Oregon's Death With Dignity Act: 20 Years of Experience to Inform the Debate

Ann Intern Med. 2017 Oct 17;167(8):579-583. doi: 10.7326/M17-2300. Epub 2017 Sep 19.


Twenty years ago, Oregon voters approved the Death With Dignity Act, making Oregon the first state in the United States to allow physicians to prescribe medications to be self-administered by terminally ill patients to hasten their death. This report summarizes the experience in Oregon, including the numbers and types of participating patients and providers. These data should inform the ongoing policy debate as additional jurisdictions consider such legislation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oregon
  • Physician's Role
  • Suicide, Assisted / ethics*
  • Suicide, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Suicide, Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Terminally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence