Since 1998, due to a legal opinion by U.S. attorney general Janet Reno, Oregon physicians have used their federal prescribing licenses from the Drug Enforcement Administration to order controlled substances – usually secobarbital – for use in terminally ill patients’ suicides. However, new attorney general John Ashcroft was an outspoken critic of the Reno opinion when he served in the U.S. Senate. He authored a 1997 letter to Reno signed by seven other Senators urging a contrary opinion, and criticized her final ruling as “bending the law” to facilitate assisted suicide. George W. Bush also criticized the ruling and endorsed a bill to reverse it, the Pain Relief Promotion Act, during the presidential campaign.
The Oregon Health Division’s third annual report on operation of the “Death with Dignity Act,” summarized in the New England Journal of Medicine, was said by the law’s supporters to offer “compelling evidence” that the Act “has given Oregon citizens comfort and control at the end of their lives.” Said Estelle Rogers, executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center: “Oregon is a model for the nation, a place where doctors and patients alike approach end-of-life issues with due seriousness and compassion. We believe it’s time for President Bush and the Attorney General to do the same” [U.S. Newswire, 2/21/01].
But the same report hailed by Rogers as “a third year of good news” was said by a prominent critic of Oregon’s law to confirm that “the assisted-suicide experiment has failed.” Dr. Gregory Hamilton of Physicians for Compassionate Care says that Oregon officials monitoring the practice of assisted suicide “have neglected to report meaningful results.” Case reports are chiefly self-reporting by the physicians involved, and no effort is made to find “complications” or problems not reported by those assisting the suicide [PCC press release, 2/21/01].
The Oregon Health Division reported 27 deaths from physician-assisted suicide in 2000, the same number as in 1999. The only case it found of incomplete compliance with the Act was one in which a physician submitted a consent form signed by one witness instead of two. Dr. Hamilton notes, however, that the chief case of assisted suicide to receive extensive news reporting in 2000 showed more irregularities than this.
The case of Joan Lucas received feature-length coverage for two days in her local newspaper in June. Suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, she originally tried and failed to commit suicide by herself on January 16 – but she and her family soon found more expert “assistance” and she died on February 3.
The Abortion Debate
The Abortion Debate
There are all kinds of people in the world, and we all have different
opinions. In this report I am discussing abortion. You will read about
the pros and cons of this subject. Some people think that abortion is
wrong; they think that abortion is the killing of innocent children.
Other people believe that the unborn child is not actually a human
until it takes its first breath of air.
Many people think that having an abortion is in a way, murder. Many of
the people that oppose abortion are in the minority. There are several
anti-abortion groups, one organisation is called the “Right to Life”,
the members of the “Right to Life” organisation believe that a fetus
is a person. Many anti-abortionists feel that abortion promotes sexual
activity by making it easy to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. They
feel that it is wrong to have premarital sex. These people feel that
every child is wanted by someone. They view adoption as a logical
Researchers have said that if you give the woman the unrestricted
right to kill her unborn daughter, one had better be prepared to some
day give the daughter the unrestricted right to kill the aged mother.
Many people that are against abortions are raised in the church or are
religious. They believe that abortion is murder, and that God does not
approve of this. There is a book called “The Hand of God”, written by
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the doctors that was involved in getting
legislation for abortion passed in the 1960’s. Dr. Nathanson is now an
ex-abortion doctor, who actually performed an abortion on his own
child and felt no remorse. He himself states t…
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…g a child with its needs costs a lot of money. A USA
TODAY study states that 34% of the people having abortions have an
income lower than $25,000. A low income family would not be able to
meet a child’s needs. The family would have to spend extra money on
food, nappies, clothing, and other baby products. A child would bring
more of a financial burden upon the family, and the child would most
likely grow up unhappy. Putting the child up for adoption is another
option, but the child may begin to search for the parents later on in
life and may make new problems arise. If a child cannot be provided
for, then I think abortion should be an alternative.
Having abortions is a very sensitive issue, it has been in debate for
many years and is not getting very far. I personally think that it is
good in more ways then it is bad.