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Oregon physician-assisted suicide
There were 59 people in 2009 who brought their lives to an end with physician-assisted dying under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, according to a report just issued by the state’s department of health. The previous year the figure was 60 hastened deaths.
During 2009, 95 prescriptions for lethal medications were written under the provisions of the law compared to 88 in the previous year.
Of these, 53 patients took the medications, 30 died of their underlying illness, and twelve were alive at the end of 2009. In addition, six patients with earlier prescriptions died from taking the medications, resulting in a total of 59 such deaths during last year.
This figure corresponds to an estimated 19.3 DWDA deaths per total 10,000 total deaths.
A total of 460 patients have died with ingesting the prescribed lethal medications since the law was passed in l997. Only residents of Oregon may use this law.

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