About Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act

The Death with Dignity Act authorizes medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying is a safe and trusted medical practice in which a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live may request from his or her doctor a prescription for medication which they can choose to self-ingest to bring about a peaceful death. The law went into effect in 1997 and was updated in 2023.

How Do I Access a Prescription?

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for medical aid in dying under Oregon’s law, a person must be:

  • An adult
  • Terminally ill
  • Given a prognosis of six months or less to live
  • Mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions

A person must also be:

  • Acting voluntarily
  • Making an informed decision that includes being given information about all other end-of-life options
  • Informed that they may choose to obtain the aid-in-dying prescription but not take it
  • Capable of self-administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug

In addition to the requirements listed above, certain steps must be followed in order for a person to qualify for aid-in-dying medication. The average length of time between requesting and receiving a prescription is between 15 days to three months and requires at least two doctor visits. Therefore, it is important for individuals to talk to their doctors early to see whether the doctor is willing to write a prescription. We encourage everyone to begin this conversation now.

As a result of the settlement in Gideonse v. Brown, et al and the subsequently passed HB2279 which removes all residency restrictions in the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, non-residents may now obtain medical aid in dying in Oregon. However, due to the newness of this change, as well as a variety of other legal considerations, Compassion & Choices recommends proceeding with care:


Where Can I Learn More?

Oregon Introduction to Medical Aid in Dying

Request for Medication Form

A Patient’s Guide to Personal Advocacy

About Compassion & Choices

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding choice for the end of life.

For more information on the full range of end-of-life options visit the Compassion & Choices end-of-life planning page.

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