FLORENCE, Ore. -- A Florence man is working with lawmakers in Salem to change Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, knowing if he gets his way, the result will be his own death.
Bruce Yelle lives with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, memory loss and circulatory issues. He said with every day that goes by, his suffering grows worse.
That's why he created a nonprofit group called End Choices and has been working with lawmakers on a number of House bills to amend Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.
"Human rights, you know right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said. "We believe it is a human right to make human choices right up to the end of our lives."
The current law allows legal, supervised ingestion of medication to slowly stop someone's heart from beating. However, you must have six months or less to live according to a doctor, which Yelle said excludes people.
"That leaves out too many people that have ALS, MS and Parkinsins that have been suffering for years that really don't want to keep going anymore," he said.
Yelle took his ideas to Salem last week to show his support for the bill. However, he said it hasn't been smooth sailing.
"When I do get a little bit of opposition, the question i ask -- 'cause i get 99 percent of people saying no -- is, 'Do you wanna live with dementia?' That's what it comes down to."
Yelle's nonprofit has received thousands of dollars and support from dozens, but he said it's unlikely lawmakers will listen and agree to amend the current law.
To read more about Yelle's nonprofit End Choices, click here.
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