Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oregon records do not track elder abuse

Montana Senator Greg Hinkle wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the online edition of the Missoulian paper. The letter was posted on Monday, January 31, 2011.

This is what Senator Hinkle wrote:
Oregon records do not track elder abuse

Stephen Speckart (guest column, Jan. 18) is correct that elder abuse is my major concern with legalizing aid in dying, better known as assisted suicide and euthanasia. He is, however, completely uninformed when it comes to Oregon’s records, which he claims demonstrate that none of the people who used Oregons law were abused. These records don’t even talk about abuse.

Legalizing assisted suicide is, regardless, inherently abusive. This is because it allows heirs and others who will benefit from a person’s death to pressure and abuse that person to cut short his or her life. This is why I have proposed the Elder Abuse Prevention Act, which will remove the uncertainty created by the Baxter decision and clearly prohibit aid in dying.

For more information, please read my report to the Legislature describing why assisted suicide creates new paths of abuse, especially for older people. My report can be viewed here.

Copies of the Oregon and Washington after-death reporting forms are attached to the appendix. They do not mention elder abuse.

To learn about my bill at a glance, please go here.

Sen. Greg Hinkle,
Thompson Falls

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