Thursday, March 14, 2019

Oregon's teen suicide rate doubled from 2006 to 2015.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The suicide rate in Oregon has been higher than the national average for many years. The fact that the youth suicide rate doubled from 2006 to 2015 should alert Oregon citizens especially when combined with the suicide contagion effect.

An article by Richard Hanners that was published in the Blue Mountain Eagle explains:
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide in 2012 was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for people 16 years and older. About three-quarters of the suicide deaths that year were by males.

The percentage of teen deaths by suicide in Oregon doubled from 2006 to 2015, according to Children First of Oregon. At 38.3 percent, it was the No. 1 cause of death. And while the suicide rate among youths 10 to 24 years stayed roughly the same across the U.S., the rate in Oregon increased by 41 percent.

More than two-thirds of Oregon youths involved in suicide incidents from 2002 to 2012 had cited mental health problems before their attempts. More than a third had been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

...In Oregon, the highest suicide rate is for men over 85 years old: 72.4 per 100,000 individuals. For women, the highest rate was for ages 45 to 54. Men in Oregon were 3.6 times more likely to commit suicide than women, according to the Oregon Health Authority. About 25 percent of suicides in Oregon occurred among veterans.
The Oregon suicide data begs the question, does legalizing assisted suicide lead to higher rates of other suicides?

In her article: In Oregon, Other Suicides Have Increased with the Legalization of Assisted Suicide, elder law attorney, Margaret Dore states:

Since the passage of Oregon’s law allowing physician-assisted suicide, other suicides in Oregon have steadily increased. This is consistent with a suicide contagion in which the legalization of physician-assisted suicide has encouraged other suicides.
Dore makes her case based on the Oregon data. She explains:
  • Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1997. 
  • By 2007, Oregon's suicide rate was 35% above the national average. 
  • By 2010, Oregon's suicide rate was 41% above the national average. 
  • By 2012, Oregon's suicide rate was 42% above the national average. 
  • By 2014, Oregon's suicide rate was 43.1% higher than the national average.
It is shocking that the youth suicide rate doubled between 2006 and 2015 in Oregon. Legalizing assisted suicide sends the message that suicide is an acceptable response to human difficulties.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Yes, people should realize that those committing suicide not only affect themselves, but also those who love them. Young people can be devastated by losing their grandparents, for example. It would be good to see an article which clearly analyses exactly why each of these increases in suicide have occurred. For example, how much mental illness in young people has resulted from drugs used by themselves or their parents, or from their lack of education about the divine plan our Creator has for their lives?