Thursday, February 28, 2013

Legalizing assisted suicide does not prevent murder-suicide and leads to an increase in other suicide deaths.

Margaret Dore
The following is a letter sent to Montana legislators. 

In the letter, Margaret Dore explains that it is a false argument to suggest that legalizing assisted suicide will reduce the incidence of murder-suicide.

Dore also provides links to the statistics that prove that the incidence of other suicides have significantly increased since Oregon legalized assisted suicide.

Please consider the following:

1. According to Donna Cohen, the typical murder-suicide case involves a depressed controlling husband who shoots his ill wife: “The wife does not want to die and is often shot in her sleep. If she was awake at the time, there are usually signs that she tried to defend herself.”  See WebMD, "Murder-Suicides in Elderly Rise: Husbands commit most murder suicides–without wives’ consent," January 30, 2005
Please also read this article from Oregon, that murder-suicides "follow the national pattern."

If physician assisted suicide were legal in Montana, the wife, not wanting to die, would still be a victim.

2. Legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon is correlated with a higher rate of other suicides. Oregon’s overall suicide rate, which excludes suicide under Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide act, is 35% above the national average. Moreover, this rate has been “increasing significantly since 2000.” 

Just three years prior, in 1997, Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide. Other suicides have thus increased with legalization of physician-assisted suicide. This is consistent with a copy cat or suicide contagion phenomenon (normalizing one type of suicide, i.e., physician assisted suicide, encouraged other suicides)

Moreover, many of these deaths are violent. For 2007, “firearms were the dominant mechanism of suicide among men.” This is according to an Oregon Department of Human Services report issued in September 2010. See excerpts here:

Please also note that in Oregon, the "cost of suicide is enormous."

As I wrote you before, I live in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal. I am helping Montanans Against Assisted Suicide. Here is one of my articles published in The Advocate, the official publication of the Idaho State Bar Association.

I urge you to not make our mistake.

Vote Yes on HB 505

Margaret Dore
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Assisted suicide is always murder because the LORD says: You shall not kill.