Oregon Assisted Suicide Deaths - 1998

According to an Oregon Human Resources (OHR) press release, fifteen people have died by assisted suicide in the first year of legalized euthanasia in Oregon. The OHR summary cites the deaths as an exercise in "the importance of autonomy and personal control." However, this view is contrary to the true intent of pro-euthanasia activists who intend to impose on Americans a "duty to die."

"The Oregon law is merely a foot in the door," said Burke Balch, director of the Department of Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee. "Euthanasia proponents have made it clear that they intend to push America into involuntary euthanasia."

Derek Humphry, the founder of the movement to legalize euthanasia, recently wrote "[E]conomics, not the quest for broadened individual liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice. . . Is there, in fact, a duty to die -- a responsibility within the family unit. . .?"

After stating his case that older people and people with disabilities are cost-draining burdens, Humphry concludes, "Economic reality, therefore, is the main answer to the question, Why Now?"

"The compassionate answer to people who are ill is to expand the safety net of effective care and to extend more emotional and psychological support," stated Balch. "The answer of Derek Humphry and other suicide proponents is to discard those who don't meet some arbitrary standard of worth or who are deemed 'too burdensome.'"

Source: National Right To Life Press Release
Wednesday, February 17, 1999
For More Information Contact: Michele Arocha Allen (202) 626-8825

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