Michigan Governor Signs Bill Making Assisted Suicide a Felony

Lansing -- Governor Engler signed Senate Bill 200, making assisted suicide a felony.

"Starting September 1, 1998 Michigan will have in place legislation to stop individuals from assisting others in committing suicide," said Governor Engler. "It gives prosecutors the tools they need to convict those who assist someone in ending their life. And it will put out of business those who prey on the vulnerable."

The Governor signed SB 200, sponsored by State Senator William Van Regenmorter (R- Hudsonville). The bill amends the Penal Code to create a felony for assisted suicide. It provides for imprisonment of not more than five years, or a fine or not more than $10,000 or both for persons who know that an individual intends to kill him or herself and:

* provides the means to kill or attempt to kill him/herself,
* participates in an act by which the person kills or attempts to kill him/herself, or
* helps the individual plan an attempt or actually take their life.

The new act does not apply to withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, and does not prohibit a prosecutor from using other theories by which to prosecute the defendant.

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