Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Act Applies to People with Years or Decades to Live

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

William Toffler, MD

The Act applies to persons with a “terminal disease,” meaning those predicted to have less than six months to live.[1]  Such persons may actually have years or decades to live.  This is true for three reasons:

A. Treatment Can Lead to Recovery

In 2000, Oregonian Jeanette Hall was given a terminal diagnosis of six months to a year to live, which was based on her not being treated for cancer.[2] Hall made a settled decision to use Oregon’s law, but her doctor convinced her to be treated instead.  In a 2016 declaration, she states:
This July, it will be 16 years since my diagnosis.  If [my doctor] had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead.[3]

"Even If a Patient Struggled, Who Would Know?"

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

The DC Act allows the death by lethal dose to occur in private without supervision.[1] The drugs used are water and alcohol soluble, such that they can be administered to a restrained or sleeping person without consent.[2] Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, puts it this way:

The Oregon Experience is B.S.

The claim by assisted suicide proponents, that Oregon's law is safe, cannot be independently verified because: (1) Studies making the claim are invalid; (2) Oregon's data cannot be verified; and (3) Even law enforcement is denied access to information.

If DC Follows Oregon's Interpretation of "not a public record," the Department of Health Will Be Insulated from Review, Even by Law Enforcement

To view similar information in a pdf format, see Margaret Dore's memo opposing Act 21-577, which can be viewed here and here.

The DC Act charges the Department of Health with issuing an annual statistical report based on data collected concerning people who used the Act.[1] The Act also states:
The information collected by the Department pursuant to this act shall not be a public record and may not be made available for inspection by the public under the Freedom of Information Act of 1976, effective March 25, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-96; D.C. Official Code § 2-2-531 et seq.), or any other law. (Emphasis added).[2]
Oregon’s law has a similar provision, as follows:
Except as otherwise required by law, the information collected shall not be a public record and may not be made available for inspection by the public. (Emphasis added).[3]
In Oregon, this similar provision is interpreted to bar release of information about individual cases, including to law enforcement.