Posted on June 21, 2019 at 4:00 AM
The Oregon Death with Dignity Act was enacted in 1994. In addition to other safeguards, the law requires multiple requests for lethal medication and establishes waiting periods. A patient must complete a written request and make two oral requests for lethal medication. By law, 15 days must elapse between the two oral requests, and between the initial oral request and the writing of a prescription. Similarly, 48 hours must elapse between the patient’s written request and the writing of a prescription.
But this requirement will be relaxed as of January 1, 2020. The legislature just passed Senate Bill 579 which creates an exception to these waiting periods when the patient’s attending physician medically confirms that patient will, within reasonably medical judgment, die before expiration of the relevant waiting period.