US state’s assisted suicides jumped 21pc last year

Oregon’s doctor-assisted suicides jumped 21pc to 367 persons in 2023, with some patients vomiting up drugs and one who took six days to die in what critics call a ‘cruel or unusual punishment’.

The state’s annual report on its Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), showed that 560 people received prescriptions for deadly medications in 2023, and 367 ingested drugs and died from them — both sharp upticks from 2022.

Most often, DWDA recipients suffered from cancer (66 percent), followed by brain disease (11 percent) and heart disease (10 percent).

43 percent said they were concerned about becoming a burden on loved ones.

8 percent said they were ending their lives because of the costs of their treatment.

Most patients died within an hour of taking their drugs — typically a fatal cocktail of diazepam, morphine, phenobarbital, and other medicines.

But not all deaths were quick and easy.

Ten people faced complications, such as vomiting up their drugs or getting a burning sensation in their throats.

One patient took fully 137 hours — nearly six days — to die.