5. Assisted suicide has been legalized around the world without any problems. Why shouldn’t we just follow those models?

  • The High Court of Ireland did not agree.  In a 2013 decision, the court examined the same evidence used by the British Columbia court in the Carter case. The judges found proof that elders and people with disabilities are at risk of abuse under euthanasia and assisted suicide laws. See the High Court’s judgment here.
  • In June 2010, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an article exploring physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium. The researchers found:
    • Of the 208 deaths involving physician assisted death, some 66 were without an explicit request
    • Of those 66 deaths; the decision was not discussed with 77.9% of those patients.
      (Source: Chambaere, K., Bilsen, J., Cohen, J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B. D., Mortier, F., & Deliens, L. (2010). Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey. Canadian Medical Association Journal,182(9), 895-901. doi:10.1503/cmaj.091876)
  • Data from jurisdictions that have legalized physician-assisted suicide) are unreliable. In Washington:
    • Assisted suicide deaths are not listed as suicides, but as resulting from the person’s illness.
    • No data is collected from doctors who refuse requests for assisted suicide (e.g. why they refused, what happened to the person after the refusal).
    • Drugs are not tracked after the prescription is dispensed.
      (Source: Washington’s Death With Dignity Act (RCW 70.245.010-903))
  • In Oregon:
    • There is no way to ensure that a doctor reports writing lethal prescriptions.
    • After annual statistical reports are produced, documentation is destroyed, preventing further analysis.(Source: Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (ORS 127.800-995))