Sunday, March 24, 2013

Legal Assisted Suicide Puts the Government in Your Life

With the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon State Government received a new right, which it exercises:   The right to steer citizens to suicide with treatment and/or financial incentives.  Oregon doctor, Ken Stevens, describes this right in detail below.*

In Montana, where physician-assisted suicide is not legal, the government does not have that right.  The law in Montana is, however, in a confused state, which has opened the door to possible legalization.

To prevent that from happening, tell your legislators to vote "Yes" on HB 505! 

*  Dr. Stevens states:

8. Today, for patients under the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid), there is also a financial incentive to commit suicide: The Plan covers the cost. The Plan's "Statements of Intent for the April 1, 2012 Prioritized List of Health Services," states: 
"It is the intent of the [Oregon Health Services] Commission that services under ORS 127.800-127.897 (Oregon Death with Dignity Act) be covered for those that wish to avail themselves to those services." 
9. Under the Oregon Health Plan, there is also a financial incentive towards suicide because the Plan will not necessarily pay for a patient's treatment. For example, patients with cancer are denied treatment if they have a "less than 24 months median survival with treatment" and fit other criteria. This is the Plan's "Guideline Note 12."
10. The term, "less than 24 months median survival with treatment," means that statistically half the patients receiving treatment will live less than 24 months (two years) and the other half will live longer than two years. 
11. Some of the patients living longer than two years will likely live far longer than two years, as much as five, ten or twenty years depending on the type of cancer. This is because there are always some people who beat the odds.
12. All such persons who fit within "Guideline Note 12" will nonetheless be denied treatment. Their suicides under Oregon's assisted suicide act will be covered. 
Affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, filed in Leblanc v. Canada, para. 8-12, attaching excerpts of the Oregon Health Plan guidelines, available at