Oregon will let nonresidents end their lives under the state’s assisted-suicide law, according to a bill that Gov. Tina Kotek signed on July 13. The new measure amends Oregon’s 1997 “Death With Dignity Act” that legalized physician-assisted suicide in the state. Going forward, non-residents will be able to travel to Oregon and receive a prescription for lethal drugs if they meet the other criteria in the assisted-suicide law.

Family Council has written repeatedly about the problems with Oregon’s assisted-suicide law over the years.

For example, since 1998, only 3% of assisted-suicide patients in Oregon were referred for psychiatric evaluation first.

That matters, because data from the Oregon Health Authority indicates the vast majority of terminally ill patients who want to end their lives under the state’s assisted-suicide law possibly are wrestling with some type of mental illness.

Over the past 25 years, more than 90% of the patients who inquired about assisted-suicide in Oregon said they were concerned about losing their autonomy because of their illness, and nearly 75% expressed worries about losing their dignity. Most did not express concerns about controlling their pain.

Patients who are lonely and feel like they are losing control over their lives need counseling and support — not a prescription for poisonous drugs.

That’s part of the reason why pro-lifers maintain that assisted-suicide actually robs patients of compassionate care.

In 2019 a Canadian man with ALS made headlines when he chose to take his own life under the country’s assisted suicide and euthanasia laws after the government chose not to provide him with 24-hour home healthcare services due to cost.

In parts of the U.S. where physician-assisted suicide is legal, insurance companies have refused to pay for patients’ medical care, but have offered to cover assisted-suicide drugs.

As Oregon expands its assisted-suicide laws, Arkansans should remember that being pro-life means believing human life is sacred from conception until natural death, and it means opposing the taking of human life without just cause.

Just like abortion, euthanasia and assisted-suicide are murder, and they violate the sanctity of human life.

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