Legislators in the Senate Judiciary Committee today heard powerful testimony about a bill to establish rules and regulations for physician aid in dying.

Emotions on both sides of the issue were high. It's and intensely personal topic. And it's that personal decision-making that puts us firmly in the camp of those who support death with dignity as an individual choice.

In 2008, a District Court judge ruled that physician aid in dying for competent, terminally ill people is legal and constitutional in Montana, but doctors have been reluctant to help patients at the end of their lives -- even those with painful, severely debilitating diseases, because there are no guidelines or rules for who is eligible and what procedures must be followed. Senate Bill 220 seeks to remedy that situation by providing clear rules that protect doctors from prosecution and patients from abuse.

Everyone has a right to make his own private medical decisions at the end of his life -- up to and including the right to die.

We support Senate Bill 220.