Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oregon Releases its 2015 ‘Death with Dignity’ Stats

by Michael Cook
Careful! - A Blog About End of Life Issues

Oregon is the model for assisted suicide legislation throughout the United States, so its annual “Death with Dignity” report for 2015 deserves close scrutiny.

Since the law was passed in 1997, a total of 1,545 people have had prescriptions written under the DWDA, and 991 patients have died from ingesting the medications.

The figures are not as straightforward as they might seem. During 2015, 218 people received prescriptions for lethal medications, but only 132 people died. Why the difference? Many people keep the medication on hand and wait until they are ready to use it – which could be in the next calendar year. Some die before using it; some disappear from the official statistics. So, of the 218, 125 used the medication and died; 50 died before they used it; 5 died and Oregon does not know whether or not they used it; and for 38 people (17%), there is no information about whether they used it or whether they are alive or dead.   

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

Careful! is MercatorNet's blog about end-of-life issues. We respect the dignity of each person from the beginning of life to its natural end.

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