The following letter was written by the executive director of Disability Rights Oregon, Bob Joondeph, on February 14, 2019. A text and PDF version have been provided.
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Bob Joondeph. I am the Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon (DRO).
I have held this position since 1991. DRO is the Protection and Advocacy program for Oregon, providing legal based advocacy for individuals with mental and physical disabilities throughout the state.
I have been a licensed attorney in Oregon since 1976. Our staff includes ten other attorneys, paralegal/investigators, intake specialists, benefits planners and support staff. DRO is mandated under federal law to investigate complaints of abuse or neglect of individuals with disabilities including inappropriate actions taken to hasten the death of an individual.
In the years since passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act (the Act), DRO has received very few complaints from disabled Oregonians about the Act. All of the complaints we have received have focused on the concern that the Act might discriminate against persons with disabilities who would seek to make use of the Act but have disabilities that would prevent self-administration, thereby denying these persons the ability to use the Act. DRO has never to my knowledge received a complaint that a person with disabilities was coerced or being coerced to make use of the Act.