Howard Wineberg, PhD
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Wineberg H. Oregon's Death with Dignity Act: Ten Months Later. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130:538. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-130-6-199903160-00013
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(6):538.
TO THE EDITOR:
In a press release issued on 18 August 1998, the Oregon Health Division provided data on the number of Oregonians who had received medication to end their lives since the law went into effect on 27 October 1998 (1). Although a longer time frame is needed before a definitive analysis of the impact of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act is possible, these preliminary data may offer some insight into how the law is working. One key finding is that only 10 people have obtained lethal prescriptions, of whom 8 used the prescriptions to end their lives; the other 2 people died of their illness and did not use the medication. This suggests that physician-assisted suicide was not done on a whim but rather after much deliberation. Some terminally ill persons may have died during the mandatory 15-day waiting period between their initial request and the date that they could receive medication to end their life.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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