Physician-assisted suicide in Oregon: a medical perspective

Mich Law Rev. 2008 Jun;106(8):1613-40.


This Article examines the Oregon Death with Dignity Act from a medical perspective. Drawing on case studies and information provided by doctors, families, and other care givers, it finds that seemingly reasonable safeguards for the care and protection of terminally ill patients written into the Oregon law are being circumvented. The problem lies primarily with the Oregon Public Health Division ("OPHD"), which is charged with monitoring the law. OPHD does not collect the information it would need to effectively monitor the law and in its actions and publications acts as the defender of the law rather than as the protector of the welfare of terminally ill patients. We make explicit suggestions for what OPHD would need to do to change that.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Coercion
  • Empathy
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Oregon
  • Palliative Care / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Public Health
  • Right to Die / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Suicide, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Suicide, Assisted / psychology
  • Supreme Court Decisions*
  • Terminal Care / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Terminally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States