Doctor-Shopping For Assisted Suicide?

A British think tank reports that Oregon’s 1997 assisted-suicide law might have led to “doctor-shopping” for physicians willing to ignore safeguards meant to prevent healthy people from killing themselves. A report from Living and Dying Well, a group of prominent British medical and legal experts, claims that Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act is being abused—with the help of some physicians—by people who do not fulfill the criteria of being terminally ill, mentally competent and able to make a free choice. The report counters claims by assisted-suicide campaigners that the Oregon law is a model that should be adopted in the United Kingdom. The report said that when the Oregon law was enacted, about a third of all people who requested help in committing suicide were referred to psychiatrists, but by 2009 no one was being sent for counseling. The report concludes the drop-off could reflect “doctor-shopping,” as patients seek physicians more inclined to process an application for physician-assisted suicide without insisting on psychological screening for depression or a mental health problem.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Why are there so many Catholics on the nation’s highest court?
Allyson EscobarJuly 18, 2018
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Said with purpose and conviction, the Memorare can remind 20-somethings that we are not alone in our restlessness.
Allyson EscobarJuly 18, 2018
Jesus would have definitely taken his paid days of vacation—all of them.
Jack Bentz, S.J.July 18, 2018
Hasn’t the good Lord given someone to watch over you?
Terrance KleinJuly 18, 2018