The Oregon Public Health Division is required by law to submit an annual report on the implementation of the assisted suicide law in that state. Two observations from the analysis issued as a press release by Physicians for Compassionate Care, a group of Oregon doctors who oppose assisted suicide, clearly reveal the dangers of implementing the Oregon law, which is the model for the legislation proposed here in Vermont. Links to the entire report and to the press release are on our links page. Here are the pertinent quotes from Physicians for Compassionate Care:
1. Not all who attempt to take the medication will die. Overdoses failed to cause two individuals to die. One regained consciousness within 24 hours and died of the underlying illness five days later. Another gained consciousness 3 ½ days after ingestion and died of the underlying illness three months later. Vomiting was reported in both people. These are not easy drugs to take, and they are very bitter and foul-tasting drugs. The report fails to detail why these two people chose not to repeat an overdose. Perhaps they found the experience less pleasant than the promoters led them to believe.
2. Only one of the 65 had a psychiatric or psychological referral. OHSU researchers in 2008 reported that 25% of patients requesting assisted suicide were considered to be depressed. There continues to be no protection for depressed patients in Oregon.