Even the Gold Standard didn’t last

Long left unchanged and held up as the “Gold Standard” of assisted suicide laws, it seems even Oregon in the US can’t avoid the slipperly slope. 

For years euthanasia advocates pointed to Oregon as an example of “safe” assisted suicide with unaltered safeguards, claiming their example proved assisted suicide laws could be safely upheld.

However, as we’ve seen in many jurisdictions after legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide, what start out as ‘safeguards’ quickly become ‘unjust barriers to access’.

A lawsuit has now been filed in the state claiming that residency requirements violate the US Constitution, asserting that Americans should be able to travel to Oregon to make use of their assisted suicide laws. 

The lawsuit is being brought by the pro-euthanasia group Compassion & Choices, a US organisation similar to pro-euthanasia organisations in Australia, and an Oregon Health & Science University professor of family medicine.

In January of 2020 the Oregon law was changed to make exemptions to the mandatory waiting periods, meaning that in some cases the time from request to procedure is less than 48 hours. 

Removing safeguards from euthanasia and assisted suicide laws is common practice, as advocates know that it is easier to amend a bill once it is law than it would be to ask for their radical amendments upfront. 

Less than two years after the Victorian assisted suicide bill came into effect, Victorian MPs and euthanasia advocates were already fighting to remove so-called ‘safeguards’. 

It happens across the world, where euthanasia and assisted suicide are introduced, “safeguards” are eroded under the name of “compassion” and “equality”.

Even the “Gold Standard” couldn’t last.