The "Oregon Experience" includes Murder-Suicide


Increased Suicide

Oregon’s overall suicide rate, which excludes suicide under Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide act, is 35% above the national average.  Moreover, this rate has been “increasing significantly since 2000.”  See  http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/news/2010news/2010-0909a.pdf  Just three years prior, in 1997, Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide.  Other suicides have thus increased with legalization of physician-assisted suicide.  This is consistent with a copy cat or suicide contagion phenomenon (normalizing one type of suicide, i.e., physician assisted suicide, encouraged other suicides).

Violent Death

In Oregon, many suicide deaths are violent.  For 2007, “[f]irearms were the dominant mechanism of suicide among men.”  This is according to an Oregon Department of Human Services report issued in September 2010.  See excerpts here:  http://maasdocuments.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/oregon-suicide-info_0011.pdf 

Murder-Suicide

In Oregon, murder-suicides "follow the national pattern."  http://blog.oregonlive.com/health_impact/print.html?entry=/2009/11/recent_murder-suicides_follow.html


The Wife Would Still be a Victim

According to  Donna Cohen, the typical murder-suicide case involves a depressed controlling husband who shoots his ill wife:  “The wife does not want to die and is often shot in her sleep.  If she was awake at the time, there are usually signs that she tried to defend herself.”   See WebMD,  "Murder-Suicides in Elderly Rise: Husbands commit most murder suicides–without wives’ consent," January 30, 2005,  http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50782

If physician assisted suicide were legal in Montana, the wife, not wanting to die, would still be a victim.