Assisted suicide: Avoid Washington, Oregon’s path

2013-02-03T09:15:00Z Assisted suicide: Avoid Washington, Oregon’s path missoulian.com
February 03, 2013 9:15 am

Assisted suicide became the law of the land in both Washington and Oregon by a ballot measure. It has yet to become law through the scrutiny of a legislature despite more than 100 attempts.

Montana is attempting to pass a bill allowing assisted suicide through legislative measures using Oregon’s model as the footprint. Physician-assisted suicide means that a physician is involved in providing the means and/or information for another person to commit suicide. In Oregon there is no oversight required when a lethal dose is administered.

The Oregon laws make this available to patients expected to die within six months, but doctors can be wrong and patients don’t always die. Treatment can lead to recovery; depression can be treated; feelings of significance and importance can return. Assisted suicide swings the door wide for elder abuse and self-serving benefactors and is inconsistent with the compassionate and trusting care a patient deserves from his physician.

In Oregon, patients desiring treatment have been denied, but offered suicide instead. Encouraging suicide in one form, promotes it in other forms. Montana already has one of the highest suicide rates. In Washington where this has been legal since 2009, there is already a discussion to expand its law to allow euthanasia for non-terminal people. We must not take the Washington or Oregon path.

Dr. David W. Hafer, Montana state representative, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Dayton

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(4) Comments

  1. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - February 05, 2013 12:45 pm
    For crying out loud, if we want to die, we have the right to die! I don't understand why it's against the law! is it because the government loses another taxpayer???? That would be my guess. Because it is a sick society that wants to watch their loved ones suffer! SICK!
  2. claudius
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    claudius - February 03, 2013 12:55 pm
    Sorry, here's the link that should have been included.

    http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year14.pdf
  3. claudius
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    claudius - February 03, 2013 12:54 pm
    It's unfortunate to see Dr Hafer using the same scare tactics and exaggerated claims that seem to be the only arguments of fundamentalists trying to deny a very basic right of a terminally ill patient.

    A number of his claims are outright false. Oregon's 'Death with Dignity' law was indeed established by citizen initiative. The Legislature and various opposition groups tried to repeal it, and were overwhelmingly voted down.

    He claims that patients desiring treatment have been denied, but offered suicide instead. An insurance company might deny payment for an experimental or useless treatment, but that reflects only on the for-profit insurers, not on the compassionate efforts of the caring people involved in Oregon's administration of their law.

    He claims that in Oregon there is no oversight required. That is absolutely false. If a terminally ill patient requests assistance in bringing intolerable suffering to an end, a physician mus establish a firm diagnosis that supports it. A second must concur with that diagnosis, and both must affirm that the patient is competent to make such a decision.

    Go here to see in detail the lengths Oregon goes to in protecting both patient and doctor. In over 15 years of that law being in effect, no one has presented credible detail of even one instance of abuse or misconduct.

    I challenge Dr Hafer to provide credible detail about such abuse, rather than simply repeating the vague, fictitious claims of zealots who want to use government to force their narrow beliefs on everyone else.
  4. The_Boneshackler
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    The_Boneshackler - February 03, 2013 9:25 am
    This message brought to by the Medical Industrial Complex. Profiting handsomely by extracting as much wealth as is possible from suffering, terminally ill humans. America REALLY needs to get the welfare queen religious organizations out of the medical business.
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