Oregon is the first state to authorize medical aid in dying, and Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act has been in effect and practiced, without flaw, for nearly two decades.
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.
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 […]Read More
(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 […]Read More
(Portland, Ore. – Feb. 19, 2016) Kevin Díaz, National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices, will be honored tonight by the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association with the Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award. The award is named after Judge De Muniz, who is the first Hispanic Chief Justice in the history of the […]Read More