MEASURE NO. 51

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Oregon's Legislature was Wrong to Send Measure 16 Back to the Ballot.
Oregon Voters Have Already Spoken

Oregon's Legislature is Trying to Thwart the Will of Voters... Again

627,980 Oregon voters approved the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (1994's Measure 16).
52 legislators overturned the will of voters and are forcing us to vote on the very same law again.

When Oregon's legislature sent the Death With Dignity law back to the ballot,
they told us that we just didn't know what we were doing when we passed Measure 16.

The Legislature says it doesn't trust that voters made the right choice.
They said vote on the same law again.

It's an insult to voters that this election is even being held.
Worse yet, it's costing taxpayers nearly $1 million to hold this election.

We urge you to read the Legislative Argument in Support of Measure 51,
the Legislature's chance to tell you why you're voting on the very same law again.
Ask yourself if there are any new issues listed there,
or if these are just the same old political arguments we heard in 1994.

So why are we voting again?
Because our political opponents, with their powerful lobbyists and their minions in the Legislature, just didn't like the result the first time around.

Now its up to voters.
A NO vote on Measure 51 is our chance to tell Legislators to keep their hands off
of our initiative process... and ensure that dying Oregonians have the right to control their own end of life decisions.

To the Legislature, it's just politics as usual.
To terminally ill Oregonians, it's a choice between dying on their own terms... or on someone else's.

Don't let the Legislature take your vote away.
Get government out of this most personal decision of a dying person.

Please Vote No on Measure 51.

Barbara Coombs Lee, Elven Sinnard, Dr. Peter Goodwin
Chief Petitioners of Measure 16

(This information furnished by Barbara Coombs Lee and Elven "Al" Sinnard, Oregon Right to Die; and Peter Goodwin, M.D., Physicians for Death with Dignity.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

We are Oregonians who suffer with terminal diseases.
Let us keep the freedom of choice in this last great decision of our lives.

We know we may soon face the pain, suffering and disability of the final stages of our illnesses.

We urge you to vote NO on Measure 51.

When life has deteriorated to the point of a miserable, agonizing existence, we would like the choice to hasten the inevitable end, and to do so with the advice and help of a willing physician.

The Oregon Death With Dignity Law gives us that choice. The existence of the law gives us peace of mind and contentment now. We can focus on living, knowing that we have options at the end of our lives.

This law provides choices for all Oregonians

The law does not require that anyone consider physician aid-in-dying. The law leaves this decision up to the patient, and the patient only. The law requires that the patient make the request, both orally and in writing. It requires a waiting period of at least 15 days. It requires a second doctor to concur that the patient is in the last phase (six months or less) of the terminal illness. It requires treatment in case of mental depression. The law clearly states that medical care providers do not have to participate.

Keep the Right to Choice
VOTE NO ON MEASURE 51

Keep the choice the current law provides to dying Oregonians.

Honor us and other dying Oregonians by allowing all of us to make this last great choice for ourselves.

Vote No on Measure 51.

Barbara Oskamp Penny Schlueter Tim Shuck

(This information furnished by Barbara Oskamp.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Governor John Kitzhaber Says He'll Vote No on Measure 51.

"As a physician, I can tell you there is a clear difference
between prolonging someone's life and prolonging their death.
One of the down sides of modern medicine is that often it prolongs people's deaths,
which I am not sure is humane and I'm not sure is ethical."

"I believe an individual should have control,
should be able to make choices about the end of their life."

"I don't think this issue is going to go away. We've got to get it out in the open... and come to terms with those implementation questions."

"They [the legislature] didn't have the courage to repeal the measure. They didn't have the will to make it work. They just sent it back to voters."

"We're talking about giving an individual access to a means to not prolong their death."

(This information furnished by Margaret Tafoya Surguine, Oregon Right To Die.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

OMA MEMBERS URGE A NO VOTE ON MEASURE 51.

We are physicians and members of the Oregon Medical Association. We are opposed to the OMA's recent position on Measure 51, the effort to repeal Oregon's Death With Dignity law that was passed by voters in 1994.

The OMA wisely voted to remain neutral in 1994, allowing physicians to be guided by their personal convictions. As the OMA president said then, "Let the people of Oregon tell us what they want."

