Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Oregon's Fight over the Right to Die

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Oregon's Fight over the Right to Die

Article excerpt

The debate over legalized physician-assisted suicide will be joined in Oregon during 1994. The instrument will be a citizen initiative, sponsored by Oregon Right to Die, which will permit "adults to request and obtain prescriptions from doctors to end their life." This initiative stops short, then, of failed initiatives in Washington (1991) and California (1992) by not including patient requests for euthanasia as part of "physician aid-in-dying." The sponsors must obtain 66,771 valid voter signatures by July 1994 to place the initiative on the November ballot, and there seems little chance that the initiative will not receive these qualifying signatures.

As written, the aid-in-dying measure requires dying patients (patients expected to have less than six months to live) to ask their long-term physician for medication they could use to end their lives. It contains the following procedural safeguards:

* Patient requests must be written.

* The request must be witnessed.

* A consulting physician must certify the patient is terminal.

* A 15-day waiting period must occur between the patient request and obtaining the prescription.

* The physician must ensure the patient's decision is informed and voluntary, by providing information about diagnosis, prognosis, options such as hospice care, and referral to a state-licensed psychologist or psychiatrist if depression is suspected. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.