Deutsch Says Oregon Assisted Suicide Law Makes More People Want to Kill Themselves

Chiropractor Fred Deutsch is working hard against the assisted suicide initiative, which hasn’t even made the ballot yet. He spoke this morning in Sioux Falls, and he put a letter in yesterday’s Watertown Public Opinion claiming that Oregon’s law legalizing assisted suicide for certain terminally ill patients makes suicide increase in the general population:

In Oregon, which legalized assisted suicide 20 years ago, the over-all suicide rates are 40% higher in the general public than the national average.  This is consistent with what’s called suicide contagion [Fred Deutsch, letter to the editor, Watertown Public Opinion, 2017.08.04].

Deutsch’s error here is similar to the fallacious conclusion that legalizing marijuana drives up marijuana usage. Oregon has legalized marijuana, but its rate of marijuana usage exceeded the national average before that legal change. Similarly, Oregon has legalized assisted suicide in a few limited cases, but Oregonians were killing themselves more frequently than the national average for years before passage of its “Death with Dignity” Act:

From Xun Shen and Lisa Millet, Suicides in Oregon: Trends and Associated Factors. 2003-2012. Oregon Health Authority, Portland, Oregon, p. 9.
From Xun Shen and Lisa Millet, Suicides in Oregon: Trends and Associated Factors. 2003-2012.
Oregon Health Authority, Portland, Oregon, p. 9.

In both cases, it is at least as logical to deduce that greater prevalence of the practice in question may have led to legalization of the practice as it is to contend, as Deutsch does, that legalization of the practice led to its greater prevalence.

Deutsch also notes that South Dakota “already ranks 7th in the nation for suicide deaths.” He gives no source, but the CDC ranked us 17th in 2014, not far behind 11th-place Oregon (rates: 17.1 suicide deaths per 100K population in South Dakota, 18.6 in Oregon, a difference 9%). Only three other states had legalized assisted suicide by 2014: two of them, Montana and Vermont, had higher suicide rates than Oregon; the third, Washington, had a lower suicide rate than South Dakota.

10 Responses to Deutsch Says Oregon Assisted Suicide Law Makes More People Want to Kill Themselves

  1. I sure wish Fred would use all of this judegement and time for something good.

  2. mike from iowa

    W/O even reading the article (yet) I can venture an opinion that more people living with terminal illnesses and serious chronic pain have a clear path to a better world for themselves and their loved ones through assisted suicide.

    Then comes the little gawdalmighties that know better.

  3. By golly, there is an acronym for Fred and where his thoughts and statistics come from, it is called PIOOHA (non gender specific). This is more of a cult republican state of affairs though. Pulling It Out Of His/Her Arse. I have noticed that some of the most obvious ones are NOem, Thune, Krebs, Jackley and Rounds. Daugaard has a bad case of it and wants to pass that to someone quick as he his leaving the stage.

  4. Porter Lansing

    Mr. Deutsch will say most anything regardless of evidence.
    This might make some of you uncomfortable but it needs to be said.
    Catholics feel a need to suffer to get to heaven.
    Suffering is one way the Bishops control their flock.
    Problem arise however, when Fred’s need to suffer bleeds over into my freedom from religion.
    God gives us free will, Fred. Who are you to limit choices given to us by the Lord?
    All competent people have a right to end their own lives. The right to die is a test for the overall freedom of a given society.
    Assisted suicide in a controlled, loving situation relieves family members from the horror of blowing your brains out and leaving a bloody mess on the walls and floor.
    Government isn’t condoning assisted suicide. Government is getting out of the way and out of people’s private business.

  5. Fred Deutsch thinks the state should force the terminally ill to die as slow and painfully as possible against their will.

    Cigarettes are legal, and teen smoking is going down – nowadays. How in the bloody, stupid, crazy HECK could a guy like Fred Deutsch ever stumble and stammer enough to explain a thing like that?!

    Fred Deutsch has a dark heart, a small mind, low integrity, and I don’t care what bullsh!t degree he might be sporting – he’s an idiot.

  6. Good ole Fred. Amazing “buy in” for the false propaganda. I would think he would be smarter than that.

    But on a related note, I’m glad to see Fred sooooooo concerned about suicide – I look forward to his ideas/proposals on decreasing suicides among Native Americans and others in South Dakota that take their own lives because they don’t see or have any hope.

  7. Cult republicans will vote yes on things though Kinda makes you feel all good inside to know what kinds of treatments await for you to be abused with. Freddy used to pull the wings off flies I would bet.

  8. Porter Lansing

    I don’t know about how a chiropractor pulls apart flies but I do know how Mr. Deutsch tipped his hand, last weekend. (Like Trump, he can’t keep his mouth shut). Just like IM22, when the Death With Dignity Act is voted in, those in the Vatican Party intend to claim it to be unconstitutional, declare an emergency and repeal the infant law before it can take a breath. No appearance before the Supreme Court. Nothing but subterfuge and overrule of the voting public.
    Here’s Fred’s hand …
    Fred Deutsch
    August 5, 2017
    MC, feel free to call me for a personal discussion if you would like to discuss this IM proposal.
    In 2017, proponents introduced PAS in 23 states, including very blue states such as HI. It did not pass a single state. Why? Even people that philosophically support PAS do not support the language of this measure. It is written so broadly there is great potential for abuse. Happy to walk you through it if you would like.
    ~ Sorry, Fredders. We need some proof that people who support Death With Dignity don’t support SoDak’s future IM because it’s so “broadly written”. We need examples of the abuses you claim are happening.
    Your reputation, as noted above in the thread, has little validity for truth telling. You’ve been shown to twist and misdirect the facts, continually. It’s good to know your plan, though. Your fellow anti-choice, religious zealots may pull it off again but you’ll not get away with this tactic much longer in a state wising up more every day.

  9. Agreed Porter, Freddy shows his tiny hand, the same ones he used to pull the wings off flies. The dude is clever and devious, but not to sharp. How in the hell do these kinds of idiots get elected?

  10. There Fred goes again. Remember, the pending initiative uses the same language as Washington State uses for its law. If the law is so “broadly written” as to open “great potential for abuse,” we should see evidence of such abuse stemming from that overly broad language in Washington. We should not debate this initiative in isolated moral speculation. We should test its merits rigorously against actual experience in Washington.