Last updated on: 9/8/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Eli Stutsman, JD Biography

Title:
Board Member of Death with Dignity National Center
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“The Oregon Death with Dignity Act is supported by nearly seven out of ten Oregon voters and by key statewide officials… When faced with threats from Congress, the Oregon law has been rigorously defended by six out of seven members of the Oregon congressional delegation… Finally, in a 2002 survey that asked candidates their position on the Death with Dignity Act, twelve of the thirty state senators and twenty-five of the sixty state representatives serving in the 2003 Oregon legislature supported the law in writing.

Support for Oregon’s new law cuts across party, faith, and gender lines…popular and institutional support for death with dignity within Oregon is at an all-time high. Surveys fielded in other states, including Maine in 1998, Hawaii in 2002 and 2003, Vermont in 2003, and Arizona in 2003, all indicate, as in Oregon and the nation as a whole, a high level of popular support for death-with-dignity reform.

In sum, support for death with dignity is consistently strong within and outside of Oregon and still trending upward.”

“Political Strategy and Legal Change,” in Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice, 2004

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Lead author of Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, 1993
  • Political and Legal Strategist, 1993–1994 campaign to pass Oregon’s Death with Dignity law and again during the 1997 campaign to prevent its legislative repeal
  • Co-Founder, Oregon Right to Die
  • Founding President, Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense and Education Center
  • Founding President, Oregon Death With Dignity Political Action Fund
  • Defended the Death with Dignity law in the first federal court challenge, Lee v. State of Oregon
  • Represented a physician and pharmacist against the Attorney General in Gonzales v. Oregon
Education:
  • JD
Other:
  • None found