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When the Oregon Health Division released a report last month on the first full year of life and death under Oregon’s law permitting assisted suicide — the only such law in the country — public officials and private citizens both looked to the report for lessons to apply in other states, should they choose to follow Oregon’s lead.

For those supporters of assisted suicide who rushed in with fulsome praise for the report, the lessons were clear. “It’s what we expected — a year of impeccable implementation,” said well-known assisted-suicide advocate Barbara Coombs Lee. Her colleague George Eighmey, executive director of Compassion in Dying of Oregon, agreed: “This law has been seldom and carefully used with no failures, no complications, no misdeeds, no mistakes.”

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