Sunday, September 14, 2008

What is Oregon Trying to Hide?

A question often asked about assisted suicide is: "Why haven't we heard about any problems in Oregon?"

There are many reasons we haven't heard about assisted suicide abuses in Oregon and the most obvious is there is no designated agency with the authority or funding to investigate abuses.

Another huge problem is poor oversight and management of investigating suicides to determine the cause of death. Death caused by a lethal dose of drugs is classified as poisoning. If the poisoning follows the assisted suicide rules in Oregon it is not consider suicide, but if it’s not clear if it’s assisted suicide it is recorded as a suicide or undetermined cause of death.

In poisoning cases the best way to determine cause of death is by toxicology testing. Oregon is the worst state, of the 13 states surveyed, in doing toxicology testing to determine the drugs used in suicide cases according to the Journal of the American Medical Association article “Toxicology Testing and Results for Suicide Victims – 13 States, 2004.”

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