‘Know the Facts’ Series: Suicide Contagion Cannot be Dismissed

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Our focus in these blog posts is to clarify false claims made by proponents of the assisted suicide bill before the Death with Dignity Workgroup.  We want you to take this information and be prepared to combat the misinformation used by physician assisted suicide proponents who will stop at nothing to get this law passed.

Last week, we explained that the September 8th Workgroup hearing tried to skirt the proof of a connection between physician assisted suicide and overall suicide rate increase. 

We encourage you to explore this connection in detail, but this is worth pointing out in a way that is clear and concise: Oregon’s suicides among adults, excluding the physician assisted procedures, rose by 49 percent from 1999-2010, a rate over 20 percent higher than the national rise of 28 percent.

Extensive scientific research backs up the “contagion” effect that tragically contributes to some of the suicides that take place each year.  In places like Oregon, with assisted suicide that is legally sanctioned, the potential impact on lives lost is not worth taking.

As we also said last week, the bill’s supporters want to completely discount this data, but they will not be able to if we are clear on our message: this is a real danger than cannot be dismissed.

(This is a continuation of our series on the Death with Dignity Workgroup.  You can watch the entire Workgroup hearing at this link from the MD General Assembly)

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