Thursday, June 20, 2019

Oregon approves bill to expand assisted suicide law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Oregon House passed a bill on Tuesday that expands the Oregon's assisted suicide law by essentially waving the requirement of a 15 day waiting period.

Oregon Bill SB 0579 which enables a physician to wave the 15 waiting period states:
Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the qualified patient’s attending physician has medically confirmed that the qualified patient will, within reasonable medical judgment, die before the expiration of at least one of the waiting periods described in subsection (1) of this section, the prescription for medication under ORS 127.800 to 127.897 may be written at any time following the later of the qualified patient’s written request or second oral request under ORS 127.840.
By waving the 15 day waiting period, a person who is approved for assisted suicide could die by assisted suicide without an opportunity, if depressed, to change their mind. 

The assisted suicide lobby argues that assisted suicide laws have not expanded in Oregon, therefore there is no fear of expansion in other jurisdictions. Previous to this bill, Oregon had expanded assisted suicide by re-interpreting the meaning of terminal illness. In January 2018, Fabian Stahle proved that the Oregon Health Authority re-interpreted the meaning of terminal illness. Now Oregon has expanded the language of the legislation.

The Netherlands euthanasia law has expanding, not by changing the language of the law, but by changing the interpretation of the law. The latest Netherlands euthanasia statistics suggest that the euthanasia law was re-interpreted to include euthanasia for "completed life."

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