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Euthanasia Essay – Oregon’s Measure 16 For Assisted Suicide

Oregon’s Measure 16 For Assisted Suicide

In passing the legislation known as Measure 16 in the state of Oregon, were there deceptions involved? Did the media play along with proponents of assisted suicide, denying media coverage to opposing viewpoints? What did proponents do immediately after passage of Measure 16? This paper will seek to satisfy these questions and others.

The “centerpiece” of the campaign to pass Measure 16 was a 60-second television ad featuring Patty A. Rosen (head of the Bend, OR chapter of the Hemlock Society and a former nurse practitioner). In it, Rosen urged the public to “Vote yes on 16” and gave an emotional personal testimonial to the illusion of slipping away peacefully after taking pills:

“I am a criminal. My 25-year-old daughter, Jody, was dying of bone cancer. The pain was so great that she couldn’t bear to be touched, and drugs didn’t help. Jody had a few weeks to live when she decided she wanted to end her life. But it wasn’t legally possible. So I broke the law and got her the pills necessary. And as she slipped peacefully away, I climbed into her bed and I took her in my arms [Rosen’s voice cracks with emotion] for the first time in months….” (1)

A statement signed by Rosen also appeared in the Oregon Voters’ guide, distributed just prior to the vote on Measure 16: “She [Rosen’s daughter] took the necessary medication herself and I was there when she fell asleep for the last time.” (2) But it turned out that Rosen’s account was different than an earlier version of this “true story” which was so effective in promoting a “pills only” measure to the voters. (3) Two years earlier, during the campaign for California’s ballot initiative — which allowed for both pills and a lethal injection — Patty Rosen, then Patty Fallon, told a far different version of her daughter’s death:

“So she went to sleep. I didn’t know about plastic bags. I wish I had. Because…It seemed to be back firing. And I was fortunate enough at the very last to be able to hit a vein right…. [B]efore I could do that, the one son came into the room…. took his hands and held her veins for me…. I said, ‘Oh God, she’s startin’ to breathe again.’ And [the other son] said, ‘I’ll take a pillow.

Euthanasia Essay – Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court

Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court

After the nation’s highest court declared that U.S. citizens are not constitutionally guaranteed the right to a physician-assisted suicide, the movement has sort of lost its steam. Why do the Supreme Court Justices consider legalization dangerous? How did it win legislative approval in Oregon in the first place? What is the current trend in public opinion about this question? This essay will delve into these questions.

After the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crushing blow to the assisted suicide movement, time stopped for the activists. In a unanimous decision, the nine justices upheld the right of each and every state to protect its residents. Justice Rehnquist, writing for the Court, clearly articulated the dangers that legalized assisted suicide would pose, particularly to those who are most vulnerable: “The risk of harm is greatest for the many individuals in our society whose autonomy and well-being are already compromised by poverty, lack of access to good medical care, advanced age, or membership in a stigmatized social group.”(1)

With the Court’s decision, the door was slammed in the faces of those who sought to prevent full public discussion of what permissive assisted suicide would mean to all of us. Contrary to what some have said, the decision did not open any doors. Instead it recognized that the debate belongs at the state level where the realities can be fully and honestly addressed. Now, with their resounding defeat from the Supreme Court, assisted suicide advocates are forced to take their case before the court of public opinion where they are losing support.

During the last year, national support for euthanasia has fallen 18 percentage points. In …

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…orting those who want to die,” Boston Globe, Jan. 18, 1994.)

14.) “Model Aid-in-Dying Act,” Iowa Law Review, vol. 75, no. 1 (1989).

15.) John Hofsess’ announcement of the availability of the Art

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