What the assisted suicide lobby doesn’t want you to know, and why

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Assisted suicide will be a hotly debated issue in 2021, even though many State legislatures had  COVID-19 restrictions that  make communication with elected representatives difficult.

States that are currently debating the legalization of assisted suicide include: Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Nevada, New Mexico, and New York.

2021 is also the year that the assisted suicide lobby is trying to  expand current assisted suicide laws. Assisted suicide expansion bills are being debated in California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington State.

The media wants you to think that there is a tidal wave of support for assisted suicide. In 2020, 20 states debated assisted suicide bills. 

None of those bills passed. 

In the past few years, several states, including Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, and Louisiana have tightened their laws against assisted suicide.

The assisted suicide lobby is trying to expand current assisted suicide laws by (among other changes) reducing or removing waiting periods, allowing people who are not doctors to approve or prescribe death, forcing medical professionals who oppose killing to refer patients to death, and allowing lethal drugs to be sent by courier or the mail rather than picked up with proper identification.

Some of the legalization bills are similar to the assisted suicide expansion bills, such as the New Mexico assisted suicide bill. The New Mexico bill also waives the requirement of a second assessor when the person requesting assisted suicide is enrolled in hospice.

The assisted suicide lobby doesn’t want you to know the reality of assisted suicide.

The most recent data from Oregon indicates that in 2019 there were 188 reported assisted suicide deaths up from 178 in 2018.  Of that 188 reported suicide deaths, they don’t want you to know there were 21 people who received lethal drugs and died, but they have no idea how they died. 

The prior year, there were 14 deaths about whom they have no idea how these people died. 

Similarly, in Washington State, the 2018 data indicates that there were 203 reported assisted suicide deaths, up from 164 in 2017. They had no idea how 19 people who received lethal drugs died, which was up from 13 deaths in the same circumstance in 2017.

Remember, these people are being prescribed lethal controlled substances.  Does this sound like there is effective oversight of the law? 

Another hidden reality of deaths by assisted suicide is that some of the deaths took a long time to die. 

An article by Lisa Krieger published by the Medical Xpress on September 8, 2020, stated:

A little-known secret, not publicized by advocates of aid-in-dying, was that while most deaths were speedy, others were very slow. Some patients lingered for six or nine hours; a few, more than three days. No one knew why, or what needed to change.

“The public thinks that you take a pill and you’re done,” said Dr. Gary Pasternak, chief medical officer of Mission Hospice in San Mateo. “But it’s more complicated than that.”

The assisted suicide lobby is developing new lethal drug cocktails through human experimentation. The results of the first two failed lethal drug trials were

The (first) turned out to be too harsh, burning patients’ mouths and throats, causing some to scream in pain. The second drug mix, used 67 times, has led to deaths that stretched out hours in some patients — and up to 31 hours in one case.

The goal of the assisted suicide lobby is to find a cheaper effective way to kill. They are obviously not concerned about how these people die.

According to the data, the 2018 Washington State assisted suicide report indicates that of the 203 reported assisted suicide deaths, there were 8 reported complications. This likely related to the new lethal drug cocktails. 

Sixty-two of the 203 reported assisted suicide deaths took more than 90 minutes with the time to die ranging from 7 minutes to 30 hours.

The 2019 Oregon assisted suicide report states that the time of death ranged from 1 minute to 47 hours. The report didn’t indicate how many people died more than 90 minutes after taking the lethal drugs.

The assisted suicide lobby is trying to expand current assisted suicide laws while legalizing assisted suicide in more states, while refusing to come clean with the facts about how people die by assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide is not a death with dignity. These deaths can be painful and may lead to deaths that take many hours.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.