Cape Cod doctors file lawsuit addressing right-to-die issue

October 26, 2016 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Two Cape Cod doctors are asking a Massachusetts court to rule that it’s not a criminal act for physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication to mentally competent patients with terminal illnesses.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court by Drs. Roger Kligler — who has terminal cancer — and Alan Steinbach with the help of Compassion & Choices, a Denver-based nonprofit working to expand end-of-life choices.

It asks the court for an injunction to prevent criminal prosecution of what it calls “medical aid in dying,” which the group says isn’t the same as assisted suicide.

The suit names state Attorney General Maura Healey and Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe as defendants. Healey’s office declined comment. O’Keefe says the issue is something lawmakers need to address.