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Friday, June 17, 2011

A Response to The Nation: Legal Assisted Suicide is a Recipe for Abuse; Health Care Providers are Empowered to Steer Patients to Suicide

Yesterday, NPR and The Nation featured a pro-assisted suicide commentary by Ann Neumann.[1]  Her commentary overlooked gaps in the Oregon and Washington assisted-suicide laws.  She uncritically accepted Compassion & Choices's marketing claims that it promotes patient choice for "terminal" patients.  This blog presents the other side.

A Recipe for Abuse

Physician-assisted suicide laws in Oregon and Washington have gaps that put patients at risk.[2] The most obvious gap is a lack of witnesses at the death.[3] Without disinterested witnesses, the opportunity is created for someone else to administer the lethal dose to the patient against his will. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?