End of Life Choices Oregon supports physicians and healthcare professionals with education and information regarding Oregon’s Death with Dignity (DWD) law. Our medical directors are available to answer physicians’ questions and provide advice.
Death With Dignity Clarified
The person must be at least 18 yrs old, an Oregon resident, have a prognosis of 6 months or less, understand the alternatives to physician aid in dying and have intact judgment.
Two Oregon-licensed physicians certify the person is eligible. The prescribing or “attending” physician writes the prescription, completes a state compliance form and submits copies of all forms to Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The consulting physician certifies that the person is eligible and completes a compliance form. The compliance forms and instructions to complete them are on our website.
Both physicians perform informed consent, explaining alternative end-of-life care options. The risk of vomiting and the extremely rare chance of awakening should also be discussed. If either physician is unsure about the person’s judgment, they must refer the patient to a psychologist or psychiatrist for consultation.
A patient makes two verbal requests, separated by at least 15 days, that a physician records in the medical record. The first request can be made to any physician, if the prescriber accepts it. The second or final request must be made to the prescriber. After the patient has been evaluated by both physicians, he or she must complete a Request For Medication form. The form requires two witnesses who declare the person is “…of sound mind and is not under duress, fraud or undue influence.”
Requirements for writing the prescription are delineated on our Instructions page.
Consuming the Medication:
DWD allows patients to choose who will be with them if they proceed. We suggest that patients include our volunteers to share their expertise.
Death With Dignity applies to Oregon. Protections for patients and their family and friends may not apply outside the state.
Use of the law will not affect life insurance benefits.
The state of Oregon requires completion of the following forms:
Attending Physician Compliance Form
Attending Physician Follow-up Form
Consulting Physician's Compliance Form
Psychiatrist / Psychologist Form
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