Unfortunately, a group of doctors, whose single goal is to advocate for the repeal of 1994's Measure 16, took over the House of Delegates in 1997, forcing through a resolution opposing Measure 16. Most Oregon doctors do not support this position.

In the past, organized medicine has frequently lagged behind the needs and desires of patients. The American Medical Association opposed such common medical practices as smallpox vaccinations, Advance Directives, blood banks and even group health insurance. The opposition of the OMA to Oregon's Death With Dignity law is just another example.

The OMA House of Delegates does not speak for the majority of Oregon physicians who support a law with well-defined safeguards giving patients' autonomy at the end of their lives.

Our patients have the right to hasten death under the limited circumstances outlined in Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.

We believe Oregon's Death With Dignity Act (1994's Measure 16), is a carefully crafted law.
We urge you to vote No on Measure 51 to keep Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.

Under Oregon's Death With Dignity law any physician or health care provider may refuse to participate. The numerous safeguards ensure that patients are fully informed and acting completely voluntarily.

Vote No on Measure 51.
Keep Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.
It's a good law.

Dr. Peter Rasmussen Dr. Glenn Gordon, former OMA President Dr. Joan Tanner
Dr. Calvin Collins Dr. Bruce Johnson Dr. Robert Hartog
Dr. R.W. Gerber Dr. Peter Reagan

(This information furnished by Dr. Joan Tanner, MD.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

EMERSON HOOGSTRAAT HELPED PASS
THE OREGON DEATH WITH DIGNITY ACT.
BUT HE WAS DENIED THAT DIGNIFIED DEATH.

To the voters of Oregon:

My husband Emerson was dying of prostate cancer. When the campaign to pass the Oregon Death With Dignity Law started in 1994, he decided to help. He volunteered at the campaign office almost every day, using his skills as a Portland State University finance professor.

Emerson was proud of Oregonians for passing Measure 16 in 1994.
He felt an enormous sense of relief that he would not have to die a slow and painful death.

But soon after the election, the law was challenged in court.
And Emerson's cancer began to spread to his bones.

In his final months, Emerson lived in agony,
unable to use the law he helped to pass to end his own suffering.

His bones became so brittle that they broke when he turned over.
He lived in constant pain, no matter how much morphine was prescribed.

My husband of 40 years died exactly the death he feared because opponents stopped the Death With Dignity Law in court. The courts have decided Measure 16 should become law, calling the Oregon Death With Dignity Act "carefully crafted."

Now a bunch of meddling, anti-choice legislators tell us our vote three years ago didn't count.
They are asking us to repeal the law we passed in 1994.

Especially since he died the death he feared the most, I know Emerson would tell Oregonians they were right to pass the Oregon Death With Dignity law in 1994. And they will be right to vote No on Measure 51 to keep Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.

Don't let even one more Oregonian die in agony, against their will.
Tell the Legislature to respect our vote.
Please Vote No on Measure 51.

Sincerely,
Dorothy Hoogstraat

(This information furnished by Dorothy B. Hoogstraat.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

A Message from the Chief Psychologist and
Director of Mental Health Education for the State of Oregon Under
Governor Tom McCall

To the voters of Oregon:

I write to you as an older man who is now retired from a career devoted to the care of people suffering from emotional difficulties. I am the former Chief Psychologist and Director of Mental Health Education under Governor Tom McCall.

One of the most tormenting issues my patients faced was the death of family members. The trauma of seeing parents suffer for days and months during terminal illness was one of the most heart-breaking situations my patients faced.

So often I heard terminally ill people pray for life to end as they watched their daily deterioration and the consequent loss of dignity. They wished for death to restore peace, lift them from pain they could barely tolerate, and leave them with some measure of self-esteem. My own dear father was such a case.

I don't want to impose my views on others who, for religious reasons, don't want to choose to die with help. But I resent that sectarian views be imposed upon citizens who have already spoken in favor of this issue. There should be a clear distinction between church dogma and state issues for the population at large.

I beg of you to vote No on Measure 51. I am certain that within the next generation aid-in-dying will be accepted everywhere. We'll look back and wonder why such a humanitarian and logical measure had such difficulty in getting approved by legislators.

My wife, Susan Adele Pasarow, M.S.W., who recently experienced the pain of helping a beloved aunt die, joins me in strongly endorsing individual freedom to die with compassionate understanding, allowing the process of dying to become the last experience of growth, both for the patient and the family involved.

