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20 Years Oregon Death with Dignity Act

Eli Stutsman, the lead author on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act and one of the National Center’s founding board members, published an informative piece in the current issue of American Bar Association’s GPSolo. His article titled “Twenty Years of Living with the Oregon Death with Dignity Act” looks back at the challenges Oregon’s ground breaking law faced, the progress made after the law held up to those challenges, and the current climate for the law throughout the US.The results after 20 years of constructing, promoting, and defending the Death with Dignity Act allow us to look forward to a changing landscape around laws allowing assisted death. Washington and Vermont have already adopted laws emulating our model legislation, and other states are poised to follow.

Eli’s article concludes:All in all, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act has survived the scrutiny of two state wide campaigns, two acts of Congress, and two rounds—seven years—of federal court litigation, with many smaller skirmishes along the way. What was once a novel idea has become model legislation, codified in other states. Twenty years after we founded our political committee, we are in the midst of another Oregon summer, and the Oregon Death with Dignity Act is working as expected, with nothing new to report.

(thanks to Melissa Barber, Dying with Dignity National Center)