“No evidence of heightened risk” from physician-assisted suicide? – Another perspective.

The impact of legalised physician-assisted suicide on patients in vulnerable groups – another perspective on Oregon’s experience

Research published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2007 into the operation of Oregon’s law permitting physician-assisted suicide concluded that there was “no evidence of heightened risk” to certain groups of people categorised as vulnerable, including the elderly, women, racial minorities, persons of low educational attainment or others with mental health problems.  In 2011 Professors Ilora Finlay and Rob George published, also in the Journal of Medical Ethics, a critique of this research and its conclusions.  They found that the 2007 research had been methodologically flawed in a number of respects and that subsequent research had shown that patients in Oregon suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression had been supplied with lethal drugs to end their lives without referral for specialist assessment.  Here we provide a copy of the critique.


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