Respectfully,
Andrew Berger, Ph.D.
Susan Adele Pasarow, MSW

(This information furnished by Andrew Berger.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Our loved ones wanted the choice to end their suffering.
Oregon voters gave them that right.
Now the Legislature wants to take it away.

We are family members of terminally ill Oregonians who chose to end their lives.

Because the law said we could not help... or even be present... our loved ones were forced to die alone.

Families and physicians should be allowed to help if the patient chooses.

We support the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (1994's Measure 16) because we believe physicians should have the right to be with their dying patients to the end. All too often, patients feel abandoned, unsure of what to do, unable to get the advice and counsel they need because the law says our doctors cannot talk to us about death with dignity.

We helped change the law in 1994.
Now opponents want to turn the clock back.

Groups like Oregon Right to Life and the religious extremists who oppose death with dignity don't have the right to impose their views on us. The Death With Dignity Act lets any health care provider refuse to participate. It ensures that the patients administer the medication themselves. And it allows us to be present when our loved ones die. The dying patient has that right... and so do we.

Measure 51 is about politics.
Not about helping dying patients.

When the Legislature takes away our vote... when dying patients are forced to suffer against their will... you can be sure the reason is politics as usual, not compassionate care for the dying.

Join us in voting No on Measure 51.
Keep Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

Respectfully submitted,

Dave Bartels Dorothy Hoogstraat Peggy Graden
Damon Millican Patty Rosen Herb Crane

(This information furnished by David K. Bartels.)


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The printing of this argument does not constitute and endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Nurses, Social Workers and Health Care Professionals Oppose Measure 51.

We are the health care professionals who work closely with dying patients and their families. We watch the agony families face when loved ones end their lives by violent means. We watch the pain and suffering of terminally ill patients as they linger near death.

The Death With Dignity Act Improves the Quality of Life of Dying Patients

Since voters passed the Oregon Death With Dignity Act three years ago, we have seen more hope than ever in our terminally ill patients. Many argue that just knowing this law exists greatly improves their peace of mind and quality of life; the fear is gone and they can concentrate on living their last days to the fullest.

Let Dying with Dignity be their Choice

If dying patients voluntarily seek this option...
If health care professionals are willing to aid the dying patient...
If families support the right of their loved ones to hasten death and end suffering...

Then we, as a society, should be willing to offer the legal means, and with appropriate safe-
guards to protect the patient.

Please help the terminally ill patients we care for, and their families who support this choice.

Vote No on Measure 51.
Keep the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

Carolyn Tomei Myriam Coppens Charla Richards-Krietzberg Ruth Matarazzo
Sterling Scott Gloria Bacon Harriet Kube

(This information furnished by Carolyn Tomei.)


(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255)

The printing of this argument does not constitute and endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Editorial Boards across the state agree on one issue by a 23-2 margin:

THE LEGISLATURE WAS WRONG TO SEND
OREGON'S DEATH WITH DIGNITY LAW
BACK TO THE BALLOT FOR A SECOND VOTE.

"LEGISLATURE REJECTS WILL OF OREGON VOTERS."
Roseburg News Review, June 11, 1997

"We hope Oregonians send the Legislature a clear message...: Leave Measure 16 alone and stop undermining measures already decided by the public.... Contrary to what opponents claim, no significant new issues have been raised. It's insulting for opponents and some legislators to suggest Oregonians did not know what they were doing."
Salem Statesman Journal, May 12, 1997

"DO VOTERS COUNT?"
La Grande Observer, June 3, 1997

"What's really going on here is not a sober assessment of new facts, but a power play by the losers of the 1994 campaign, who clearly have more influence with the Legislature than with the electorate."
Eugene Register-Guard, May 12, 1997

"DYING PATIENTS NEED TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE."
Medford Mail Tribune, July 9, 1997

"Lawmakers need to remember what the voters' will is on this issue.... They voted to respect the needs of terminally ill patients for compassion and personal dignity, to allow these people a peaceful, legal exit, rather than one of interminable suffering or violent traumatic end."
The Dalles Chronicle, Feb. 18, 1997

Join these newspapers in opposing the repeal of Oregon's Death With Dignity law.

(This information furnished by Geoff H. Sugerman, Oregon Right To Die.)


