Sunday, January 26, 2014

A response to the press: The wife would still be a victim. In Oregon, murder-suicide follows "the national pattern."

I am an attorney in Washington State where physician-assisted suicide is legal.  I was disturbed by your article suggesting that legal assisted suicide would somehow prevent murder-suicides.

According to Donna Cohen, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, the typical murder-suicide case involves a depressed controlling husband who shoots his ill wife.  "The wife does not want to die and is often shot in her sleep.  If she was awake at the time, there are usually signs that she tried to defend herself." 
The typical wife in these cases does not "choose" her death.  She is a victim of spousal abuse.  Legal assisted suicide, regardless, fails to guarantee "choice."  These laws instead empower doctors, family members and new "best friends" to legally pressure people to take their lives.  See Margaret K. Dore, "'Death with Dignity,' What Do we Advise Our Clients?," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin, May 2009.

 In Oregon where assisted-suicide has been legal since 1997, murder-suicide has not been eliminated.[1]  Indeed, murder-suicide follows "the national pattern."[2]  The suggestion that legal assisted suicide prevents murder-suicide is without factual support. 

 For information about problems with legalization, please see this link:        

Thank you for your consideration.  (the cited footnotes are below my signature block)

Margaret Dore, Esq. and President
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
Choice is an Illusion
1001 4th Avenue, 44th Floor
Seattle, WA  98154


[1]  See Don Colburn, "Recent murder-suicides follow the national pattern," The Oregonian, November 17, 2009 ("In the span of one week this month in the Portland area, three murder-suicides resulted in the deaths of six adults and two children"), available at ; "Murder-suicide suspected in deaths of Grants Pass [Oregon] couple," Mail Tribune News, July 2, 2000 (regarding husband, age 77, and wife, age 76) at; and Colleen Stewart, "Hillsboro [Oregon] police investigating couple's homicide and suicide," The Oregonian, July 23, 2010 ("Wayne Eugene Coghill, 67, shot and killed his wife, Nyla Jean Coghill, 65, before taking his own life in their apartment"), at
[2]  See Don Colburn above.