ASSISTED SUICIDE: Measure Makes Fall Ballot In Michigan
Michigan voters will decide in November whether doctor-assisted suicide will be legalized. The Detroit News reports that the Board of State Canvassers yesterday unanimously approved a petition drive to put the issue on the state ballot, although Michigan Right to Life and the Michigan Catholic Conference are considering a legal challenge to overturn that decision. Ed Pierce, president of Merian's Friends, the group that spearheaded the ballot effort, said his organization hopes to raise $2 million for what "will be a very close, very tough campaign" (Cain, 7/21). The Detroit Free Press reports that the election "is almost certain to become, in part, a referendum on Dr. Jack Kevorkian," despite the fact that both supporters and opponents of assisted-suicide have disavowed his tactics. Merian's Friends believes "approval of the ballot proposal would put [Kevorkian] out of business," while opponents "likely will argue that legalizing assisted suicide would be akin to making Kevorkian the state's surgeon general." Barring "unlikely" intervention from the courts or legislators, the Free Press reports that Michigan will become the fourth state to vote on assisted suicide; only Oregon voters have approved the measure (Bell, 7/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.