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The Oregon Death with Dignity Act has been in effect for over 18 years. It has worked as intended and without flaws or any evidence of abuse or coercion.

The Oregon Health Authority monitors and enforces compliance with the Act and each spring produces an annual report. According to the 2016 report, the latest available, 133 terminally ill patients used the Oregon law to hasten their own deaths last year.

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Oregon voters approved the Death with Dignity Act at the ballot in 1994. In 1997, Oregonians reiterated their support when they defeated a ballot measure aiming to repeal the law. The Act went into into effect shortly thereafter, and implementation began in 1998. Over the 18 years since the law took effect, the State of Oregon reports over 1,500 terminally ill patients have received prescriptions for aid in dying medication, and just under 1,000 used that medication to hasten their deaths.

The Act has withstood multiple attempts to nullify it, both legislatively, in the Oregon legislature and the US Congress, and in federal courts. In 2006, US Supreme Court ruled that Oregon physicians can prescribe life-ending medication under the Act.

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Do you plan to use the Oregon Death with Dignity Act? Or have you experienced a loved one use it?

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