by Steven Ertelt
March 18, 2008
Salem OR (LifeNews.com) — Oregon officials have released their tenth statewide report on the status of assisted suicide there and it found the number of people who died is on the rise. The report also showed the number of people getting drugs to use in taking their own lives is increasing as well.
More people received lethal drugs from doctors to kill themselves than any previous year under the state’s first-in-the-nation law legalizing assisted suicide.
The report showed 85 people received the drugs (an increase of 20 from the year prior) while 49 people had their physicians help them kill themselves (up slightly from 2007).
Three of the people who killed themselves in 2007 receive the prescription for the lethal cocktail in 2006.
Since the Oregon assisted suicide law took effect, 341 patients have killed themselves.
One leading euthanasia opponent, Rita Marker, of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, said she’s concerned doctors don’t do more to help patients address the mental health issues that likely prompt them to consider suicide.
"During 2007, not one patient who died under Oregon’s assisted suicide law was referred for psychiatric or psychological evaluation before receiving the prescription for lethal drugs," she said.
Despite the apparent exactness of the figures, Marker told LifeNews.com she has no idea whether the information in the report is accurate or can be trusted. Marker said she relies on comments from state officials in previous years.
We don’t really know if they are accurate or complete," she said of the new assisted suicide records. "And we are not the only ones that are saying we don’t know if they are accurate or complete."
"The very first official report that was issued on the assisted suicide law in Oregon said — and these are their words — ‘We have no way of knowing if the information is accurate or complete,’" Marker said.
"They also said — and these are their words — ‘everything could be a cock and bull story.’ And they went on to say, ‘but we only assume that doctors are being their usual, careful, accurate selves,’" Marker added.
Related web sites:
International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide – https://www.internationaltaskforce.org