There has been a profound shift in attitude in my state since the voters of Oregon narrowly embraced assisted suicide 20 years ago. This shift has been detrimental to our patients, degraded the quality of medical care and compromised the integrity of my profession.
I found while serving 60 fair booth days in Montana that about half the public thinks they are in favor of assisted-suicide laws — until they learn about the flaws in these laws that create new paths to elder abuse, with immunity. Once they learn that the a patient's predatory heir may steer the signup process and then administer the lethal dose without oversight, they say, "I am not for that!"
Bradley D. Williams, President
Montanans Against Assisted Suicide
This is in response to a commentary in the News Tribune headlined, "Legalizing assisted suicide undermines real health care."
Since the passage of Oregon’s law allowing physician-assisted suicide, other suicides in Oregon have steadily increased. This is consistent with a suicide contagion in which the legalization of physician-assisted suicides has encouraged other suicides. In Oregon, the financial and emotional impacts of suicide on family members and the broader community are devastating and long-lasting. A. Suicide is Contagious It is well known that suicide is contagious. A famous example is Marilyn Monroe. Her widely reported suicide was followed by “a spate of suicides.”