The Death with Dignity Act empowers terminally ill, mentally capable Oregon residents with six months or less to live to choose to take a prescription in their final days that will end unbearable suffering and allow them to die peacefully.
But too many terminally ill patients are still unable to access medical aid in dying.
Terminally ill Oregonians do not have time to wait.
Tell Oregon's State Legislators: Oregonians need more equitable access to end-of-life care
Every person in Oregon deserves to be empowered to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs. Oregon's Death with Dignity Act has made that possible since 1997, but throughout the state, this option is not accessible for many Oregonians.
Right now, there are extreme disparities when it comes to who is able to access the law. According to the Oregon Health Authority's 2020 report on the Death with Dignity Act, from 1998-2020, 1,905 prescriptions were written for medical aid in dying in Oregon, but only three percent of those patients were in Eastern or Central Oregon. Additionally, 96% of those who requested medical aid in dying were white, proving that many historically excluded communities still do not have equitable access to this compassionate end-of-life option.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many disparities in our healthcare system, and ensuring there is equitable access to the Death with Dignity Act is one way that every person in Oregon can choose a peaceful end of life on their own terms.
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