Assisted dying—how safe is safe enough?

by Katherine Sleeman, The BMJ, 8 March 2018

Oregon, where the Death with Dignity Act has allowed assisted dying since 1997, is frequently held up to us as an example to follow, where there is no evidence of abuse of the law. But Oregon does not collect data adequate to determine this. Data on assisted deaths in Oregon come from a form filled out by the physician who wrote the lethal prescription. And in the first decade of legalisation, one quarter (62/271) of all lethal prescriptions in Oregon were provided by just three doctors. Is this a model that we wish to emulate?

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