MEASURE NO. 51

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This measure repeals the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (Measure 16) passed by voters in 1994.

1994's Measure 16 allows a terminally ill patient the voluntary choice to obtain a physician's prescription for a lethal dose of medication to hasten the patient's death when the patient is judged to have less than six months to live. Measure 51, placed on the ballot by legislative referral, would repeal that law.

1994's Measure 16 allows a terminally ill patient who meets the conditions of the law to voluntarily request a prescription for a lethal dose of medication to end his or her life. The Act also allows a physician to legally prescribe the medication, and inform and advise the patient throughout the process, once the physician ensures the patient has met all of the conditions of the law. The physician and others may legally be present when the medication is self-administered by the patient. Lethal injection, mercy killing and active euthanasia are not permitted under 1994's Measure 16.

Under 1994's Measure 16, physicians and other health care providers may refuse to participate for any reason. If they choose to participate, a detailed process with listed safeguards must be followed before the patient can receive the prescription for medication. The procedure begins when the patient makes the request of his or her physician.

Under 1994's Measure 16, coercing or exerting undue influence on a patient to request medication, or altering or forging a request for medication, is punishable as a Class A felony. The State Health Division is required to review physician documentation and publish statistical reports that respect patient confidentiality.

If passed, Measure 51 would repeal Measure 16, the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

In order to repeal 1994's Measure 16, the voter must vote yes on this measure.

In order to keep 1994's Measure 16, the voter must vote no on this measure.

Committee Members: Appointed by:
Senator Ken Baker * President of the Senate
Representative Charles Starr * Speaker of the House
Barbara Coombs Lee Secretary of State
Eli D. Stutsman Secretary of State
Kathleen Beaufait Members of the Committee
* Member dissents (does not concur with explanatory statement)

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.215.)

Measure 51

Legislative Argument

Arguments in Favor

Arguments in Opposition

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