The Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B.
Anthony List, has released a report on research on assisted
suicide. That information comes in advance of a Massachusetts vote
on the issue next Tuesday.
Dr. Jacqueline Harvey of
the Lozier Institute took a look at evidence-based
academic literature on the subject of assisted suicide for the past
20 years, including looking at the issue in the Netherlands, but
with a special focus on the few states where it is legal in the
U.S. Dr. Harvey stresses that the report [PDF] is her own opinion, but she
did look at outcomes and not just attitudes.
"There is the issue of suicide contagion, where suicides are
pretty much like an infectious disease," Harvey explains. "It's
actually been shown statistically that after assisted suicide was
legalized in Oregon, the suicide rate for teenagers and illegal
suicides for other people rose."
The same is true in Washington state; and although figures are
only available since 2009, they do indicate that legalizing it
creates what some call a "culture of death." Harvey also found it
to be true that among those involved in doctor-assisted suicide
there was evidence of the patients feeling it was their duty to
"If you look at the reasons those who chose assisted suicide
gave for their choice, a lot of it was nothing to do with their
freedom or their dignity," Harvey tells OneNewsNow. "It was having
to do with not being a burden.
"So people are not necessarily freely choosing this route.
They're doing it to benefit others."
There is not reduced spending for palliative control, but Harvey
points out that in Oregon there are instances the state healthcare
program has offered to pay for assisted suicide but not pain
control. In addition, many suicides are attributed to depression
that is treatable.