Whereas “suicide” means the act of intentionally ending one’s own life, preempting death from disease, accident, injury, age, or other condition;
Whereas “assisting in a suicide”, sometimes referred to as death with dignity, end-of-life options, aid-in-dying, or similar phrases, means knowingly and willingly prescribing, providing, dispensing, or distributing to an individual a substance, device, or other means that, if taken, used, ingested, or administered as directed, expected, or instructed, will, with reasonable medical certainty, result in the death of the individual, preempting death from disease, accident, injury, age, or other condition;
Whereas society has a longstanding policy of supporting suicide prevention such as through the efforts of many public and private suicide prevention programs, the benefits of which could be denied under a public policy of assisted suicide;
Whereas assisted suicide most directly threatens the lives of people who are elderly, experience depression, have a disability, or are subject to emotional or financial pressure to end their lives;
Whereas the Oregon Health Authority’s annual reports reveal that pain or the fear of pain is listed second to last (25 percent) among the reasons cited by all patients seeking lethal drugs since 1998, while the top 5 reasons cited are psychological and social concerns: “losing autonomy” (92 percent), “less able to engage in activities that make life enjoyable” (90 percent), “loss of dignity” (79 percent), “losing control of bodily functions” (48 percent), and “burden on family friends/caregivers” (41 percent);
Whereas the Supreme Court has ruled twice (in Washington v.