Since 1998, Compassion & Choices of Oregon has guided more than 2,500 terminally ill Oregonians through their end of life options. Over 650 chose to use Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act by taking the legal lethal medication. An surviving family members and friends routinely express appreciation to Compassion for guiding their loved ones through the process and for making certain their loved ones had the opportunity to die according to their wishes.
Compassion & Choices of Oregon has gathered useful and informative information on those who seek to use Oregon’s law that is not included in the Oregon Department of Human Services’ annual report. Such facts as:
1. 39% of persons who use the law self-identify as Republican, 44% as Democrat. The remainder have no political preference or identify as being Independent.
2. 86% of persons who use the law believe in a higher being or spiritual being. Of the total who gave a religious preference, 14% identified with a Protestant Church, 6% to the Catholic Church, 2.3% to a Jewish Synagogue, 2.4% to a Unitarian Church and 1% to a Buddhist Temple.
3. The ages of of persons who use the law have ranged from 20 to 109 with 70 being the average.
4. The average length of time from a client’s first contact with Compassion to his or her death (from any cause) is 196 days.
5. We believe the most significant statistic that reflects the effectiveness of our law is the prevention of violent suicides. Oregon’s law has prevented at least 164 terminally ill Oregonians from committing a violent suicide.