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Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act has been in effect for nearly two decades, without a single instance of coercion or abuse, and continues to be the model for medical aid-in-dying bills today.

If you’re a terminally ill Oregonian who would like to access the law, use our new Find Care tool to locate a health care team that will honor your end-of-life values.


Oregon Right to Die, a political action committee founded in 1993, wrote and subsequently passed the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee coauthored Oregon’s pioneering law. She, with Dr. Peter Goodwin and Elvin Sinnard, were the “chief petitioners” of the Act. Barbara was the chief spokesperson through two statewide campaigns, in 1994 and 1997.

Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act was affirmed by ballot initiative in 1994 by 51% of voters. Oregon legislators, believing voters had erred, put a repeal before them in 1997, which voters rejected by almost 60%.

Compassion in Dying was formed in 1993. It became Compassion & Choices in 2006.

The first legal prescription for medical aid in dying was written in December 1997 by Dr. Peter Reagan, former C&C medical director.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft directed agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency that Oregon physicians prescribing within the Oregon law would violate federal law. Compassion & Choices joined the state of Oregon and sued Ashcroft and his successor Alberto Gonzales. The Supreme Court’s decision in Oregon v. Gonzales again affirmed the Oregon law in 2006.


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/ April 14, 2016

Canadian Government Follows Oregon Model for Aid-in-Dying Law

Today the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled legislation that would authorize the medical practice of aid in dying across all of Canada’s provinces and territories. The bill is similar to Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which took effect in 1997. A Canadian Supreme Court ruling last year required Parliament to implement an aid-in-dying […]

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/ February 22, 2016

La Asociación de Abogados Hispanos de Oregon honrará al Director Nacional de Defensa Legal de Compassion & Choices

(Portland, Ore. – 19 de Febrero) Kevin Díaz, Director Nacional de Defensa Legal de Compassion & Choices, será honrado esta noche por la Asociación de Abogados Hispanos de Oregon con el premio al profesionalismo Paul J. De Muniz. El premio lleva el nombre del juez De Muniz, después de que éste se convirtiera en el primer juez hispano […]

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