Depressed People Assisted in Suicides

Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) conducted a study published in the British Medical Journal that shows 26% of terminally ill patients in Oregon (with laws supporting doctor-assisted suicide) who requested a lethal cocktail were diagnosed as suffering depression, which is technically a treatable mental illness.

Wesley Smith, a leading euthanasia opponent, says that the “assisted suicide law’s guidelines are merely for show and do not protect the vulnerable or depressed people in Oregon. He adds that the proposed guidelines appearing on Washington’s ballot in November do not require a person’s depression to be treated before a lethal cocktail is issued.”

Rita Marker of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide says, “Let’s face the economic facts and force of economic gravity. If someone is depressed and they happen to be terminally ill too, it’s a lot cheaper to write a prescription for a deadly overdose of drugs than for medication to treat the depression, possible counseling to treat depression, and also medication to delay the death.”

No physician should agree to terminate someone’s life, even on their say-so, when they are suffering from a depression. If they were treated for that depression, a significant number would probably wish to squeeze out of their lives every precious moment with their loved ones that was possible. At least we ought to give them that opportunity.