Monday, March 16, 2009

Assisted Suicide in Oregon - Is not what it looks like.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Compassion & Choices, the leading assisted suicide lobby group in the America is telling people throughout the world that the assisted suicide law in Oregon is working perfectly fine. They are lobbying other states and nations to legalize assisted suicide based on their statistics.

What is actually happening in Oregon?

People in Oregon should be very concerned about the actual practise of assisted suicide in their state. Oregonians are being lulled into a sleep while the assisted suicide lobby group is also operating the law.

George Eighmey
In the report issued by George Eighmey, Executive Director - Compassion & Choices of Oregon, the group claims they are the stewards of the Oregon law.

When the group that lobbied to change the law is also the steward of the law, then we need to be concerned that the fox is in the hen house. How can anyone feel assured that vulnerable people are not being pressured by family members, heirs, or Final Exit type volunteers when the group that has a vested interest in maintaining a "rosy" annual report is also the group carrying-out the assisted suicide deaths.

Since there are no "third-party" investigations and no Department of Human Services follow-up's. Since the reports that are required by the Department of Human Services are submitted by the physician who wrote the prescription - often on behalf of Compassion & Choices, will it ever be possible to know the real truth concerning the practise of assisted suicide in Oregon.

Consider the following graph that compares the Compassion & Choices assisted suicide’s to the Total assisted suicide’s

Year -- Reported C&C Deaths -- Non-C&C Deaths -- DHS-Report Deaths
  • 1998 -- 16 -- 11 -- 5 -- 69% 
  • 1999 -- 27 -- 18 -- 9 -- 67% 
  • 2000 -- 27 -- 21 -- 6 -- 78% 
  • 2001 -- 21 -- 17 -- 4 -- 81% 
  • 2002 -- 38 -- 31 -- 7 -- 82% 
  • 2003 -- 42 -- 34 -- 8 -- 81% 
  • 2004 -- 37 -- 29 -- 8 -- 78% 
  • 2005 -- 38 -- 25 -- 13 -- 66% 
  • 2006 -- 46 -- 31 -- 15 -- 67% 
  • 2007 -- 49 -- 32 -- 17 -- 65% 
  • 2008 -- 60 -- 53 -- 7 -- 88% 
  • Total -- 401 -- 302 -- 99 -- 75% 
  • (1998 - 2008 - 11 years)
Compassion & Choices has been directly involved with 75% of all assisted suicide deaths in Oregon and in 2008 they facilitated 53 of 60 assisted suicide deaths or 88% of the total reported deaths.

Further to that it should be concerning that the group that promotes assisted suicide is also the group that controls the information concerning assisted suicide in Oregon. It must be pointed out that the 401 total deaths over 11 years in Oregon are the reported deaths. The Oregon Department of Human Services has created no mechanism to assure people that all of the assisted suicide deaths are reported.

Since the physician who writes the prescription in conjunction with Compassion & Choices is also the physician who files the assisted suicide report, therefore, it is likely that transgressions of the law are not reported?

William Toffler
During the Washington State I-1000 assisted suicide debate a great article on this topic was published in the Oregonian (September 24, 2008) by Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., M.D. and William L. Toffler, M.D., entitled: Assisted suicide: Conspiracy and Control (Link).

The article stated:
The group controlling assisted suicide in Oregon is also the group controlling what the public is told.

The [Oregonian] editorial board correctly also noted "a coterie of insiders run the program, with a handful of doctors and others deciding what the public may know".
The reality is, the experience with assisted suicide in Oregon is a story of a group of death activists who control the information and the spin. We will never know the truth unless the Department of Human Services agrees to do an - independent, indepth investigation into deaths in Oregon. Until this has been done, we simply will not be able to know the basic truth about assisted suicide in Oregon.

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