PORTLAND, Ore., Feb 18 ( Fourteen doctors in Oregon were sanctioned by the state to deliver lethal medications to 23 people in their care last year. 15 of these patients were killed by the chemical concoction. A study on the situation in the New England Journal of Medicine this week tries its best to cloud the harsh reality and attempts to show assisted suicide as a compassionate medical procedure, free from mishaps and danger.

Of note, the study shies away from mentioning that at least one of the patients to whom lethal drugs were given was in his/her thirties. The chart depicting the characteristics of 21 of the patients who had died at the time of the study mentions the median age of the group as 69 but not the range. When the age range is mentioned in the results section, it is obscurely listed as “from the 3rd to the 10th decade of life.” Mentioning the median and range only indicates that of the 23 patients, the middle age was 69; 12 could have been in their 30’s. One wonders why the journal did not report all the ages considering the small (23) number.

The study determined that “as compared with persons who were married, those who were divorced or had never married were more likely to choose physician-assisted suicide.”