Monday, December 17, 2012

Time to strengthen assisted suicide law

December 13, 2012, Independent Record

I have several concerns about the practice of assisted suicide, which has been rejected by most states and is currently legal in only two states (Washington and Oregon). 1) The potential for elder abuse is very real. Patients in Oregon with a “terminally ill” diagnosis have been refused treatment and steered toward assisted suicide. Patients can be pressured by a relative, who can even administer the dose. 2) A “terminally ill” diagnosis can be wrong. Some patients recover with treatment and may live a long time. 3) Montana already has a high suicide rate and state policy is directed at lowering that rate. The suicide rate in Oregon has increased since their law was passed.

Please tell your legislators to clarify and strengthen our law against assisted suicide.

Ruth Plesner