reaches new level
Assisted suicide, legal in Oregon and Washington state, has resulted in
an unexpected twist.
Hospitals can opt out and refuse to permit doctor-assisted suicides on
their premises, but staff members who do not support that can act
outside of their jobs. Rita Marker of the International Task Force on
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide explains further.
"Take for example a social worker who works at that hospital, but she
can, and in fact, recently it was a situation where a social worker
from a hospital which has opted out [of assisted suicide] was
conducting a training session for hostage and crisis negotiators from
the law enforcement agencies, and she was explaining if someone is
suicidal, there are certain things to look for," says Marker. "And then
as part of her presentation, she mentioned if a person is suicidal here
are the options."
According to Marker, one of those options was assisted suicide with
assistance provided by Compassions and Choices, the old Hemlock
Society. As she explains, patients would simply need to call a number,
and a volunteer will instruct them how.
In other words, crisis negotiators could be trying to talk people out
of killing themselves, while at the same time offering instructions on
how to assist people in killing themselves. And while that is
"certainly repugnant," states Marker, it is not illegal.
Contact: Charlie Butts
Date: October 27, 2009
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to a friend.
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