Oregon’s Right-to-Die Law Has Inspired Other States to Follow Along

(VitalNews.org) – Oregon’s right-to-die law was a controversial one, but now since the law has been in effect, more than three thousand people have used it and it’s become inspiring for other countries and states who are adopting this law as well.

Ann Jackson, the former chief executive of the Oregon Hospice Association three decades ago, voted against this law twice, but she changed her mind after experiencing two partners succumb to cancer and experiencing her own struggles with an autoimmune disease.

“I voted twice against the law, but once it went into effect and I saw how it worked, I changed my mind,” said Jackson. “I really thought that if everyone had hospice care, they wouldn’t need this, which was very arrogant of me because hospice is something where others decide.”

She continued, “One of the things that really bothers me is the idea that doctors should decide when to allow you to die. That is just awful. I came to realize this is about choice. Someone should be able to decide for themselves when to die.”

In 1994 Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act, which has since then helped over three thousand terminally ill people be able to end their lives on their own terms. The number of people who are taking advantage of this law has continued to grow with over three-hundred and sixty people taking the drug combination last year.

With this said, eight different states now allow the physician-assisted dying combination of drugs. It has even influenced the adoption of legislation in Australia, Canada, the U.K., France, and Japan.

To take advantage of the law, a patient must have a terminal illness with less than six months to live and must be mentally competent. The patients must also be able to self-administer the medications given to them.

There must be approval from two doctors on the prescription, and they must tell the patient about alternative care, such as palliative care. They have implemented waiting periods that would also help people from acting on impulse.

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