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Oregon's Assisted Suicide Vote: The Silver Lining

Melinda A. Lee, MD; and Susan W. Tolle, MD
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Oregon Health Sciences University Portland, OR 97207 Acknowledgments: The authors thank all those who support the Center for Ethics in Health Care for making this work possible, and they specifically thank The Meyer Memorial Trust and The Open Society: Project on Death in America. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent endorsement by our sponsors. Requests for Reprints: Melinda Lee, MD, Medical Service (111-A), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, PO Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207. Current Author Addresses: Dr. Lee: Medical Service (111-A), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, PO Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207. Dr. Tolle: Mail Code L-101, Center for Ethics in Health Care, Oregon Health Sciences Center, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1996;124(2):267-269. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-2-199601150-00014
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In November of 1994, voters in Oregon approved a physician-assisted suicide initiative. Its passage shocked many members of the health care community. The measure was barred by an injunction weeks after the election and was later found unconstitutional in federal district court. It is not known if or when it will ever become law, and yet passage of the measure has produced benefits that were not entirely expected. Since the election, the health care community has focused unprecedented attention on improving the care of dying patients.

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Oregon's assisted suicide vote: the silver lining. Ann Intern Med 1996;124(2):267-9.
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