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Therapeutic Death: A Look at Oregon's Law Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide

Posted: 28 Aug 2000  

Kathy L. Cerminara

Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad College of Law

Alina M. Perez

Nova Southeastern University - Masters of Public Health Program

Abstract

Oregon voters approved the first American statute authorizing physician-assisted suicide in 1994. Since then, the state has released two annual reports, revealing that a total of 43 patients have died after ingesting lethal medications pursuant to the Oregon Death Dignity Act since its implementation. This article examines the positive and negative psychological effects of the Act on patients. In general, it appears that, based on psychological theory and the available data, laws such as Oregon's benefit patients psychologically. Undoubtedly, however, there exist important possible anti-therapeutic effects on patients. It is hoped that discussion of therapeutic and anti-therapeutic consequences of laws authorizing physician-assisted suicide will stimulate future research by social scientists in this area.

Suggested Citation

Cerminara, Kathy L. and Perez, Alina M., Therapeutic Death: A Look at Oregon's Law Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide. Psychology, Public Policy & Law, Vol. 6, p. 503, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235532

Kathy L. Cerminara (Contact Author)

Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad College of Law ( email )

3305 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
United States
954-262-6193 (Phone)
954-262-3835 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/faculty/profiles/index.cfm?ID=18

Alina M. Perez

Nova Southeastern University - Masters of Public Health Program ( email )

3200 South University Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328
United States

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