I was speaking in beautiful Eugene, Oregon yesterday–and so was Hillary Clinton. (For some reason she made the front page of the Register Guard instead of me.) During the Q and A session, she was asked about Oregon’s assisted suicide law and gave quite the Clintonesque support for transforming suicide into a medical treatment. From the story:
Q: What’s your attitude toward Oregon’s assisted suicide law?
A: I believe it’s within the province of the states to make that decision. I commend Oregon on this count, as well, because whether I agree with it or not or think it’s a good idea or not, the fact that Oregon is breaking new ground and providing valuable information as to what does and doesn’t work when it comes to end-of-life questions, I think, is very beneficial.
Whether she agrees with it or not, people without serious symptoms have been prescribed lethal drugs to kill them, last year no patients requesting assisted suicide were referred to mental health professionals, few patients died with doctors at their side, and the number of assisted suicides went up. Meanwhile, a few years ago, Michael Freeland was prescribed a deadly dose two years before dying, and after he became psychotic was, in effect, abandoned by his psychiatrist who permitted his prescription to remain “safely at home.” Kate Cheney, an Alzheimer’s and cancer patient received a lethal prescription even though a psychiatrist found that it was her daughter who had the real assisted suicide desire.
Well, at least the questioner called it by its right term instead of the gooey euphemism of “aid in dying.”