Nearly half of Oregon Euthanasia Cases Feel Like a ‘Burden,’ Most have Government Insurance: Study – LifeSite News 10/7/23


More than 2,400 people have ended their lives thanks to Oregon’s assisted suicide law, with a new report revealing that the majority of the users now come from government-subsidized health insurance, and a comparable amount citing the belief that they consider themselves a burden on others.

This week, Right to Life News UK reported on a study published in the British Medical Association publication BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, concerning the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. The act’s passage made Oregon the first state in the U.S. to allow assisted suicide in 1997; it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006.

Between 1998 and 2022, it is calculated that 2,454 have used the law to kill themselves, with an average age of 72.5. Last year, Oregon abandoned its residency requirement for assisted suicide, making the state a magnet for Americans interested in killing themselves.

The authors of the BMJ paper reviewed all of the Oregon Health Authority’s annual reports on assisted suicide since 1998 to identify trends in those taking advantage of the law. The average age of subjects has remained relatively steady, but other changes suggest increased senses of external pressure to commit suicide, and decreased efforts from medical professionals to prevent them from doing so.

“Over this time, patients’ health funding status changed from predominantly private (65%) to predominantly government support (79.5%), and there was an increase in patients feeling a burden and describing financial concerns as reasons for choosing an assisted death,” the authors found.

In the regime’s first five years, 30% of patients cited concerns about being a burden, but since 2017, that share has risen, to the point that last year 46% said the same.

Just as concerning, the amount of time patients spend discussing their issues with doctors before deciding to end their lives has shrunk from eighteen weeks in 2010 to just five last year, with a mere one percent of cases referred by doctors for psychiatric assessment….

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