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The Oregon Dept. of Human Services has issued its annual report on the state’s Death With Dignity Act which permits dying people to ask their doctor for a lethal overdose to hasten their end.

According to the 2005 report, 64 terminally ill patients received a prescription under the Oregon law, and a total of 38 individuals ingested medications to hasten their deaths. This represents approximately 1 out of 800 deaths in the state last year. Each patient had health insurance, 92 percent were enrolled in hospice care, and 95 percent were able to die at home. The full report is available at the Department of Human Services

For comment on the 2005 report, visit the Death With Dignity National Center

For broader information about end-of-life decisions, go to the ERGO bookstore.

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