The Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications prescribed by a doctor expressly for that purpose.
A patient must be 18 years of age or older, a resident of Oregon, capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him/herself, and be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death, as determined by two doctors, within 6 months.
Salem Health believes that its acute care hospitals are not the appropriate setting for patients taking life-ending medications. The need for active engagement of the patient’s primary physician, and other operational challenges make the process unsuitable for Salem Health’s focus on providing quality care for those in need of acute care. Where appropriate, referrals to other community providers will be made, if requested by patients whose needs cannot be met within Salem Health.
No, doctors may choose to participate or not. Some employers may prohibit doctors from participating in this process. A doctor must be an M.D. or D.O. licensed in Oregon.
The patient self-administers the prescribed medication, it is not administered by the physician. A physician may be in attendance if the patient wishes it.
Yes, a patient can rescind a request to participate at any time and in any manner.
The patient must find another doctor (MD or DO) who is licensed to practice in Oregon and who is willing to participate.
A patient can both participate in the Act and be on hospice, however, the hospice organization may choose to not participate.
As with any medical procedure, insurers will determine what is covered by policy. However, federal funding cannot be used for services rendered under the Death with Dignity Act.