Assisted suicide increased by 44% in Oregon - 2014 report

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The 2014 Oregon assisted suicide report indicates a 44% increase in assisted suicide deaths and a 28% increase in lethal prescriptions. In 2014, at least one person who died by assisted suicide obtained the lethal dose in 2012, (439 days before death) even though the law requires the person to be within 6 months of death.

The 2014 annual report is similar to prior years. The preamble implies that the deaths were voluntary (self-administered), but the information reported does not address that subject.

Oregon's assisted suicide law allows the lethal dose to be administered without oversight. This creates the opportunity for an heir, or someone else who will benefit from the patient's death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without the patient's consent. "Even if he struggled, who would know?"

In 2014, Assisted suicide's in Oregon increased in numbers, conditions and demographics.

  • 105 assisted suicide deaths in 2014 up from 73 in 2013. (44% increase).
  • 155 prescriptions for suicide in 2014 up from 105 in 2013. (28% increase).

In previous years almost 80% of the deaths, were cancer related. In 2014, 68% had cancer with "other illnesses" increasing to 8.6% (9 deaths). Other illnesses includes diabetes.

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