Friday, March 26, 2010

Body Count in Washington and Oregon

Here's anther body count report about the assisted suicides in Washington state and Oregon. Note the spin - it's not assisted suicide anymore, it's "assisted death." Also, note that those who requested assisted suicide did so on the basis of fear - fear of of losing autonomy, etc. Yes, you got it right - it was not necessarily that they had lost their autonomy, etc., but that they were afraid of doing so. Dying now to avoid something in  one's future. There's something seriously awry here.
Assisted suicide laws cited in 95 deaths in Washington, Oregon
Ninety-five terminally ill patients died in 2009 after taking lethal doses of medications prescribed by their physicians under death-with-dignity laws in Washington and Oregon, according to health department reports released in March.
Thirty-six of those deaths occurred in Washington in the 10 months after the state's physician-assisted suicide law took effect March 5, 2009, said a report from the state health department. Nearly 60% of Washington voters approved a 2008 ballot measure that made physician-assisted suicide legal.
That state's law, like Oregon's, makes doctor-aided dying available to patients who have been judged terminally ill by two doctors. Patients must make an oral request and a witnessed written request. Another oral request must be made 15 days later.
The characteristics of the Washingtonians who used the death-with-dignity law were similar to their counterparts in Oregon, said Linda Ganzini, MD, MPH, who has extensively researched Oregon's experience with physician-assisted suicide, in describing statistics from the report. more

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