Opinion

Euthanasia laws are slowly but surely expanding to include everyone

The 15-day waiting period, intended to give suicide-minded people the opportunity to change their minds, has been jettisoned in Oregon and the Netherlands.
Fri Jul 26, 2019 - 7:37 pm EST
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July 26, 2019 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) — Oregon Governor Kate Brown agreed to expand the assisted suicide law by signing Bill SB 0579 into law. This bill, essentially, eliminates the 15 day waiting period to die by assisted suicide, a safeguard that was designed to assure that the person has an opportunity to change his mind.

Proponents of the bill argued that the bill applies only to people with less than 15 days to live, and yet, it is difficult to know whether someone has less than 15 days to live. 

The assisted suicide lobby had argued that assisted suicide laws have not expanded in Oregon, therefore there is no fear of expansion in other jurisdictions. Previous to this bill, Oregon had expanded assisted suicide by re-interpreting the meaning of terminal illness. In January 2018, Fabian Stahle proved that the Oregon Health Authority had expanded the definition of terminal illness. Now Oregon has expanded the legislation.

The Netherlands euthanasia law has also expanded by changing the interpretation of the law. The latest Netherlands euthanasia statistics suggest that the euthanasia law has been re-interpreted to include euthanasia for "completed life."

This bill waives the 15-day waiting period, meaning, a person who is approved for assisted suicide can die within days, and if depressed, loses the opportunity to change their mind. 

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.


  assisted suicide, euthanasia, netherlands, oregon, waiting periods

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