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Oregon's Death With Dignity Act (ORS 127.800–897): A Health Policy Analysis

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On October 27, 1997, Oregon's Death With Dignity Act became law, thus legalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS). This legislation, a morality policy, arose from patients' rights and right-to-die issues. Since the passing of this law, 246 Oregonians have committed PAS. Oregon's Death With Dignity policy development and policy modifications are analyzed using one specific policy development process model. The terms related to PAS are defined, the nurse's role is discussed, and the policy-making process is outlined. The role of advocates and opponents to this policy are considered throughout. This law has encountered many legal challenges since first passed by Oregon voters in 1994 and implemented in 1997. Some of these legal challenges and their current impact on the law and its related rules are considered and recommendations for nurses are proposed.
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Keywords: AID IN DYING; ASSISTED SUICIDE; DEATH WITH DIGNITY ACT; END OF LIFE; HEALTH POLICY ANALYSIS; RIGHT TO DIE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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