Washington Assisted Suicide Deaths Hit Record High in 2016

State   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Oct 10, 2017   |   4:21PM   |   Olympia, WA

The 2016 Washington State Department of Health DWD report, states that there were 192 reported assisted suicide deaths, up from 166 in 2015 which was up by 31.7% from 126 in 2014. Assisted suicide deaths continue to increase.

Out of the 248 lethal prescriptions in 2016 there were 192 reported assisted suicide deaths, 36 deaths from other causes, 12 deaths where the “ingestion status” is unknown, and 11 people remained alive.

Dangerously, when the ingestion status is unknown, then the status of the lethal drugs is also unknown. It is possible that the 12 deaths where the ingestion status is unknown could represent the under-reporting of assisted suicide. No information is known in 8 of the 12 cases where the ingestion status is unknown.

The assisted suicide report states that 16% of the lethal prescriptions were based on other illnesses. The report stated that other illnesses, including heart and respiratory disease, and “unknown illnesses.” In Oregon other illnesses has included diabetes.

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In 2016 uncontrolled pain was not even listed as a reason for prescribing assisted suicide.

Several years ago Wes Olfert was pressured to die by assisted suicide in Washington State after inquiring about assisted suicide.

The American College of Physicians recently passed a position opposing assisted suicide. A resolution opposing assisted suicide is currently being debated in Congress.

Legalizing assisted suicide creates new pressures upon people who are terminally or chronically ill and is a recipe for elder abuse.

LifeNews.com Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.