Oregon Debates Expanding
Assisted Suicide Law
Recently, the Oregon assisted suicide lobby stated that
they intend to expand the definitions in the assisted
suicide law. The 2017 Oregon assisted suicide report
stated that the number of assisted suicide deaths had,
once again, increased.
Oregon House Bill (HB) 2232 appears to clarify the
definition of self-administer in the Oregon assisted
suicide act, but in fact the bill changes the definition of
terminal from a six-month terminal prognosis to:
a disease that will, within reasonable medical
judgment, produce or substantially contribute to a
Considering the fact that the Oregon Health Authority
(OHA) bases the definition of terminal to include
refusing medical treatment, such as a diabetic who
refuses insulin, therefore the new definition of terminal
has an undefined and nearly unlimited application.
Many people who are not close to being “terminally
ill” have a disease that will, within reasonable medical
judgement, produce or substantially contribute to
death. When considering the OHA inclusion of refusing
medical treatment, I conclude that this new definition
enables wide-open assisted suicide.
There may be more concerns with HB 2232. This article
only focuses on the new definition of terminal.
Oregon Senate Bill (SB) 0579 creates an exception to
the 15-day waiting period in the Oregon assisted suicide
law enabling a physician to wave the 15-day waiting
period before prescribing lethal drugs for suicide.
The current Oregon assisted suicide law requires a 15-
day waiting period. SB 0579 states:
Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section,
if the qualified patient’s attending physician has
medically confirmed that the qualified patient will,
within reasonable medical judgment, die before
the expiration of at least one of the waiting periods
described in subsection (1) of this section, the
prescription for medication under ORS 127.800 to
127.897 may be written at any time following the
later of the qualified patient’s written request or
second oral request under ORS 127.840.
There may be more concerns with SB 0579. This article
only focuses on the waiting period.
Delaware Bill Defines Assisted
Suicide as Palliative Care
The assisted suicide lobby has instituted a new direction
by redefining assisted suicide as palliative care. This
has long been a talking point for assisted suicide
advocates but now they are attempting to change the
legal definition of palliative care.
The Delaware assisted suicide bill follows the new
suicide by physician game plan by redefining palliative
care to include assisted suicide. The bill states:
WHEREAS, the integration of medical aid in dying
into the standard for end-of-life care has improved
quality of services by providing an additional
palliative care option to terminally ill individuals.
The World Health Organization definition of palliative
care states that, “Palliative care intends neither to hasten
or postpone death;”
The assisted suicide lobby and the Delaware
assisted suicide bill intend to change the meaning of
Montana Bill Would
Prohibit Assisted Suicide
For the past few years Montanans have faced a confusing
situation concerning assisted suicide. In 2009, the
Baxter et al. court decision declared that Montana
citizens had a right to assisted suicide. The Baxter et
al. decision was appealed to the Montana Supreme
Court where it was decided that Montana citizens do
not have a right to assisted suicide but the Court granted
a tightly worded defense of consent, if a physician was
prosecuted for assisted suicide.
Physician-assisted suicide is not legal in Montana.
Since the Montana Supreme Court decision, the assisted
suicide lobby has claimed that assisted suicide is legal
in Montana, while in fact assisted suicide is technically
This year, House Bill 284 was introduced to reverse
the effect of the Montana Supreme Court decision by
clarifying that consent is ineffective for homicide or