Saturday, September 22, 2007

Strange Headline

What do you expect in a state where assisted suicide is legal?

Oregonian reporter Don Colburn notes the “serious problem” doesn’t even include those who “legally” commit suicide.

Terminally ill people who end their lives by a doctor-prescribed drug overdose under Oregon's unique-in-the-nation Death With Dignity Act are not counted as suicides.

The rate among the elderly is especially high:

Suicide rates are higher among men and military veterans, and they rise steadily with age. Among Oregonians older than 65, the rate is 78 percent higher than the national average.

Victimization of the elderly was a trend noted last year by USA Today:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Bush administration's attempt to block the only state law that allows doctors to prescribe drugs to help the terminally ill end their lives.

The 6-3 decision that upheld Oregon's assisted-suicide law opens the door to similar laws elsewhere at a time when evolving demographics — baby boomers are entering their 60s — are pointing toward a spike in the elderly population. That is fueling debates over how patients end their lives.

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