by Michelle Stanford, The Coloradoan, 4 February 2016
Dr Stanford is a pediatrician in Colorado who opposed the introduction of an assisted suicide bill in her state.
Regularly I see adolescent patients contemplating ending their life. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Colorado youth ages 10 to 24. Colorado has the seventh-highest suicide deaths in the country, with epidemic rates of suicide among teens and young adults.
Thankfully, state lawmakers recognize this concern and in 2014 established the Suicide Prevention Commission to identify priorities for suicide prevention. Why would it now consider making it legal and easily accessible to many of our citizens through physician-assisted suicide?
Oregon has seen its suicide rate skyrocket since it legalized doctor-prescribed death, putting it 41 percent higher than the nation’s average. The Colorado bill to legalize some suicides, patterned after Oregon’s law, is being considered at a time when more people in our state die each year from suicide than from either motor vehicle accidents or homicide.
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