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Oregon House Set To Vote On Expanding Death With Dignity Law

Matt Howry / Flickr

Terminally ill patients who want to end their own life would have additional optionsunder a measure up for a vote Monday in the Oregon House.

Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act”allows doctors to prescribe lethal medications to people who are thought to have less than six months to live. Patients have to take the medicine themselves. Since the law took effect in the late 90’s, that’s generally been interpreted to mean taking the deadly dose through oral ingestion.

The measure under consideration would clarify that patients could take the medication into their body using any method, including an IV tube or injection.

Opponents say that means doctors would have to take a more active role in the process, even if the patients themselves are still the ones who ultimately cause the medicine to start working.

Update: House Bill 2217 passed the Oregon House 37-21 and now heads to the Oregon Senate.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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