Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, senior adviser to The Catholic Association, says it is difficult to demonstrate statistically the relationship between physician-assisted suicide laws and the overall suicide rate.

“I don’t think there’s any way that you can pinpoint that,” she says. “But suicide in general, we know what causes increases in the rates of suicide. When suicide is publicized, there’s a copycat effect. When people hear about suicide, more suicides occur. I think you have to assume that that’s something that happens, and I think you have to apply it in this case too.”

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