Oregon Hospices Right Not to Cooperate With Assisted Suicide

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on October 13, 2010

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC

I am rarely encouraged by news out of Oregon about assisted suicide, where doctors may legally prescribe a lethal overdose to patients they diagnose as terminally ill. Over the years, the number of assisted suicides has increased, while the media studiously ignored studies demonstrating that abuses abound. For example, a major study in the Michigan Law Review (PDF) by Dr. Kathleen Foley—perhaps the country’s most respected palliative care physician—and suicide prevention expert, Dr. Herbert Hendin, found that the so-called protective guidelines are often violated with legal impunity. Further, the study found that the bureaucrats in charge of overseeing the law “do not collect the information it would need to effectively monitor the law” and worse, that “in its actions and publications [they] act as the defender of the law rather than as the protector of the welfare of terminally ill patients.”
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