Yesterday, the New Hampshire House voted 242-113 to defeat a bill to legalize assisted suicide. Last fall, the House Judiciary Committee, after an enormous struggle, recommended that the bill be killed. Billed as similar to the Oregon law allowing assisted suicide, the New Hampshire bill would have allowed people from other states to travel to New Hampshire to be assisted with suicide. This and other flaws led to the defeat of the measure.
Of the three states that have legalized assisted suicide, Oregon and Washington have done so via ballot questions. The Montana State Supreme Court legalized assisted suicide there in late 2009. In contrast, 113 bills in 24 states have been introduced in state legislatures since 1994. All have been defeated by vote, tabling or inaction.
The New Hampshire defeat is a huge setback for Compassion and Choices, the leading pro-euthanasia group, that felt it was on a roll following legalization in Washington and Montana.
All eyes now turn to Connecticut where there is a pending court case, and Hawaii where action may take place on a bill introduced there.