Sunday, May 31, 2015

Attorney slams California suicide bill


Dore: “Even if you like the concept of assisted suicide, SB 128 is the wrong bill.”

Contact: Margaret Dore (206) 697-1217

Seattle, WA -- Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, which has fought assisted suicide legalization efforts in many states and now California, made the following statement after the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 128 on May 28, sending the assisted suicide bill to the Senate floor.

"SB 128 is sold as giving people an 'end of life option,’” Dore said. “The fact is this bill is about ending the lives of people who aren’t necessarily dying anytime soon, and giving other people the ‘option’ to hurry them along."

Dore, an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal, explained, “In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs). Then, in 2008, I got dragged to a meeting about our assisted suicide law and saw the perfect crime: your heir could help sign you up, and once the lethal dose was in the house, there was no oversight. Not even a witness is required. If you struggled, who would know?"

Friday, May 29, 2015

Great News! Scottish Assisted Suicide Bill Defeated 82 to 36

A Scottish assisted suicide bill has been defeated in its parliament: 82 - 36.[1]

The Bill would have allowed those with terminal or life-shortening illnesses to end their suffering with the assistance of another person, known as a "licensed facilitator".

It is being championed by Green MSP Patrick Harvie following the death of independent MSP Margo MacDonald in April 2014.

Alison Britton, convener of the Law Society's health and medical law committee, said the organisation was concerned that the Bill lacked clarity and would be difficult to enforce.

She said: "We have said throughout the passage of this Bill that legislation in this area needs to be absolutely clear and those seeking to end their lives, and those who assist them, need a robust and transparent process to be certain under which conditions it would be lawful for assistance to be provided.

"We remain concerned over the lack of definition of the key terms, such as 'assistance' and 'life-shortening' and the functions of the licensed facilitator are still uncertain.

"Lack of such clarity leads to ambiguity and leaves the legislation open to interpretation."

* * *

[1] Alex Schadenberg, at

Monday, May 18, 2015

Assisted Suicide: How One Woman Chose to Die, Then Survived

Kelsey Harkness /
In 1994, Jeanne Hall, a resident of King City, Ore., voted in favor of Ballot Measure 16, which for the first time in the United States, would allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives through physician-assisted suicide.

“I thought, hey, I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer,” Hall told The Daily Signal. “So I checked it. Then it became legal.”

That day at the ballot box, Hall never could have predicted that more than 15 years later, she would be diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer.

Doctors gave Hall, who was 55 at the time, two options: She could get radiation and chemotherapy and attempt to fight the cancer, or she could take a lethal dose of barbiturates to end her life.

“I was calling it over,” she said. “I wasn’t going to do chemo. When I heard what might take place in radiation "I wasn’t going to do it. I looked for the easy way out.”

Without treatment, Hall was given six months to a year to live, and therefore qualified for physician-assisted suicide through Oregon’s Death With Dignity law.

“She was terminal because she was refusing treatment,” Dr. Kenneth Stevens, one of Hall’s two cancer doctors, told The Daily Signal. “It’s like a person could be considered terminal if they’re not taking [their] insulin or [other] medications.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Final Exit Network, Inc. Guilty in Assisting With Suicide

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that a Dakota County Jury has found Final Exit Network, Inc. guilty of Assisting Another to Commit Suicide and Interference with a Dead Body or Death Scene in connection with assisting Doreen Dunn in committing suicide on May 30, 2007 at her home in Apple Valley. The jury deliberated for less than two hours.  Judge Christian Wilton set the sentencing date for August 24, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.  

Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found online at: Criminal Complaint Search. To view prior news releases, go to: Attorney News Releases.

Backstrom commented:  “What Final Exit Network does in aiding individuals suffering from serious medical conditions who, like Doreen Dunn, are not terminally ill but are extremely vulnerable or depressed, in taking their own lives and then covering up the truth about what occurred to the victim’s family, the medical examiner and law enforcement, is not only legally wrong it is morally reprehensible.  We are pleased to have brought this organization to justice for these crimes.”

Backstrom thanked the Apple Valley Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who aided in the investigation of this case.  Backstrom also thanked Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Swank and Chief Deputy Phil Prokopowicz who prosecuted the case.

Monday, May 4, 2015

California: Memo to Senate Appropriations Committee: "Vote 'NO' on SB 128: The financial impact is potentially 'enormous.'"

By Margaret K. Dore, Esq., MBA
To view a pdf version,  please click here.

A. Introduction

SB 128 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide.  The bill is based on a similar law in Oregon, which was enacted in 1997.  In Oregon, the law is rarely used, but since passage, there has been a significant increase in other (conventional) suicides.  This increase is consistent with a suicide contagion in which legalization and promotion of physician-assisted suicide has led to an increase in other suicides.  Moreover, the financial cost is “enormous.”  A government report from Oregon states:
In 2010 alone, self-inflicted injury hospitalization charges exceeded 41 million dollars.
This Committee must vote NO unless the proponents can show that California will not have a similar increase in conventional suicides. Otherwise, the financial cost in California could be “enormous.”

Sunday, May 3, 2015

California: "SB 128 has the potential for a large and adverse financial impact."

LETTER submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee (edited for the web):
Please accept this cover letter and memo in opposition to SB 128 for the purpose of the May 11th hearing. 

Based on the "Oregon experience," passage of SB 128 has the potential for a large and adverse financial impact on the state of California.  The cover letter explains why as follows:
SB 128 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide. 
In Oregon, which has had a similar law since 1997, legalization is statistically correlated with an increase in other suicides.  This increase is consistent with a suicide contagion in which the legalization of one type of suicide (physician-assisted) has led to an increase in other (conventional) suicides.  Moreover, the financial cost is "enormous."  A government report from Oregon states:
"In 2010 alone, self-inflicted injury hospitalization charges exceeded 41 million dollars."  (Emphasis added).
Here are the full links:

Thank you for your consideration.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA, President
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S. 
1001 4th Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle, WA  98154