By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Oklahoman Editorial Board, on July 20, published a position opposing assisted suicide under the title: Laws allowing assisted suicide can have far-reaching impact.
The Oklahoman focuses on the research by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatrist who is director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California Irvine. Dr Kheriaty sent a letter to California lawmakers explaining how assisted suicide laws can lead to death to a far wider and often healthier population. California lawmakers recently debated assisted suicide bill SB 128.
The Oklahoman reported that Kheriaty wrote:
“The desire to end one’s life, or the request for assisted suicide, is almost always a cry for help,”
“It is a distress signal indicating that something in the patient’s situation is not adequately being attended to — an untreated clinical depression, fear or anxiety about the future or about one’s medical condition, untreated or under-treated pain, family or relationship strain or conflict, and so on.”
Kheriaty wrote in his letter:
80 percent to 90 percent of suicides are associated with clinical depression or other treatable mental disorders, “including for individuals at the end-of-life and individuals with a terminal condition.”