Technically, the term refers to the actions of a physician to facilitate suicide by providing a patient with the means and/or information to do so. In practice, other persons and institutions are involved, to steer patients to suicide for their own benefit. Such other persons can include family members interested in a quick inheritance.
In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal, examples include the Thomas Middleton case in which physician-assisted suicide was part of an elder abuse fraud. See here.
In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal, young adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes are "eligible." Such persons can have years, even decades, to live. Consider also, Jeanette Hall, who was adamant that she would be doing assisted suicide, but was convinced to be treated instead. Today, nearly 15 years later, she is "thrilled to be alive." See here.
In Oregon, that state's Medicaid Plan steers people to suicide through coverage incentives. For more information, see the affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, at this link.
In Oregon, other conventional "violent" suicides have increased significantly with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. In Oregon, conventional suicides are a $41 million problem due to hospitalization costs, etc. See here. Legalization, regardless, sends the wrong message to young people that suicide is an acceptable solution to life's problems. Montana already has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.
Physician-assisted suicide is against public policy for the following reasons:
- It encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives.
- It creates new paths of elder abuse.
- It empowers healthcare systems to steer people to suicide.
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