End of Life Planning

Before an illness occurs, it is important to talk to your doctor about your end of life wishes and the possibility of using the DWD, should that be your choice. Ask if he/she would honor your wishes as either the required prescribing consulting physician. Note that two doctors are required for the DWD process.

 

How do I talk with my physician about using DWD?

Many people feel anxious about talking to their physician about aid in dying, but it is important to discuss your wishes early with your doctor. Only you can legally make this request to your physicians. Here are suggestions for discussions with your physicians…

“I’d like to have the option to use Oregon’s DWD Act if my suffering becomes unbearable. Am I eligible?”

If yes:

“Will you be either the prescribing physician or the consulting physician required by Oregon law?”

“Will you document in my medical record that I asked to use the DWD Act and that I’m eligible?”

If a physician refuses participation:

“Will you document in my medical record that I asked to use the DWD Act and that I’m eligible?”

“Will you refer me to someone who will participate as either a prescribing or consulting physician?”

Language for someone who does not have a terminal illness:

“When I become eligible, I would like to have DWD as an end-of- life option.”

“At that time, would you agree to be either the prescribing or consulting physician?”

Checklist

Planning for the end of life allows individuals to spend their final days with friends and loved ones, focusing on the present. Informing family and friends of your wishes ahead of time relieves them of the possible burden of making decisions about your final arrangements. Consider whether the following common tasks are appropriate for your situation:

  • Advance Directive
  • POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
  • Last will and testament or living trust
  • Life insurance policies
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Memorial service, Celebration of life and/or funeral arrangements
  • Detailed instruction regarding finances (bank accts., passwords, pensions, investments, property, etc.)