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Oregon’s 2013 report published

Each year, the Oregon Health Authority issues an annual report which sheds a light on the small group of people who pursue this option.

Some quick facts about the usage of Oregon’s law in 2013:

122

Received a prescription

 

 

Died after ingestion of prescription in 2013

63

 

Died after ingestion of prescriptions from 2011 & 2012

8

 

Died of other causes – did not use prescription

28

 

Died, but status unknown:  – no follow up yet on use or not

7

 

Status unknown

24

  • 71 (63 + 8) people hastened their deaths under the Oregon law.
  • This accounts for 0.2% of all deaths in Oregon.
  • The top three concerns people expressed to their doctors when requesting the medication were centered around wanting control over their final days.

The numbers also show people who request the medication under Oregon’s law receive high quality end-of-life care:

  • 87% of the people who died using Oregon’s law in 2013 were enrolled in hospice. (By way of comparison, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization estimates 45% of deaths in the US are under the care of hospice.)
  • Over 97% of the people who used the law died at home.

The numbers point out the bare facts around these small number of deaths, but they don’t tell the whole story. Simply having the option is what’s important. Many terminally ill Oregonians wouldn’t consider asking their doctors for the prescription. For Ben and his family, however, having this option was a gift and a blessing.

(thanks to DWD National Center)

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