Oregon patients accessing assistance
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a 12 percent yearly increase in lethal prescriptions under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act from 1998 to 2013. Overall, 1,545 patients obtained a lethal prescription from 1998 through 2015. On average, 64 percent took the drugs. The age range spanned 25 to 102 years, with a median of 71. Nearly 80 percent of the patients had cancer. Most patients cited a decreased quality of life or loss of autonomy or dignity as reasons for using the law. Almost all patients took the drugs at home, surrounded by loved ones, with a Physician present in only 16 percent of cases.