Aid in Dying in Montana Symposium

A Decade of Practice Following Baxter v. Montana

Aid in Dying in Montana Symposium
Date: Friday, September 6
Location: Blewett School of Law, Room 201, Missoula, MT
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Montana CLE Credits: 4.25 credits (3.25 general, 1.00 ethics)

Registration: Register here

Admission is free for members of the public and University of Montana faculty, staff and students. Early-bird admission is $40 for lawyers seeking CLE and healthcare professionals; early-bird rate ends August 6. After August 6, admission is $50 for lawyers seeking CLE and healthcare professionals. Continuing legal education (4.25) credits from the Montana State Bar have been approved, including one ethics credit.

The Montana Supreme Court decided Baxter v. Montana in 2009, opening the door to the practice of Aid in Dying (AID) in Montana, in a manner that left the legislature latitude to regulate or prohibit it. Legislators have introduced both sorts of measures but none have been enacted in the decade since. Accordingly, AID is governed by the Baxter decision, which sets the framework for eligibility and physician practice, but otherwise leaves the practice to standard of care. This is a very different approach to AID than in states that impose a complex regulatory statute.

This symposium brings together clinicians, attorneys, jurists, policy makers, family member survivors of dying patients, and researchers to review and discuss the decade of AID practice in Montana and the lessons which can be gleaned, which may inform other states considering standard of care governance of AID.

Confirmed presenters include:

The perspective of the Baxter attorneys:

  • Anthony Johnstone, Professor of Law, Blewett School of Law
    Former Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Montana
  • Mark Connell, Missoula Attorney
    Co-counsel to the physician and patient plaintiffs
  • Kathryn Tucker, Director, End of Life Liberty Project
    Co-counsel to the physician and patient plaintiffs

The perspective of a Member of the Baxter Court:

  • Retired Montana Supreme Court Justice Nelson
    Author of concurring opinion

Other presenters include Montana legislators, patients and family members, clinicians, members of the Montana Medical Board and Medical Society, and researchers on the topic of AID.


Schedule of Events

Agenda for Friday, September 6, 2019

8:30 a.m. 

Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. 

Welcome and Introductions

9:05 a.m.

KEYNOTE: A Justice’s Perspective on Baxter v. Montana

  • Hon. James NelsonMontana Supreme Court, (retired)

9:30 a.m.

Legal Perspectives on Baxter v. Montana

  • Mark Connell, Missoula Attorney, co-counsel for plaintiffs
  • Prof. Anthony Johnstone, former Solicitor, co-counsel for state
  • Kathryn Tucker, Director of the ELLP, co-counsel for plaintiffs

10:20 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

The Legislative and Regulatory Landscape after Baxter v. Montana

  • Sen. Diane Sands, Missoula, supporting a permissive statute
  • Rep. Carl Glimm, Kila (District 6), supporting a prohibitive statute
  • Judy Bovington, Chief Legal Counsel, Dept. of Labor & Industry
  • Representative of Montana Medical Association (invited)

11:30 a.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:00 p.m.

Patients, Family Members, and the Lawyer’s Role

  • Leslie Mutchler, Billings, Robert Baxter’s daughter
  • Kathryn Tucker, Director of the ELLP, co-counsel for plaintiffs

2:00 p.m.

The Practice of Aid in Dying: Clinical Perspectives

  • Dr. Colette Kirchhoff, Bozeman, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Dr. Eric Kress, Missoula, Family Medicine
  • Dr. R.D. Marks, Ennis, Family Medicine
  • Dr. Lonny Shavelson, San Francisco, Bay Area End of Life Options
  • Dr. Deric Weiss, Bozeman, Hospice and Palliative Medicine

3:15 p.m.


3:30 p.m.

Placing Baxter in the National Landscape

  • Prof. Anita Hannig, Brandeis University, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Ed Tirakian, Founder, Dying Right North Carolina
  • Kathryn Tucker, Director of the ELLP, co-counsel for plaintiffs

4:30 p.m.


Lodging Information

Room blocks with a discounted rate have been set up at the following hotels. While it is not necessary to make your reservation in the event room blocks, we encourage you to make a room reservation as soon as possible. 

Hotel Room Block

Residence Inn Missoula
125 North Pattee Street
Missoula, Montana 59802

Room Block Online Reservation

Reservations by phone:
(406) 542-6252
Group name: "UM School of Law - Aid in Dying Symposium"

Additional hotels close to campus include the DoubleTree - Edgewater, Holiday Inn Downtown, and Comfort Inn University:

Additional Hotels

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula - Edgewater
100 Madison Street
Missoula, Montana 59802

Reservations by phone:
(406) 728-3100

Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula
200 South Pattee Street
Missoula, Montana 59802

Reservations by phone:
(406) 721-8550

Comfort Inn University Missoula
1021 East Broadway
Missoula, Montana 59802

Reservations by phone:
(406) 549-7600

Parking Information

A parking permit or guest pass is required to park on the UM campus throughout the year, Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Daily parking passes for visitors to the University, available for $3.50, are sold at University Police, University Center Bookstore and Info Desk, the Treasury Office in the Lommasson Center, and the cashier’s window at Missoula College. More information, including a map of parking lots around campus and transportation alternatives, can be found at UM's Visitor Parking Page. View a map of the parking lot and law school entrances here. Parking Lot P is the closest lot to the law school.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor


Lee and Donna Metcalf Charitable Foundation


Thank you to our Gold Sponsor

Montana Healthcare Foundation

Montana Healthcare Foundation

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors

ACLU Montana

ACLU of Montana



Mark Connell



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