Sunday, January 20, 2008

Uncaring in Salem

In the first eight years since assisted suicide was made legal in the state of Oregon an average of six people per year reported pain or the fear of pain as a reason for requesting assisted suicide. In 2006 the number rose sharply from the average of 6 requests based on pain or the fear of pain to 22 requests based on pain or the fear of pain.

If Oregon Department of Human Services personnel cared as much about people with terminal illnesses as they do advocating for assisted suicide they would be alarmed at such a significant rise in the number of requests based on pain. They would immediately investigate to determine if insurance companies or managed-care programs were pressuring doctors to reduce pain medications. And, they would investigate to determine if doctors were reducing the amount of pain medications prescribed to patients to coerce them to consider assisted suicide.

The fact that no concerns were raised in the ninth annual report on assisted suicide demonstrates that Oregon DHS officials believe assisted suicide advocates are their customers not people with terminal illnesses.

No comments: