Oregon House Set To Vote On Expanding Death With Dignity Law

Apr 22, 2019

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

The state Capitol in Salem.
Credit Matt Howry / Flickr

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.