Report Tracks Oregon Death With Dignity Law

Apr 14, 2017

For 20 years now, Oregon law has allowed people with terminal illnesses to get prescriptions for drugs to end their own lives. 

Credit Mary Landberg

Other states have followed, but there's been little research into the use and effectiveness of assisted suicide/physician-aided dying. 

That changes with a recently published report that went through the records of people ending their own lives legally in Oregon.  It's not a big number, with 218 people requesting prescriptions in the most recent year counted (2015).  But the number is increasing by the year. 

Dr. Charles Blanke of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is the lead author of the report. 

He joins us to explain findings and implications.