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Oregon removes assisted suicide wait for gravely ill people

Senators voted 35-22 Tuesday to make an exception for those with less than two weeks to live.

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 7:01 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Senate has sent the governor a measure amending the state's assisted suicide law by removing the waiting period for people who have less than 15 days to live.

Those seeking life-ending medications under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act currently must wait 15 days before obtaining a prescription.

But senators voted 35-22 Tuesday to make an exception for those with less than two weeks to live.

Opponents raised concerns that removing the waiting period takes away critical safeguards in current law.

They said terminally ill patients need the time to be sure of their decision.

Affected patients would still need to wait 48 hours before accessing lethal medications.

More than 1,450 assisted suicides have occurred in Oregon since the state implemented the law in 1997.

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