PORTLAND, Oregon, August 23, 2002 ( – A new study in Oregon has found that patients who request doctor-assisted suicide do so primarily because they want to “control” the circumstances of their death, and not for other reasons, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  A study led by Dr. Linda Ganzini surveyed staff who deal with terminally-ill patients and found that of 179 respondents, “The nurses and social workers rated depression, poor social support and being a financial burden as least important.” According to Ganzini, director of the Palliative Care Fellowship at the Portland VA Medical Center, this refutes studies outside Oregon that have found depression to be a major factor. Other important reasons for requesting physician-assisted suicide, according to the survey, were a desire to die at home, the belief that continuing to live was pointless, and being “ready to let go.” But the top reason is a desire for “control.”  Euthanasia Prevention Coalition executive director Alex Schadenberg said: “We can theorize all we want, the reality is that when someone faces a life threatening illness, they often become depressed. This is a natural part of suffering. People anticipate an unknown future with fear.” According to the American Association for Suicide Prevention, Schadenberg notes, more than 90% of suicide attempts are due to depression or mental illness. “Their research indicates similar numbers for those who wish assistance in suicide when they are experiencing life-threatening conditions.”  To read newswire coverage see:   Visit the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website:


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