Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Olympian Newspaper fails to provide all information about PAS in Oregon

The Olympian newspaper editorial board has reported that the Oregon assisted suicide (PAS) statistics prove that their has not been significant problems in Oregon with PAS abuses and their should not be a problem with PAS abuses in Washington State.

The Olympian newspaper stated:
"Of the 341 people who have ended their lives under the Oregon law, 97 percent are white, 77 percent are between the ages of 55 and 84, more than 63 percent have at least some college education, and 63 percent have private insurance, not Medicaid or Medicare.

Most of the people — 82 percent — were suffering from cancer.

It requires a doctor to refer a patient to counseling if mental illness or depression appears to be affecting the patient's judgment.

Almost all Oregon patients, 94 percent, tell their family about their decision and take the lethal drugs at their home or the home of someone they know, Oregon's statistics show.

When a patient has decided to end his or her life, 86 percent have hospice care, and 81 percent have a doctor or other health care provider present when they take the lethal drugs.

There usually are no complications, although 6 percent of patients spit up some of the drugs. No one has asked to be saved after taking the drugs."

The Olympian missed many facts about PAS in Oregon.
The first issue is that of the 49 people who died by PAS in Oregon last year none of those people were refered for a psychological or psychiatric evaluation. So much for the requirement for counseling or the serious restrictions concerning people who experience mental or psychological pain.

The annual reports from Oregon are compiled from the reports that are filed by the physicians who prescribed PAS. Therefore the statistics concerning PAS in Oregon are compiled by reports from the physicians who prescribed death.

There is no third party investigations into the PAS reports that are filed by the physicians and their have been no independent investigations to ensure that the reports are accurate and that all PAS deaths are reported.

If a physician prescribed PAS for a person who was clearly depressed, would the physician self-report this illegal act?

If a physician prescribed PAS for a person with a disability who is not terminally ill would the physician self-report their act or even file the report?

How many unreported PAS deaths are their each year in Oregon?

The PAS debate has been stifled in Oregon by the control of information and the fact that 73% of all PAS deaths in Oregon are in some way facilitated by the Compassion & Choices lobby group.

Will the Compassion & Choices PAS lobby group honestly report cases of PAS if the act was questionable?

The answer is that we don't know and we shouldn't assume that all PAS deaths are reported and that all of the information in the reports are accurate in Oregon.

The fact is that their are many cases in Oregon that have been questionable at best. Due to the control of information we are only learning of these cases slowly from family members or friends, over time.

To learn more about actual cases and information about the Oregon law, go to this link:

It is important that the Olympian and other media outlets in Washington State provide complete information about PAS in Oregon. The people of Washington State deserve full information before voting on the I-1000 PAS initiative in Washington State.

Link to the original article:

No comments: