Removing Residency Requirement in Oregon Death with Dignity Act
House Bill 2279 is a radical expansion of physician assisted suicide. This bill removes the residency requirement--one of the few safeguards within the Death With Dignity Act--allowing Oregon physicians to prescribe the lethal drug cocktail to out-of-state residents as well as Oregonians with or without a relationship with the patient.
In October, 2021, pro-assisted suicide organization Compassion & Choices and Dr. Nicholas Gideonse filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland against former Gov. Kate Brown, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and a number of other officials, challenging the residency requirement in Oregon’s Death with Dignity law. The suit alleged that it was unconstitutional to require someone to be an Oregon resident in order to use the state’s Death with Dignity law. In March, 2022, the state agreed to a settlement to issue directives halting enforcement of the unconstitutional residency provision of the law and initiate a legislative request to permanently remove the residency language from the law, which resulted in the introduction of this bill.
What Does House Bill 2279 Do?
Repeals the residency requirement in Oregon’s so-called “Death with Dignity Act,” otherwise known as Physician Assisted Suicide.
Why oppose this Bill?
It will turn Oregon into an assisted-suicide tourism state.
It removes safeguards that supporters of assisted suicide promised would be in place in order to earn the support of Oregon voters.
Physicians in Oregon are not likely to have personal knowledge of an out-of-state patient and could miss some history, such as mental illness, depression, or details of the diagnosis of a terminal condition. Although protections for mentally ill patients are weak under current law, the law prevents assisted suicide from being prescribed to patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders or depression that impair judgment.