Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act: 2012 Annual Report.

The official report from the Oregon Public Health Division on the operation of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in Calendar Year 2012

Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), enacted in 1997, allows doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill and mentally capable patients who request them for purposes of suicide.

Here we provide the report for Calendar Year 2012.

The report reveals that the incidence of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in 2012 rose again since 2011 and was nearly five times the number recorded in the first year of the Act’s operation (1998). This death rate, if applied to England and Wales, would produce over 1,100 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 recorded as having issued ten prescriptions for lethal drugs during the year.

The Oregon Public Health Division is required by the DWDA to collect information on the operation of the Act and to issue annual reports.


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