Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

New Information on "Death with Dignity"

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

New Information on "Death with Dignity"

Article excerpt

Contrary to the fears of some, passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act (ODDA) in 1997 has not brought swarms of people fleeing to Oregon to die. A report published in October 2000 by the Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense and Education Center concluded: "The predicted slippery slope abuses have never occurred. Moreover, the law is seldom used by terminally ill individuals facing difficult deaths." ().

Recent research on the effect of the act was reported by Linda Ganzini (an associate professor at Oregon Health Sciences University and a faculty scholar of the Open Society Institute's Project on Death in America) at a conference sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics ("Physician Assisted Dying: Assessing the State of the Debate") in late April 2001. She and her colleagues interviewed thirty-five physicians who had written prescriptions for lethal drugs under ODDA. It appears that doctors who have received requests for assistance with suicide have found care for the terminally ill more intellectually satisfying than other doctors have. …

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