Huge increase in assisted suicide cases in Oregon and Switzerland sounds strong warning to Britain
Sunday, 15 April 2012
There has been a massive increase in cases of assisted suicide in both Oregon and Switzerland over recent years according to the latest figures.
The Oregon ‘Death with Dignity Act’ allows terminally-ill Oregonians ‘to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose’.
It also requires the Oregon Health Authority to collect information about the patients and physicians who participate in the Act, and publish an annual statistical report.
The latest figures show that cases of assisted suicide have gone from 16 in 1998 to 71 in 2011, an increase of 450% (see chart).
The US state of Oregon legalised assisted suicide in 1997 following a referendum. Thus far over 100 attempts to get other US state parliaments to change their laws have failed and only the state of Washington has followed suit, again on the basis of a referendum.
Switzerland has seen a 700% increase in assisted suicides over the same period. Swiss authorities have recorded a steady rise of assisted suicides in recent years, from 43 in 1998 to 297 in 2009. Earlier figures are not available, even though assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1942. the rest