Disability Community Positive Precedent

Nearly ten years after the first law authorizing medical aid in dying went into effect in Oregon: “Rates of assisted dying … showed no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured … people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill … people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations.” 

~Margaret P Battin, Agnes van der Heide, Linda Ganzini, Gerrit van der Wal, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen. Legal physician-assisted dying in Oregon and the Netherlands: evidence concerning the impact on patients in “vulnerable” groups. Journal of Medical Ethics, Volume 33, Issue 10, 2007, available at http://jme.bmj.com/content/33/10/591

“In the years since passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act (the Act), [Disability Rights Oregon] 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.”

~ Letter from Robert Joondeph, Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon (2019)

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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.