The Bill Will Create a Perfect Crime

Even If the Patient Struggled, Who Would Know?

The drugs typically used for assisted suicide and euthanasia are water and/or alcohol soluble, such that they can be injected into a sleeping or restrained person without consent.[1]

In addition, the proposed bill has no prohibition against another person being alone with the patient when the lethal dose is ingested and/or the patient dies.[2] In other words, the bill allows two people to be there, with one leaving alive and the other leaving dead.


The one leaving alive is allowed to be a medical practitioner, who is required to be “available” to the patient until the patient dies, or to arrange for another medical practitioner to be available.[3] Per the bill, this means being in the “same room” with the patient, or in “close proximity” to the patient, which is not defined.[4] In a published discussion paper cited below, the authors define close proximity as “within 30 miles.”[5]

With the medical practitioner thereby allowed, but not required to be present when a patient dies, the opportunity is created for another person, such as the patient’s heir, to administer the lethal dose in private, without consent.  Even if the patient struggled, who would know?

Legal Cover Up

Once death via the lethal dose occurs, the death is treated for all purposes as if the lethal dose had not been provided. In other words, there is a required official legal cover up. The bill states:
A person who dies as a result of the provision of assisted dying is taken for all purposes to have died as if assisted dying had not been provided.[6]
In Washington State, we have a similar requirement. The death certificate is required to list a terminal disease as the cause of death, without even a hint as to the actual cause of death (a lethal drug).[7]  The death is reported as “Natural,” which allows perpetrators to inherit, collect the life insurance and/or forgo being charged with murder.[8] The bill, if enacted, will create a perfect crime.

Footnotes:

[1]  The drugs used include Secobarbital, Morphine Sulfate, Pentobarbital and Phenobarbital, which are water and/or alcohol soluble.  See excerpts from Oregon’s and Washington’s most recent annual reports and regarding morphine sulfate, in the Appendix at pages 38 to 42. For more information, see
http://www.drugs.com/pr/seconal-sodium.htmlhttp://www.drugs.com/pro/nembutal.html and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2977013
[2]  See the bill in its entirety in the Dore memo Appendix at pages 101 - 105.
[3]  The bill, section 16, attached in the Dore memo Appendix at page 110.
[4]  Id. See also the bill in its entirety.
[5]  Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert, 2013. "Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States: Description and Correlates," IZA Discussion Papers 7431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Attached in the Dore memo Appendix at page 50 (“if the individual coresides with, or lives in close proximity (i.e., withing thirty miles) to, his or her mother.”)  Available at http://ftp.iza.org/dp7431.pdf
[6]  The bill, section 25, attached in the Dore memo Appendix, at page 114.
[7]  Washington State Death Certificate Instruction, which can be viewed at this link: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/422-148-DWDAInstructionsForMedicalExaminers.pdf
[8]  Id.