Medically Assisted Suicide in Oregon Is No Longer Limited to State Residents
If a patient meets the legal criteria, doctors in Oregon can prescribe a lethal medication if a patient chooses.
By Madeline Fitzgerald
U.S. News & World Report
Following a court decision on Monday, Oregon is no longer allowed to require that terminally ill people ending their own lives with medication be residents of the state.
The state was sued by Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that aims to expand access to medically assisted dying, according to its website. The group sued on behalf of a Portland doctor Nicholas Gideonse, who is also an associate professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University.
Long a supporter of medically assisted suicide, Gideonse had been unable to write terminal prescriptions for patients who live just across the border in Washington state. “In no other way is my practice restricted to Oregon residents, whether that’s delivering babies in the past or other care that I provide,” he said Monday.
While medically assisted suicide is legal in Washington, religiously affiliated health care facilities in the southwestern part of the state often prohibit it. Forcing terminally ill patients to find other doctors willing to help them end their lives can cause additional suffering, Gideonse said.
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