Assisted suicide deaths in the US state of Oregon rose by 26 per cent last year, according to a new report.
The Oregon Public Health Division’s latest figures show that 132 people died by assisted suicide in 2015 – up from 105 the previous year.
Since the law was passed in 1997, 991 people have had medical assistance to commit suicide.
According to the report, there has been an average rise of 12 per cent each year in the number of prescriptions written for lethal drugs.
Campaign group Care Not Killing (CNK) said the figures are a “rebuff” to people who argue that assisted suicide laws ‘must be given time to settle in’.
A report on the CNK website also warned that a high proportion of vulnerable and elderly people opted for assisted suicide last year.
it dehumanizes patients and physiciansJohn Stonestreet on assisted suicide
According to the Oregon figures, 26 per cent were widowed, 27.5 per cent were divorced and 78 per cent were over the age of 65.
They also revealed that 92 per cent of people cited “losing autonomy” as a reason for seeking assisted suicide while 75 per cent cited a “loss of dignity”.
More than 96 per cent of people sought assisted suicide because they felt “less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable”.
Commenting on the practice John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, said that as Christians, we must help people understand that assisted suicide “dehumanizes patients and physicians”.
Stonestreet said: “With a cascade of states turning caregivers into potential executioners, we’ve got to help our neighbors understand that although assisted-suicide may sound compassionate and dignified, it’s neither”.
He quoted 1 Samuel 2:6: “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.”