Oregon Considers Expanding Its Assisted Suicide Law

Oregon Considers Expanding Its Assisted Suicide Law

 

Legislators are thinking of expanding the way people can take their lives under Oregon’s Death With Dignity law: They want patients to be able to use an automatic syringe.

Currently, the law allows only medications that dying patients can take orally. That means a patient has to pick up the prescription themselves and be able to swallow it. Authors of the Death With Dignity law thought that restriction would help ensure no one could harm a patient against their will…

Blanke and others are supporting House Bill 2217 because it permits patients to use other ways of getting lethal medications into their bodies. Those methods could include using a pump syringe to inject the medications automatically at the push of a button.

The bill goes on to prohibit anyone other than a patient from administering medication to end their life. But there is significant opposition.

For example, some doctors say automatic injection pumps are expensive and tricky to operate. One can cost $2,900, and it has to inject three drugs sequentially. Critics warn that if it doesn’t work properly, a patient could wake up during injection of the paralytic, for example, and experience seizures as they struggle to breathe.

Dr. Brick Lantz doesn’t want to see the law changed.

“We’re taking the physician away from being a healer to simply being a technician. And that’s not how we practice medicine, and I think it’s wrong,” said Lantz…

Read more at OPB…