The state of Connecticut will ask a Superior Court judge Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two physicians who want to help their terminally ill patients end their lives with dignity.
The lawsuit filed by the physicians asks the court to interpret a 1969 law they believe is vague about whether a ban on assisted suicide affects doctors who help their terminally ill patients die.
The physicians want the court to conclude that their assistance will not result in criminal prosecution under existing laws, which makes assisted suicide a crime. The physicians argue that the choice of such a dying patient is not assisted suicide.
Sheldon Smith, 86, said in October that he hopes for a favorable outcome from the lawsuit because he is concerned about how the end of his life will unfold.
Smith, who has fourth-stage abdominal cancer, said he knows the type of pain his cancer can cause and would like a physician to be able to prescribe medication to help bring about a peaceful death, if the dying process becomes unbearable.
The Bethany man said he wants to keep living as long as he can, but if the pain is too much to bear, “I want to leave this world with the same dignity with which I’ve lived my life.”
It looks like arguments in this case will be held in Hartford superior Court at 2 p.m. Monday.