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Oregon's 2012 Death with Dignity Report

Written into Death with Dignity laws is the requirement the state's Health Department must issue annual reports of information collected during the medication request process.

Oregon's Public Health Division recently issued their 15th annual report, and consistent with all previous years, the data continue to show the law works the way it's intended: rarely used, but providing comfort to countless individuals who know they have options at the end of their lives.

Some quick facts about the usage of Oregon's law in 2012:

  • 77 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.
  • Of the end-of-life concerns expressed, the least common was "financial implications of treatment."

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

Read more: Oregon's 2012 Death with Dignity Report

This Week in the Movement

Adam Kingsmith on Death with Dignity

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date with information about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook and Twitter. Since I took a little vacation at the beginning of the year, I have a few weeks to catch up on. Below are highlights.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Quebec Is Keeping the Assisted Death Debate Alive--With Dignity

Adam Kingsmith on Death with Dignity

Adam Kingsmith has an M.A. in International Relations and is an Associate Editor of The Hidden Transcript, where his blog Social Glasnost explores the linkages between technology, culture, and dissent—with the occasional ill-advised foray into Canadian politics. He currently splits time between his hometown of Vancouver and Toronto. His article below originally appeared on The Huffington Post Canada.

Following the recommendations of a provincial panel of legal experts on medically assisted end-of-life procedures, the government of Quebec has announced plans to proceed with its "dying with dignity" legislation—paving the way for doctors in the province to assist terminally ill patients in ending their lives.

"Every person should be able to make their own choice according to their values and according to their experience, their life, at the end of their life," said Jean-Paul Ménard, who led the legal panel.

Read more: Quebec Is Keeping the Assisted Death Debate Alive--With Dignity

Going the Extra Mile

Matt and Pete Dimmer care of The Extra Mile

Matt Dimmer is the founder and CEO of The Extra Mile, a nonprofit which collects donations of funding and air miles and gives them to people who wouldn't have otherwise had the means to visit loved ones before they die.

Pete Dimmer was an amazing man, he was also my father. From coaching my sports teams to giving me advice on life, he was always there for me.

He was a handy guy and loved to tinker. He couldn't sit still and always wanted to fix stuff. When he ran out of things to do on his list, he'd naturally offer to help others. From tasks around the house to asking everyone at 'the beach' what they needed help with. He was known as the go-to guy.

From a young age, I remember my parents steering me in the right direction in life. They were well educated and imbued upon my sister and I the importance of getting an education, as well as doing the right thing. Growing up, it was very important to my mom and dad that we knew right from wrong, as it was to most parents—but mine always went a bit further. Leading by example, they taught us about giving back to those in need, and while at the time it seemed just part of life, it wasn't until I was an adult when it really had an impact on me.

Read more: Going the Extra Mile

Death with Dignity in 2013

Crystal Ball by Justin Glass on Flickr

The pundits are out and about this time of year making various predictions about 2013, and the forecasting provides for fascinating reading. You'd think we'd have learned something after the Mayan apocalypse failed to occur. Right now, we're being told the price of gas will plummet in 2013; Nate Silver will become the model for all polling conducted for media outlets; Fidel Castro will die; Americans will pay more taxes and more for healthcare; and Lincoln will win best picture at the Oscars. We're gobbling up predictions faster than your uncle's attack on the pile of Christmas cookies.

So, here are my predictions for 2013:

Read more: Death with Dignity in 2013

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You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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