Kohler with 8 years of service from Delavan, Wisc., Spc Jessica Williamson with 4 years of service from East Islip, Long Island, NY, Spc Ryan Gurtner with 49 months of service and from Pulaski, PA, Pfc Robert Williams from Farmington, MI, Spc Jim Silveira from San Francisco, CA area, Spc Wesley O’Connor from Dothan, AL, Spc Chris Brockelbank from Birchtree, MO, Sgt Mary Jones with 5 years of service from Deltona, FL. SFC James West with 17 years of service from Burlington, VT on his 2nd Afghanistan deployment. They all talk about what they do in the Aid Station including some of them that go outside to provide Aid when a Air Flight needs medical care. On the next episode we go on a Tour Inside Bagram Air Field Task Force Falcons Aid Station.
You may have the right to control your own life, but what about your own death? This is a question facing several states across the U.S., including, most recently, Vermont and Montana.
While physician aid-in-dying, or assisted suicide, has been legal in Oregon for almost two decades and legal in Washington for almost five years, other states have proved resistant to the idea. Reason TV was on the scene as this legal and moral battle played out in a somewhat surprising place: Montana, where conservative Republicans dominate local politics.
“We have a certain tradition here, going back to frontier days, of saying there are certain areas the government ought to stay out of,” says Robert Connell, a Montana attorney who argued in the state’s landmark Supreme Court case, Baxter v. Montana.
Connell’s client, U.S. Marine veteran and retired trucker Robert Baxter, suffered from a terminal illness called lymphocytic leukemia and wanted the ability to take medication that would hasten his death and end his suffering. He died before Montana’s Supreme Court could even issue the Baxter decision, which recognized a constitutional right to assisted suicide for all Montanans.
But that was just the beginning of this fight. Watch the video above to hear from legislators attempting to overturn Baxter and criminalize physician aid-in-dying once and for all, doctors who’ve risked their practices to write lethal prescriptions for suffering patients, and an elderly California man who’s decided to take matters into his own hands whether the state likes it or not.
Approximately 9:30 minutes.
Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick, Tracy Oppenheimer, and Weissmueller.
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