Weekend reading: Safe Havens; remembering children; Oregon’s assisted suicide data

A few links to recent online stories from other sources:

Baby safe havens exist so that every mother has life-affirming options (liveactionnews.org)

In the wake of a baby’s horrific death in Nebraska recently, here’s a timely reminder of Safe Haven laws. New Hampshire has one, allowing newborns to be safely surrendered at public safety facilities or hospitals.

“Please Help Me Remember The Children I Have Lost To Miscarriage” (thefederalist.com)

“Having lost three children to miscarriage, one of my biggest fears is that my children will be forgotten. I am not looking for me or my miscarriages to be remembered—I am looking for my children to be remembered.” Read the rest of the post here.

Oregon Assisted Suicide Report Shows Law is Rife with Abuse (lifenews.com)

Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet, writing at LifeNews.com, notes that even with sketchy information, the official reporting about Oregon’s assisted suicide law is cause for alarm. “The Oregon assisted suicide data demonstrates that people who were not actually terminal received lethal prescriptions in all 18 reported years except the first, and that there is little or no substantive protection against coercion and abuse. Moreover, reasons for requesting assisted suicide that sound like a ‘cry for help’ with disability-related concerns are apparently ignored.” Read the rest of the post here.


 

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.