Dr. Nick Gideonse and Compassion and Choices filed a lawsuit challenging the residency requirement in Oregon, a “safeguard” in the law that requires patients seeking assisted suicide to live in the state.
This lawsuit, if successful, will end in Swiss-style suicide tourism for people with life-threatening disabilities. By seeking to ban residency requirements, this case would erase what little safeguards proponents deemed necessary to get the people of Oregon to vote for assisted suicide legislation in the first place. The plaintiff’s paternalistic statement, that his patients who are requesting lethal drugs “have nothing left but suffering at the end of their life,” shows the participating physicians’ subjective quality of life judgements ultimately decide who lives with suicide prevention and who dies with suicide help under this dangerous and discriminatory public policy.
This shifts very clearly into focus that legalizing assisted suicide for a few patients under specific circumstances is not proponents end goal. These laws will be continually expanded over time, like they have in California and Hawaii. Legalizing assisted suicide is just the first step.