Peter Goodwin, a family physician who wrote and campaigned for Oregon's right-to-die law in the 1990s, died Sunday after taking a cocktail of lethal drugs prescribed by his doctor, as allowed under the legislation he championed.
Dr. Goodwin, 83 years old, had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder similar to Parkinson's disease and had been given less than six months to live.
The Oregon law was the first in the nation to authorize patients to end their lives with the assistance of physicians. It doesn't allow for doctors to administer euthanasia by injection, though it authorizes them to prescribe lethal drugs that the patient can choose to take.
The law has withstood legal challenges including a case brought by the Bush administration. In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Oregon, saying that the federal government couldn't forbid doctors from prescribing drugs to help a patient die.
"He persuaded us of the wider picture, that we needed doctors," said Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, which advocated voluntary euthanasia. Mr. Humphry called the Oregon law his movement's greatest legislative success.
Full Article and Source:
Assisted-Suicide Advocate Takes Own Life