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Oregon's Death with Dignity Act
On October 27, 1997 physician-assisted suicide became a legal medical option for terminally ill Oregonians. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act requires that the Oregon Health Services (OHS) monitor compliance with the law, collect information about the patients and physicians who participate in legal physician-assisted suicide, and publish an annual statistical report.
The Oregon Death with Dignity Act, a citizens' initiative, was first passed by Oregon voters in November 1994 by a margin of 51% in favor and 49% opposed. Immediate implementation of the Act was delayed by a legal injunction. After multiple legal proceedings, including a petition that was denied by the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on October 27, 1997 and physician-assisted suicide then became a legal option for terminally ill patients in Oregon. In November 1997, Measure 51 (authorized by Oregon House Bill 2954) was placed on the general election ballot and asked Oregon voters to repeal the Death with Dignity Act. Voters chose to retain the Act by a margin of 60% to 40%.
The Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill Oregon residents to obtain from their physicians and use prescriptions for self-administered, lethal medications. The Act states that ending one's life in accordance with the law does not constitute suicide. However, we have used the term "physician-assisted suicide" rather than "Death with Dignity" to describe the provisions of this law because physician-assisted suicide is the term used by the public, and by the medical literature, to describe ending life through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose. The Death with Dignity Act legalizes physician-assisted suicide, but specifically prohibits euthanasia, where a physician or other person directly administers a medication to end another's life.
Originally posted by intrepid
Been there. Glad the medical staff allowed my Grandfather to die with dignity and haste. There was NO hope.
I have an extensive living will that takes the burden off of my family and outlines conditions that I would want support removed.