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 Death With Dignity, should that be your choice. Ask if he/she would honor your wishes as either the required prescribing or consulting physician. Note that two doctors are required for the DWDA 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 Death with Dignity (DWD) 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 DWD and that I’m eligible?”

If a physician refuses participation:

“Will you document in my medical record that I asked to use DWD 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?”


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 (Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Learn more at oregonpolst.org
  • 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.)

EOLCOR Death with Dignity Client Checklist

updated 1/22/20

EOLCOR is a non-profit donor supported (501)(c)(3)

We rely on your donations to provide quality end-of-life services and bedside support