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Oregon releases assisted dying data from 2010 – cases of assisted dying remain low

The 2010 report on the use of the Dying with Dignity Act in Oregon, permitting assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults, has been released today and shows that cases of people choosing an assisted death remain low.

The report shows that there have been no significant changes in the numbers of assisted deaths, or the reasons patients stated for choosing an assisted death since 2009. 65 people in Oregon were assisted to die in 2010, and this accounts for 0.2% of total deaths in Oregon. The report also shows that an overwhelming majority of those assisted under the Death with Dignity Act died at home and were enrolled in palliative care services.

While the report from Oregon shows that the floodgates have not opened, a slippery slope has not occurred and people are not being coerced into assisted deaths by greedy relatives, the Oregon model can be improved upon.

Davina Hehir, Head of Policy and Legal Strategy said:

“There is much we can learn from countries where assisted dying is legal to ensure any UK assisted dying legislation is fully safeguarded and appropriate for our society.”


Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

  • Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.
  • Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
  • The British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that 92% of non-religious and 71% of religious people support assisted dying. This relates to overall support of 82%.

About the report:
The report can be found at:

Media Contacts:
For all Dignity in Dying media enquiries, please contact Jo Cartwright on 020 7479 7737 / 07725433025 or at