Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dore v Morris: Assisted suicide debate deals with abuse, compassion

Lawyer cautions against legislating through courts

By Mike Youds, Daily News Staff Reporter
Margaret Dore (L) and Wanda Morris (R)
A right to medically assisted suicide may sound compassionate and just, but beware the details when it comes to the act itself, a U.S. lawyer warned Wednesday in a debate at TRU.

Margaret Dore shared some of her experiences with assisted suicide in Washington State, where the practice became legal through a ballot measure four years ago.

 "A lot of people think this is a great idea until they start thinking and reading about how you do it," she told an audience of about 30 people in the Irving K. Barber Centre.

In effect, laws in Washington and Oregon empower people who may choose to abuse the responsibility, Dore said.

"Your heir can be there to help you sign up. Once the legal dose leaves the pharmacy, there is no oversight whatsoever."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hawai'i Teen Sounds Off on Teen-Assisted Suicide Link

Hawaii Free Press
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

As a teenager, legalizing assisted suicide is concerning to me because it seems to counteract the positive messages teens need to hear. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hawaii ranks number one with the highest prevalence of high school students who have considered suicide. How can we prevent and discourage teen suicides if we pass legislation condoning ending one’s life in certain circumstances? It seems hypocritical to me to tell teenagers to “choose life” and not give up, while permitting other people to end their lives. Read more

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Legal Assisted Suicide Does NOT Reduce Murder Rate

Dear Editor: 

Chad Blair's Civil Beat article, "A Conversation About Aid in Dying in Hawaii," implies that legalizing physician-assisted suicide would eliminate murder-suicide in the elderly.

In Oregon, where assisted-suicide has been legal since 1997, murder suicide has not been eliminated. Indeed, murder-suicide follows the national pattern. Moreover, according to Donna Cohen, an expert on murder-suicide, the typical 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."

If assisted suicide were legal, the wife, not wanting to die, would still be a victim.

Our laws against assisted suicide are in place to protect vulnerable people. To learn more about problems with legalizing assisted suicide, please see

For more in depth information, see Dominique Bourget, MD, Pierre Gagne, MD, Laurie Whitehouse, PhD,"Domestic Homicide and Homicide-Suicide: The Older Offender," Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, September 2010; Don Colburn, "Recent murder-suicides follow the national pattern," The Oregonian, November 17, 2009; and “Murder-suicides in Elderly Rise: Husbands commit most murder-suicides –without wives’ consent” at WebMD.

Janet M. Grace
Hawaii Against Assisted Suicide & For Living with Dignity