Monday, August 15, 2016

Washington State 2015 assisted suicide report: assisted deaths increase by 31.7%.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The 2015 Washington State Department of Health dwd report, states that assisted suicide was up by 31.7% to 166 in 2015 from 126 in 2014 with a 22% increase in lethal prescription from 2014 to 213.

Out of the 213 lethal prescriptions in 2015 there were 166 reported assisted suicide deaths, 24 deaths from other causes, 12 deaths where the "ingestion status" is unknown, and 11 people remained alive.

Dangerously, when the ingestion status is unknown, then the status of the lethal drugs is also unknown. It is possible that the 12 deaths where the ingestion status is unknown could be unreported assisted deaths.

A greater number of illnesses are leading to assisted suicide. The assisted suicide report states that deaths from other illnesses increased to 10 from 6 in 2014. The report did not list what other illnesses represents but in Oregon other illnesses includes diabetes.

Several years ago Wes Olfert was pressured to die by assisted suicide in Washington State after inquiring about assisted suicide.

Legalizing assisted suicide creates new pressures upon people who are terminally or chronically ill and is a recipe for elder abuse.

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