Physician Assisted Suicide and Depression in Oregon

Kudos to First Things for bringing this article to my attention on the astonishing rate of physician assisted suicides that have an association with clinical depression.  Here’s the pertinent portion:

In 2007, none of the 46 people in Oregon who used physician-assisted suicide were evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, the news release said.

For the new study, researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University checked for depression or anxiety in 58 terminally ill patients who’d requested physician-assisted suicide or had contacted an assisted death organization. Fifteen of the patients met the criteria for depression and 13 for anxiety.

By the end of the study, 42 patients had died. Of those, 18 received a prescription for a lethal medication, and nine died by lethal ingestion. Of those who received a prescription for a lethal medication, three met the criteria for depression. All three died by lethal ingestion within two months of being assessed by researchers.

Luther is credited with saying that those who commit suicide are akin to someone who has been overcome by robbers in the woods.  In this case the robbers are the very doctors who should be healing them.  It is despicable to the point of incredulity that it would actually be legal to help someone with clinical depression commit suicide.  I’m not sure how that qualifies as Death with Dignity.  I would say that is more like Death by Evil Design.

You can tell the level of civilization of a nation by how it treats the helpless in her midst.  Between abortion and euthaniasia we are slipping into barbarism more every day.

Talk about depressing.  Lord, have mercy on us.

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