Record numbers of people ended their lives in Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide program last year, raising concerns that the US is following Canada's footsteps. The program has even extended to non-residents who travel to the West Coast bend on finding a way to end their lives. In the program, sick adults with a terminal illness and less than six months to live are allowed to get fatal doses administered by doctors on themselves. The program has seen a jump from 383 to 431 scripts, and from 238 to 278 deaths recorded last year. Among the deceased, most of them were white people aged over 65 suffering from cancer, heart disease, or brain disease.
The new numbers shed light on the many concerns that continue to dog the program. In particular, critics believe that physicians are quickly writing scripts for patients they barely know. The physicians are abandoning patients, mainly when the lethal drugs ingest, churning people through the "Death with Dignity" procedure.
Reports indicate that many people are ending their lives due to a lack of "pain control." Some patients are also doing so due to medical bills that are piling up. Many Americans have reservations against the program's extension to non-residents traveling to Oregon from prohibitionist states.