Year: 2000 Source: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, v.6, no.2, (June 2000), p.331-341 SIEC No: 20011502

The results of Oregon’s first year with physician-assisted suicide raises 2 questions. First, how will it be possible to evaluate what is actually going on in Oregon if there is no public access to the records & if physicians are shielded by patient confidentiality rules? Second, did the public understand that many, if not most, of those who want physician-assisted suicide want it not to relieve suffering but to maintain control over their dying? This commentary reviews the existing evidence from The Netherlands & suggests that abuse of the vulnerable will likely occur in Oregon over time. It also reviews the insufficiency of the data emerging from Oregon. Finally, it addresses the various issues raised by the other commentators to the main article. (12 refs.)