Assisted Suicide Laws Are Dangerous and Discriminatory

From Patient Access Rights Fund: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Seven Important Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide Laws

  1. Assisted suicide gives insurance companies and governments the ability to save money by pushing lethal drugs that are less expensive than treatment. This has happened in Oregon and California where patients were refused coverage of life-saving treatment and offered lethal drugs instead.

• One of the founders of the assisted suicide movement, Derek Humphry, stated “….economics , not
the question of broadened liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice.”2

 •   Canadian officials estimated that assisted suicide and euthanasia could reduce annual spending by between $34.7 million and $138.8 million compared to $1.5 million to $14.8 million spent on lethal drugs.3
  1. Only 66 (4%) of the 1,657 patients who died by assisted suicide in Oregon since its legalization in 1998 were referred for psychiatric evaluation.
  2. Inadequate pain control is not among the top five reasons patients in Oregon and Washington request lethal drugs.
  3. A six-month prognosis for death is extremely difficult to predict accurately, with many patients living far beyond the six months. A major study of physician prognoses in Chicago revealed that of 468 predictions, only 20% were accurate in predicting when death would occur. In another study, “No group accurately predicted the length of patient survival more than 50% of the time.”6
  4. Patients who are not dying may receive lethal drugs. The definition of terminal illness under assisted suicide laws includes patients who refuse treatment and might live for many years, and diabetes has been listed as a reason someone received lethal drugs.
  5. A CDC report reveals that from 1999-2010, suicide among those aged 35-64 increased 49% in Oregon as compared to a 28% increase nationally.7
  6. No trained medical personnel are required to be present at the time the lethal drugs are taken or at the time of death, creating the opportunity for an heir or abusive caregiver to coerce the patient to take the deadly drugs or put them in the patient’s food without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

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