“Even If a Patient Struggled, Who Would Know?”

The Victorian Act allows a patient to administer the lethal dose in private, without a witness or doctor present.[1] In addition, the drugs typically used are water and alcohol soluble, such that they can be injected into a sleeping or restrained person without consent.[2] Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, puts it this way:
With assisted suicide laws in Washington and  Oregon [and with proposed bill], perpetrators can . . . take a “legal” route, by getting an elder to sign a lethal dose request. Once the prescription is filled, there is no supervision over administration. Even if a patient struggled, “who would know?” (Emphasis added).[3]

[1]  See the Act in its entirety.  
[2]  The drugs typically used in Oregon and Washington State USA include Secobarbital, Pentobarbital and Phenobarbital, which are water and/or alcohol soluble.  See excerpt from Oregon’s and Washington’s most recent annual reports, in the appendix at pages A-44 & A-45 (listing these drugs).  See also http://www.drugs.com/pr/seconal-sodium.htmlhttp://www.drugs.com/pro/nembutal.html and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2977013
[3]  Alex Schadenberg, Letter to the Editor, “Elder abuse a growing problem,” The Advocate, Official Publication of the Idaho State Bar, USA, October 2010, page 14.

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