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It’s been 24 years since Oregon citizens passed the Death With Dignity Act and ten years since Washington state passed a similar law providing medical assisted dying under tight guidelines.
Altogether, seven US states now have an Oregon-type law. The latest, Hawaii, takes effect next
That’s a big step forward and important help to hundreds of terminally ill people seeking a
peaceful death. In the light of all this experience couldn’t we draft a better law?
It’s time to update and improve this law, chiefly to give adults with serious degenerative illness the chance to qualify for relief.
And to strengthen the Advance Directives (Living Wills as they were known).
Let’s be progressive, not stuck in the past. More people urgently need this type of help. The Oregon legislature will consider these changes next year.
Canada’s new law on this subject is much improved over the Oregon-style laws which were drafted in the early l990s. Much has changed in US medical practice, medical ethics and social awareness.
A re-think is necessary.

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