Last updated on: 7/24/2019 | Author:

July 24, 2019 – Oregon Removes Waiting Period for Patients with Fewer Than 15 Days to Live

“Legislation allowing certain terminally ill patients to have quicker access to life-ending medications under the state’s first-in-the-nation assisted suicide law has been signed into law, Gov. Kate Brown’s office announced Wednesday [July 24, 2019].

The law allows those with 15 days left to live to bypass a 15-day waiting period required under the Death with Dignity Act, something proponents say will reduce bureaucracy and bring relief to gravely ill people.

Some opponents argued that the move amounted to an unnecessary expansion of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law, saying the law removes critical safeguards meant to ensure people are confident in their decision to end their own life.

Those seeking life-ending medications had to make a verbal request for physician-assisted suicide, wait 15 days and then make a written request. They then had to wait an additional 48 hours before obtaining the prescription.

Under the new amendment, doctors can make exceptions to the waiting periods if the patient is likely to die before completing them.”