Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), enacted in 1997, allows doctors to supply lethal drugs to patients who are terminally‐ill and mentally capable and who request them for purposes of suicide.
The Oregon Public Health Division is required by the DWDA to collect information on the operation of the Act and to issue annual reports.
Here we provide the report for Calendar Year 2011.
The report reveals that the incidence of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in 2011 rose again since 2010 and was now four and half times the number in the first year of the Act's operation (1998). This death rate, if applied to England and Wales, would produce 1,090 such suicide deaths a year in the event that a similar law were to be enacted here. The phenomenon of 'doctor shopping' is also apparent, with one physician having issued one out of eight of all prescriptions for lethal drugs during the year.
Previous annual reports documenting the practice of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon can be accessed below: