Press Room

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Death with Dignity National Center is a 501(c)3, non-partisan, non-profit organization that has led the legal defense and education of the Oregon Death with Dignity Law for more than 11 years. Death with Dignity National Center is affiliated with the Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund, a distinct and separate 501(c)4 entity responsible for the political defense of the Oregon law and the promotion of Death with Dignity initiatives in other states. Death with Dignity National Center's and Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund's boards of directors are comprised of some of the Death with Dignity movement's most esteemed medical, legal and scholarly experts.

Members of the press, please direct your inquiries to our executive director, Peg Sandeen or via phone at 503-228-4415.

Below you will find our most recent press releases.

Oregon Death With Dignity Act: Four Challenges that Ensured the Law’s Success

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Trial Lawyer magazine, the quarterly journal of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

Just over twenty years ago, on November 8, 1994, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize "physician assisted suicide." On that day, by a margin of 51 to 49 percent, voters passed the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, a ballot initiative now codified at ORS 127.800-127.897.

The Death with Dignity Act permits state licensed, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered physicians and pharmacies, to prescribe and dispense Schedule II and lower controlled substances to competent, terminally ill, adult patients seeking to hasten an impending death in narrowly defined circumstances (see, e.g., ORS 127.815 - Responsibilities of the attending physician).

Read more: Oregon Death With Dignity Act: Four Challenges that Ensured the Law’s Success

Partnering with People of Nevada on Proposed Patient Self-Determination Act

We are proud to support Nevada Senators David Parks (D-Las Vegas) and Ben Kieckhefer (R-Carson City, Washoe) and the people of Nevada in proposing a Death with Dignity law to provide a peaceful and dignified death for those suffering from terminal illnesses. Senate Bill 336 - Nevada Patient Self-Determination Act, says that, in certain narrow circumstances, mentally competent terminally ill adults who are within the final six months of their lives will be allowed to peacefully end their lives. The Act provides strict safeguards, protects against coercion, and allows eligible terminally ill patients to spend their final days and moments at peace, surrounded by their family members and loved ones.

Read more: Partnering with People of Nevada on Proposed Patient Self-Determination Act

In Support of Maryland Death with Dignity Act

The Health and Government Operations and Judiciary Committees of the Maryland House of Delegates held a joint hearing today about HB1021 - Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Death with Dignity Act. Our executive director, Peg Sandeen, attended the hearing and for an hour and a half testified in support of the proposed bill and answered questions from the committee (the witness panel also included the current Delegate Shane Pendergrass, the primary sponsor of the bill, Stephen H. Sachs, a former Maryland Attorney General, and McShane Glover, a close friend of Dick Israel, who is one of the two people named in the title of the bill). This is the full text of the testimony.

Testimony in Support of Maryland's Proposed Death with Dignity Bill

I am the executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center, an organization dedicated to improving and expanding the medical options available to terminally ill patients. In addition, I am a social worker, an instructor at the Portland State University School of Social Work, and the surviving widow of a terminally ill individual who wanted desperately to control the timing and manner of his death. As an advocate and a family member profoundly impacted by an avoidable and horrible dying experience, I strongly commend the sponsors of this legislation for your leadership in bringing this important issue forward.

Read more: In Support of Maryland Death with Dignity Act

Oregon Health Authority Releases 2014 Death with Dignity Report

Oregon Health Authority, the state agency that oversees the implementation of and compliance with the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, has just released the 2014 Annual Report.

A total of 155 terminally-ill adult Oregonians received a prescription for medications under the provisions of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act in 2014, while 105 of them (67.7%) ingested the medications to die peacefully. This corresponds to 31 Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) deaths per 10,000 total deaths, or 0.3%.

Other highlights from the 2014 Annual Report:

Read more: Oregon Health Authority Releases 2014 Death with Dignity Report

Exclusive: A summary of the announcement of End of Life Option Act in California

As we recently wrote, our representatives attended the announcement on January 21, 2015, of the End of Life Option Act in the California State Capitol. A recording of the 45-minute long press conference is available online. Today we bring you an exclusive summary, including our introduction. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and share your thoughts in the comments.

The Announcement of California End of Life Option Act from Death with Dignity National Ctr on Vimeo.

Read more: Exclusive: A summary of the announcement of End of Life Option Act in California

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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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