In 2019, 112 Oregon physicians wrote 290 prescriptions to dying Oregonians who qualified for the Act; 188 people died using the medications obtained under the law.
Similar to previous years, most patients
- were 65 years or over (75 percent), with the median age of 74;
- had cancer (68 percent);
- were on hospice at the time of death (90 percent);
- died at home (90 percent);
- had some form of health insurance (99 percent).
Consistent with past reports, the most frequently reported end-of-life concerns were loss of autonomy (87%), decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (90%), and loss of dignity (72%).
During 2019, the estimated rate of deaths under the law was 51.9 per 10,000 total deaths in the state.
Since the first Oregonian took medication under the law in 1998, a total of 2,518 people have received prescriptions under the Act, of whom 1,657, or 66 percent, have died from ingesting the medications.
These figures continue to underscore not only that only a small number of people use the law but also that more than one third of those who received the medication took it, finding great comfort in merely knowing it was available to them.
Read the full text and history of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act here.