Euthanasia Ideologues Facilitate Most Oregon Assisted Suicides

I will be testifying today in Sacramento against legalizing assisted suicide in California. As I was preparing for my appearance, I found some interesting information about how assisted suicide in Oregon is actually conducted.

Oregon voters were assured during the campaign to legalize assisted suicide, that the matter would be between patients and family doctors. In actuality, Compassion in Dying of Oregon, a euthanasia advocacy group, is involved in the vast majority of these deaths. According to a signed statement by George Eighmey, executive director, attached to the tax returns of the group, in 2004, CID participated in 29 out of 35 assisted suicides in Oregon. This not only demonstrates that assisted suicide ideologues are running the show in Oregon but it is deeply involved with the state government since the official statistics have not actually been published yet.

According to CID, pain or fear of pain was not apparently a major issue in any assisted suicide. Rather, it was “fear of loss of control” fear of “dependence on others,” and “concern over loss of autonomy.” These are important issues. But people can be helped to adjust to these wrenching changes without facilitating their suicides. Indeed, hospice does it all the time.

So this is the bottom line: legalized assisted suicide in Oregon is not a compassionate last resort for unbearable suffering: It licenses sheer Kevorkianism.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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