Richard Doerflinger, with the Lozier Institute, recently examined the assisted suicide data in the U.S. Doerflinger explains that assisted suicide bills have been overwhelmingly defeated, and that 10 states have added or strengthened laws preventing assisted suicide since 1997. Doerflinger commented:
“This map shows the 42 states that ban assisted suicide without exception — ten of which passed new laws against it since Oregon’s law took effect in 1997. Three of these states passed new laws in the last year. Alabama and Utah passed new bans, and Ohio added criminal penalties to its 2003 law, allowing for civil penalties. Another 32 states have retained their older statutes or common law bans despite the assisted suicide movement’s repeated attempts against those policies. Meanwhile, four states (and DC) have acted to follow Oregon’s lead in the last 20 years.”
In the past few months, assisted suicide has been defeated in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, while the South Dakota voter initiative failed to get the needed signatures and, more importantly, Utah passed a bill criminalizing assisted suicide. What has changed is the fact that the assisted suicide lobby is now working to expand assisted suicide laws. The Connecticut assisted suicide bill also legalized euthanasia. In Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the assisted suicide bills require physicians to “do or refer,” while the Delaware assisted suicide bill specifically approved people with disabilities.