Oregon Public Health: a lot of unknowns in assisted suicide report

The Patients Rights Council newsletter provides a fine quarterly update on end-of-life legislation and its effects on people who are medically vulnerable. Their latest newsletter (viewable as a PDF) includes a summary of the most recent annual report from the Oregon Public Health Division about deaths prescribed and committed under the state’s so-called “death with dignity” act.

See page 3 of the PRC newsletter – and by the way, look at the data for “patients’ reasons for requesting assisted suicide” and see how far down the list you find “inadequate pain control” – and look at what the OPHD report doesn’t say. From the PRC update:

“…it’s the ‘unknown’ statistic that is most significant. In 98 cases – that’s 74% of all the reported 2015 prescribed-suicide deaths – the OPHD doesn’t know if anyone was present at the most critical time in the whole assisted suicide process, when the patient takes the lethal drugs. That means that the OPHD has no clue if the patient took the deadly dose voluntarily (as required by the assisted suicide law), or if it was disguised in food and unwittingly consumed by the patient, or if the patient was forced to take the drugs (the last two actions being clearly illegal).”

Public health, indeed.


Weekend reading, 5/13/16: Mercy, a response to “Little Thing,” NDY turns 20

Here are three of my favorite posts from other blogs from the past week, to enjoy after you’ve caught up on Leaven for the Loaf. Have a great weekend!

Amy Brooks: Dear brave soul standing outside Planned Parenthood… (prayerwinechocolate.com)

“…since you are judged by so many, yet you choose to stand there for a cause that many people avoid discussing – you are certainly brave. Well brave one – I am going to challenge you to put your thick skin on, because this message isn’t going to be a ‘let me just congratulate you’ post. I am going to ask that however you stand there,  whether it is with a rosary, a sign or just a quiet presence; whether you sidewalk counsel or silently make a statement . . . I am calling you to  ‘add more Mercy’.” View the post…

Roland Warren: Little things I wish she knew (video link from care-net.org)

“In our latest Life Chat, Roland Warren responds to the open letter, Little Thing, and discusses the dangerous implications of the recent shift in pro-choice rhetoric from denying the humanity of the unborn child to calling it a ‘life worth sacrificing.'” View the post

Not Dead Yet celebrates 20 years of resistance to assisted suicide and euthanasia (notdeadyet.org)

“In addition to direct action tactics, Not Dead Yet has continued using the full array of advocacy strategies, including filing friend-of-the-court briefs in over ten cases, two with the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to briefs arguing against a constitutional right to assisted suicide, NDY has filed briefs in support of efforts to protect people with disabilities from involuntary withholding of life sustaining medical treatment by guardians or health providers, and in support of regulations protecting the right of disabled newborns to medical treatment.” View the post…


Gimme Shelter

Carson says remarks re Schiavo taken “out of context”

Dr. Ben Carson (photo by Ellen Kolb)
Dr. Ben Carson (photo by Ellen Kolb)

I wasn’t the only voter whose eyebrows went way up after Dr. Ben Carson’s made his recent remarks regarding Terri Schiavo. He gave an exclusive interview to LifeSiteNews earlier this week to address the furor.

“I am steadfastly opposed to euthanasia. I have spent my entire career protecting life, especially the life of children….I regret that my recent comments about Terri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted. When I used the term ‘much ado about nothing,’ my point was that the media tried to create the impression that the pro-life community was nutty and going way overboard with the support of the patient.”

The article continued, “[Dr. Carson] told LifeSiteNews that his off-the-cuff remarks to a reporter from the Tampa Bay Times meant that doctors should allow terminally ill patients to refuse heroic medical treatment, not to deny food and water to someone diagnosed in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).”

I’m pleased that the good doctor acknowledged the concerns raised by his earlier remarks. My particular concerns expressed in an earlier post persist. If what he means is that he flat-out refuses to tolerate starvation for patients with brain damage, that’s good news.

 

How to promote assisted suicide, accidentally

The next time you hear or read anything from “Compassion and Choices” (founded as the Hemlock Society) about how many people want to see assisted suicide legalized, cry foul.

Watch this message from a pro-life woman who signed an online petition, not knowing that her name was being collected by C&C to be used in promoting assisted suicide – something to which the woman is 100% opposed.

A Petition Without Choices // Full Video from Katie on Vimeo.

How many legislative hearings will C&C representatives attend next year? How many legislators will be told that X number of constituents have signed a pro-assisted-suicide petition? And how many of those constituents will have unwittingly lent their names to an assisted suicide campaign?

(h/t Caffeinated Thoughts)

He said it: Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith (Discovery Institute photo)
Wesley Smith (Discovery Institute photo)

We are at a crossroads that forces us to choose between two mutually exclusive value systems. Will we remain on the trail that leads ultimately to the full realization of the equality-of-human-life ethic and with it, the tremendous potential for the creation of a true community, or do we take a hard turn down the slippery slope toward a coarsening of our views of the afflicted, the dying, the chronically ill, the disabled, and those in pain or depression to the point where we feel they have a duty to die and get out of the way?

…Will we choose to love each other or abandon each other? …The choice is ours. So will be the society we create.

Wesley Smith, from Forced Exit (©1997)

(By the same author: the blog Human Exceptionalism)