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The printing of this argument does not constitute and endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Physicians Urge a No Vote on Measure 51.

As physicians, we support Oregon's Death With Dignity law passed by voters in 1994 (Measure 16). It is a good law.

We believe our patients have the right to make their own end of life decisions. Our role is to make sure that they are cared for completely and compassionately, and that they understand all available options at the end of life.

Most Oregon physicians support Death With Dignity.

Surveys of Oregon doctors show over 60% support the legal right of the terminally ill to hasten their own death in carefully defined circumstances. Physicians will follow Measure 16's well-defined process to make sure the patient is informed of all options, is acting completely voluntarily and has the mental capability to make his or her own health care choices.

Opponents are misleading the public when they say oral medication fails.

A review of the medical literature confirms the proper use of oral medications is 100% effective. We have the knowledge and the medication necessary to ensure a peaceful and humane death for our patients.

Keep the politics out of medicine.

It is cruel to play politics with the comfort and care of our patients. Can we as doctors -- or as Oregonians -- deny dying patients the voluntary, informed choice to hasten their own death? The answer to us is clearly, "NO."

Vote No on Measure 51
Keep Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.

Physicians for Death With Dignity

Dr. Peter Rasmussen Dr. Glenn Gordon Dr. Peter Goodwin
Dr. Joan Tanner Dr. Calvin Collins Dr. Bruce Johnson
Dr. Robert Hartog Dr. R.W. Gerber Dr. Peter Reagan
Dr. John McAnulty

(This information furnished by Peter Goodwin, M.D., Physicians for Death with Dignity.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Safeguards in the Oregon Death With Dignity Act

There are numerous safeguards in the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, all designed to ensure that the terminally ill patient is making a voluntary, informed choice to hasten death through the self-administration of medication.

Here is a list of safeguards.

Vote No on Measure 51.
Keep the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.
It's a good law.
It's a safe law.

Charla Richards-Kreitzberg
Richard Bayer, MD
Rebecca Elizabeth Bottero
Lela B. Radovich
Hank Robb

(This information furnished by Charla Richards-Kreitzberg, R.N. BSN.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Now the opposition to Oregon's Death With Dignity law is crystal clear.

It's the OCA, back again to spread its divisive message of hate throughout Oregon.

The OCA Family Values PAC has registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to oppose Oregon's Death With Dignity law.

The OCA is joined by the Christian Coalition PAC and Oregon Right to Life as organizations working for the repeal of the law you passed in 1994.

We all knew the political arm of the Oregon Catholic Conference wanted to impose its religious beliefs on the rest of us.

Now you know -- with the OCA at their side -- that the threat of forcing their narrow views on the rest of us is much more dangerous.

While the majority of Catholics support a terminally ill patient's right to hasten death, the political arm of the Catholic Church has spent literally millions of dollars to try to convince voters they were wrong.

Now the Catholic Church is linked up with the OCA and the Christian Coalition, pledging to spend over $5 million to repeal Oregon's Death With Dignity Law.

Is it right for these groups to force their religious views on the rest of us?

Don't give them a victory at the ballot box.

The executive director of Oregon Right to Life, the state's biggest organization opposing personal liberty on death with dignity and other issues, had this to say on the day the Oregon Senate sent Measure 16 back to the ballot:

"That was the biggest victory the pro-life community has had in at least 20 years in the Oregon Legislature."

Vote No on Measure 51.
It's Your Choice... Not Theirs.

(This information furnished by Kelli K. Watanabe, Oregon Right To Die.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

A Majority of Oregon Psychiatrists
Favor Implementation of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act

FACT: 74% of Oregon psychiatrists say if they themselves had a terminal disease, there might be conditions under which they would consider asking for a physician's assistance to end life.

FACT: 56% of Oregon psychiatrists favor implementation of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, as passed by voters in 1994.

FACT: 69% of Oregon psychiatrists believe that under some circumstances, a physician should be permitted to write a prescription for medication whose sole purpose is to allow a terminally ill person to end his or her life.

FACT: The Oregon Psychiatric Association has published guidelines for psychiatric evaluation of terminally ill patients requesting to hasten their own death if the Oregon Death With Dignity Act becomes law.

The above study of Oregon psychiatrists, conducted after passage of the Oregon Death With Dignity Law in 1994, clearly shows strong support for a patient's right to hasten death. The study included 77% of Oregon psychiatrists.

Respectfully submitted by:

Dr. David Smith Dr. David Pollack Dr. Peter Natsios

(This information furnished by David Smith, MD.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Lies From Your Legislators

The politicians against choice at the end of life want voters to repeal the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (1994's Measure 16).

These politicians talk about "new evidence." They claim that oral medications fail.

This is simply not true. There is no new evidence that oral medications fail.

When we appeared at a hearing before the Secretary of State, we asked the supporters of Measure 51 to show us the "studies" they said prove oral medications fail.

They couldn't show us the studies. Because there aren't any.

Legislators like Ron Sunseri and Eileen Qutub are forcing taxpayers to waste money on an election--and their whole reason is based on falsehoods.

Supporters of Measure 51 point to two experts whose research, they say, supports their claims.

One of those experts wrote a letter addressed to the people of Oregon saying that the claim of failure has no foundation whatsoever, is misleading and completely wrong. He said there are no scientific data nor hearsay to support it.

The other expert wrote to us and said that after using an oral prescription, EVERY patient will die. No exceptions, no failures. After taking the medication, the patient is in a deep coma without awareness and so without any suffering.

These two experts will not allow themselves to be used and manipulated by those opposed to death with dignity. Neither should you.

Don't be fooled by the politicians' propaganda.

Take a stand for integrity and truth in government.

Vote NO on Measure 51.

John Duncan
Hannah Davidson
Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense and Education Center

For more information about this research, contact Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense & Education Center, 625 SW 10th Avenue, Suite 284C, Portland, OR 97205.

(This information furnished by John Duncan, Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense & Education Center.)


(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255)

The printing of this argument does not constitute and endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

"No One Trusts the Dying to Know What They Want."

"Dying patients suffering intractably should have the option of taking an overdose, just as they have now the option of turning off life supports. Probably in most cases, they never would take the pills, but they would have the peace of mind of knowing they had a choice...

"Compassionate doctors have always helped dying patients to end their lives. They do so not only by turning off life supports, but by giving large doses or morphine or by prescribing more sleeping pills than necessary. The problem is that the practice is secret...

"I wish the Supreme Court had recognized a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide for patients. It is the most personal and private matter, and it should be decided that way, not as a political matter in state legislatures. But sooner or later, one way or another, the practice will become legal, because dying patients need that choice, and their doctors need to be able to help them.

"For the state to require dying patients to endure unrelievable suffering is callous and unseemly.

"Death is hard enough without being bullied."

Reprinted as:
"Dying Patients Need to Have the Right to Choose"
Medford Mail Tribune
July 7, 1997

(This information furnished by Loretta Johnston, Oregon Right To Die.)


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ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

VOTE.... PLEASE VOTE.

No matter how you stand on the Oregon Death With Dignity Law, please vote on Measure 51.

A low turnout will be interpreted to mean that Oregonians are undecided, uncertain, or confused about this topic, and that will guarantee this issue will be on the ballot again and again. In deciding how to vote, trust your own brain and your own judgment. Read the actual death with dignity law. Call 503-228-4415 for a copy, check oregondwd.org on the Internet, or read Oregon Revised Statutes (128.800) at your local library. See for yourself exactly what is says.

Keep in mind that this law was initially passed by voters as a statute, not a constitutional amendment, and can be amended by the legislature any time it meets. Instead of sending an amended version of the law back to you, as they did with Measure 50, they sent back the very same law you approved in 1994. They said voters did not know what they were doing when they passed this law.

If you believe that competent adult Oregonians who are near death should have a choice about how they deal with dying, then keep the law and vote NO.

If you are not opposed to Death With Dignity, but have reservations about this law, VOTE NO. Then call your senator and representative. Tell them to respect the voters' choice and amend the law.

If you are personally opposed to Death With Dignity, please read the law again and note that only the patient may request help. It is against this law for medical personnel or anyone else to suggest this before a patient makes a request.

While you might not want this option for yourself, should you impose your personal wishes on others who have different values and beliefs?

MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND. THEN VOTE.

Penny Schlueter
Terminal Ovarian Cancer Patient

(This information furnished by Penny Schlueter.)


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Measure 51

Explanatory Statement

Legislative Argument

Arguments in Favor

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