by Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide, 2 November 2016
“It’s almost never about pain”
This quote in a recent Washington Post article about the debate over physician-assisted suicide instantly dispels one of the main arguments from proponents about why physician-assisted suicide should be legalized. What’s more, the quote is from a doctor who prescribes lethal prescriptions under California’s PAS law.
The data backs up this assertion: As noted in the most recent Oregon “Death with Dignity” report (2015), the three most frequently mentioned end-of-life concerns were: “less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable” (96.2%), “losing autonomy” (92.4%), and “loss of dignity” (75.4%). Inadequate pain control ranked 6th in the report, with only 28.7% of patients reporting this as a reason why they requested a lethal prescription. The data is similar in Washington State where PAS is also legal.
The same Washington Post article summarizes the situation well:
“Yet the latest research shows that…Those who have actually used these laws have been far more concerned about controlling the way they exit the world than about controlling pain.”
This raises two major concerns:
- Is Compassion & Choices actively misleading policymakers across the country about why states should legalize physician-assisted suicide?
- Are states where PAS is legal giving lethal prescriptions to patients because they are suffering psychological stress instead of suffering from physical pain?
We believe both concerns are 100% true.
Click here to read the full article.