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Assisted suicides in Oregon leap 44% in 2014

by | Feb 20, 2015

By Gayle Atteberry, Executive Director, Oregon Right to Life

oregon-washington_mapOregon, the first state to legalize assisted suicide, just released numbers on those who killed themselves via physician assisted suicide in 2014. The numbers, while shocking, bring reality to the warnings from pro-lifers: suicides skyrocketed 44% over the previous year. Physician assisted suicide has become the new “normal” in Oregon.

One hundred and five patients killed themselves in 2014, the most high-profile case being Brittany Maynard. While Maynard went to the press, anxious to use her death to promote assisted suicide, the shroud of secrecy which surrounds Oregon’s assisted suicide law guarantees that no details or state oversight is given to any of the other deaths.

Nothing guarantees that even the numbers we are given are correct, as there is no state or peer oversight over the deaths.

Only three patients (3%) were seen by a psychiatrist, even though an Oregon study showed that 26% of patients seeking physician assisted suicide are depressed. Depression is known to be the number one factor in people seeking to kill themselves.

Contrary to the mantra of pro-assisted suicide folks that unrelenting pain is the reason assisted suicide needs to be legalized, the three most common reasons given for using the deadly potion were:” losing autonomy” (96%); “less able to enjoy activities” (91%); and “loss of dignity” (75%).

Moreover, according to the Catholic Herald

The figures also show a drop in the proportion of suicides involving cancer patients from 80 to 68 per cent, corresponding with a rise in suicides in those with such non-terminal illnesses as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

And further showing that even the best doctor cannot know the future, one patient who used the drugs received his prescription in 2012. The law states that the patient must be diagnosed to die within six months.

Abuses to the law are rampant in Oregon. However, abuses to patients, who are abandoned to kill themselves rather than be encouraged and comforted until life’s natural end, is the most heart-breaking.

Categories: Assisted Suicide