The number of assisted suicides in the American state of Oregon fell to 37 in 2004 from the peak year of 2003, when 42 terminally ill patients ended their lives with the help of a doctor. Supporters of assisted suicide are using the statistics to argue that the law is used seldom and that there are few complications. Opponents say that the issues are the same, whatever the numbers may be. Physician-assisted suicide is not medicine,” comments Dr Kenneth Stevens, of Physicians for Compassionate Care. “It’s contrary to what doctors should do, and it’s not compatible with care of terminally ill patients.” The Bush administration is still trying hard to overturn or void the state legislation.
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