Below, an excerpt from the expert witness affidavit of Attorney Margaret K. Dore, filed in the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, SCA Case No: 531/2015.
The affidavit, including attachments, can be viewed by clicking here.
The Oregon and Washington Acts
12. The Oregon and Washington "Death with Dignity Acts" legalize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia as those terms are traditionally defined. See memo, pp. 2-3 (regarding definitions) at "MD."
13. Oregon's act went into effect in 1997. Washington's act, which is modelled on Oregon's act, went into effect in 2009. Both acts were passed by ballot measures in which voters were promised that "only" the patient would be allowed to administer the lethal dose. There is, however, no such language in either act. See memo, pp. 10- 12 at “MD2,”and article at “MD4.” Indeed, both acts allow someone else to administer the lethal dose to the patient, which is euthanasia. Id.
14. Under the Oregon and Washington acts, "eligible" patients can have years, even decades, to live. See: memo, pp. 5-7 and Dr. Toffler's declaration. ("MD2" and "MD3").
15. The Oregon and Washington acts are stacked against the patient. Reasons for this include the following: (a) a patient's heir, who will financially benefit from the patient's death, is allowed to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose; and (b) once the lethal dose is in the house, there is a complete lack of oversight over administration ("even if the patient struggled, who would know?") See memo, "MD2" at pages 7 to 14.
16. Another example is the requirement that the death certificate report a natural death caused by a terminal disease. See memo, pp. 15-16. The significance is legal inability to prosecute criminal behaviour, for example, in the case of an outright murder for the money. Id. The cause of death, as a matter of law, is a terminal disease." Id.
17. The falsification of the death certificate to reflect a terminal disease also contributes to a lack transparency, as do other Oregon and Washington practices. See "MD2" through "MD9."
The Jackson/Reagan Affidavits are Materially Misleading
With my time constraints, I provide just two examples:
17. Oregon's Act does not require "self-administration." Ms. Jackson's affidavit p.8, paragraph 22 says that the patient "must be able to self-administer . . . the life-ending medication." Dr. Reagan's affidavit, p. 5, paragraph 14, makes this same claim. There is no such requirement in Oregon's act, which does not even use the term, "self-administer." See my memo, “MD2”, at pp. 11-12.
18. Patients are not required to be "dying." Ms. Jackson's affidavit, p. 8, paragraph 23, says that the "option" (meaning assisted suicide) is "only available to dying patients." Consider also, Dr. Reagan's affidavit, p. 3, which refers to assisted suicide/euthanasia as "aid in dying," "medical aid in dying" and "physician assisted dying." (Emphasis added). As noted [previously], there no requirement that patients be "dying." "Eligible" patients may have years, even decades, to live. See my memo, “MD2”, at pp. 5-7 and Dr. Toffler's declaration, "MD20." . . .
20. It is my hope that the material that I have provided will be of assistance to the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa in its determination of the appeal. Please let me know if you would like me to provide additional information at another time.
MARGARET K. DORE, ESQ., MBA