Published On: Sun, Mar 10th, 2019

Oregon seeks to expand assisted suicide as new report indicates another annual rise

The 2018 Oregon annual assisted suicide report is similar to prior years: there were more assisted suicides in 2018, ten more than in 2017.

According to the 2018 Oregon assisted suicide report:

  • There were 168 reported assisted suicide deaths up from 158 in 2017. When published, the 2017 report claimed that 143 people died by assisted suicide, 15 fewer than the actual number of deaths.
  • 168 of 169 people who reportedly ingested lethal drugs in 2018 died from it; one person survived and died of natural causes.
  • For 11 of the deaths, the lethal drugs were prescribed in previous years.
  • 3 of the patients were referred for a psychological or psychiatric evaluation.
  • 2 physicians were referred to the Oregon Medical Board for failure to comply with the law.
  • The time of death ranged from 9 minutes to 14 hours. When dying from DCMP2, death took on average 2 hours, with the longest time taking 21 hours.
  • In 2018 one person died 807 days (more than 2 years and 2 months) after requesting assisted death.
  • 43 people received lethal prescriptions, but their “ingestion” status is unknown.
  • There were 249 lethal prescriptions obtained, up from 218 in 2017.

According to the 2018 Oregon report, the ingestion status was unknown in 43 deaths. Last year the report stated that 143 people died by assisted suicide but then was revised to state that 158 people died by assisted suicide.

When the ingestion status is unknown, it is possible that the person died by assisted suicide. Some or all of these deaths may represent unreported assisted deaths.

Recently the Oregon suicide lobby stated that they intend to expand the definitions in the assisted suicide law.

Oregon House Bill HB 2232 proposes to change the definition of terminal from a six-month prognosis to:

“…a disease that will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce or substantially contribute to a patient’s death.”

Oregon Senate Bill SB 0579 enables a physician to wave the 15 waiting period when prescribing lethal drugs for suicide. The current Oregon assisted suicide law requires a 15 day waiting period. SB 0579 states:

Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the qualified patient’s attending physician has medically confirmed that the qualified patient will, within reasonable medical judgment, die before the expiration of at least one of the waiting periods described in subsection (1) of this section, the prescription for medication under ORS 127.800 to 127.897 may be written at any time following the later of the qualified patient’s written request or second oral request under ORS 127.840.

By waving the 15 day waiting period, a person can be approved for assisted suicide and die the next day.
Maybe they are seeking to be more like Belgium where there were 2,357 reported assisted deaths, up from 2,309. According to the 2018 Belgian euthanasia report, released on February 28, there were 2,357 reported assisted deaths, up from 2,309. The report suggests that the number of deaths are stable. There were 954 reported assisted deaths in 2010 representing a 247% increase in 8 years.
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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Trish Neeley says:

    Very interesting.

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