Monday, October 30, 2017

Victoria's Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Bill: Oregon's Statistics Provide Little, If Any, Support for Passage Due to Physical Pain

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

According to Oregon’s official government statistics, there were 47 people who died under its assisted suicide law in 2016, who expressed the following concerns:
Inadequate pain control or concern about it. (Emphasis added).[1]
With use of the word, “or,” the total number of persons with inadequate pain control could have been zero. In the alternative, the total number could have been as high as 47.

If, for the purpose of argument, all 47 had inadequate pain control, this would be 47 people out of approximately 35,000 total deaths in Oregon, which is far less than one percent (.127%) and/or not statistically significant.[2]

Or, the actual number could have been zero.

Oregon's statistics provide little, if any, support for the idea that passage of Victoria's bill is needed due to physical pain. The argument is not supported by the evidence.

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[1] Oregon Report, page 10, listing "end of life concerns" expressed by persons using Oregon's law in 2016.
[2] Report, page 5, footnote 1, listing 35,709 resident deaths in 2015, "the most recent year for which final death data are available." To view the entire report, go here.