Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Aid in Dying: Oregon suicide rate tells the story

The following letter was written by Greg Hinkle, a former Montana Senator, and published on March 6, 2013 in the Missoulian newspaper. under the title: Aid in Dying: Ore suicide rate tells the story.

Greg Hinkle
J. Bruce Beckwith’s (Feb. 6) letter, replying to my (Jan. 30) letter, implies that legalizing physician-assisted suicide will prevent other violent suicides. This has not been the case in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal.

Oregon’s overall suicide rate, which excludes suicide under Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide act, is 35 percent above the national average. Moreover, this rate has been increasing significantly since 2000. Just three years prior, in 1997, Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide. Suicide has thus increased, not decreased with legalization of physician-assisted suicide. 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.

In Oregon, murder-suicides also “follow the national pattern” ( ).

Legal assisted suicide is, regardless, a recipe for elder abuse in which heirs are empowered to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. I urge your readers to tell their legislators to close on the door on assisted suicide in Montana.

To learn more, see this website:

Greg Hinkle, Thompson Falls

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