More Oregon Patients Killed Via Assisted Suicide as Activists Infiltrate Hospice

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 16, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Oregon Patients Killed Via Assisted Suicide as Activists Infiltrate Hospice

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 16
, 2009

Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — The number of assisted suicides in Oregon has increased 30 percent in the last two years and euthanasia activists themselves may have provided the reasons why. It appears members of Compassion & Choices have infiltrated the hospice system and are urging patients to kill themselves.

LifeNews.com reported on the increase earlier this month, but a Compassion & Choice press release last week provided an interesting take on the report.

The group said that "nearly 100% of terminally ill individuals using the law in 2008 were enrolled in hospice."

"Hospice enrollment among those using the Act increased to 98%, with 59 of the 60 individuals enrolled. Over the prior ten years of the Act’s existence, 86% of patients using the Act were enrolled in hospice, in itself a very high rate of use," the pro-assisted suicide group added.

“The first thing we ask patients who contact us is, ‘Are you enrolled in hospice?’” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of the group, said.

Coombs said the assisted suicide law is getting more patients enrolled in hospice, but bioethics watchdog Wesley J. Smith says the pro-euthanasia group "should be ashamed, not proud."

"This press release is essentially an admission that its representatives interfere with the proper provision of hospice care, since an essential service of hospice is suicide prevention," Smith explains.

He says C&C’s involvement in hospice is pushing patients into assisted suicide and corrupting the system.

"The published statistics from Oregon, for what they are worth, state that only two of the people about which the press release referred, were directed to a mental health consult, which is not the same thing as treatment," Smith said. "In 2007 there were zero referrals. This indicates that the patients who committed assisted suicide received no formal intervention for suicide prevention."

"How is withholding suicide prevention any different than providing inadequate pain control?" Smith asks.

He concludes: "Hence, Compassion and Choices undermines and interferes with the application of full and proper hospice care. I don’t see any other way of looking at it."

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.