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2012 assisted dying figures from Oregon.

Data was collected from January 2011 until the end of February 2012. During this period there were 71 cases of assisted dying. This remains lows as a portion of total deaths at 0.24% of all deaths in Oregon. The figure was 0.2% for 2010, showing a small rise of 0.04%.

Since the law was passed in 1997, 935 people have had a life-ending prescription written and 596 have died taking the medication. This demonstrates that approximately 40% of people who have access to the life-ending medication do not take it, but take comfort from knowing it is there.

As in previous years, over 90% were enrolled in hospice care and died at home. Similarly, the three most frequently mentioned end-of-life concerns were decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, loss of autonomy and loss of dignity.

So it’s business as usual in Oregon: there has been no ‘fourfold’ increase in deaths as is often wrongly claimed and there is no evidence to suggest a slippery slope or that non-terminally ill adults are having assisted deaths.