News Release 

Analysis of medical aid in dying in Oregon, Washington

JAMA Network Open

Bottom Line: An examination of a combined 28 years of data finds similarities in the characteristics and illnesses of patients requesting medical aid in dying in Oregon and Washington. The study included 3,368 prescriptions written for medical aid in dying, with 2,558 patients dying by lethal ingestion of medication, in the two states from 1998 to 2017 in Oregon and from 2009 to 2017 in Washington. Most of the patients were insured, non-Hispanic white individuals with some level of college education, 65 or older, and diagnosed with cancer. Loss of autonomy, impaired quality of life and loss of dignity were the most common reasons for pursuing medical aid in dying. Limitations of the study include physicians, not patients, providing the underlying reasons for requesting medical aid in dying as part of a follow-up questionnaire.

Authors: Charles D. Blanke, M.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8648)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Charles D. Blanke, M.D., email Amanda Gibbs at gibbam@ohsu.edu">gibbam@ohsu.edu. The full study and commentary are linked to this news release.

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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Wednesday and Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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