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Doctor Who Helped Pass Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law Ends Own Life

A medical doctor who helped pass Oregon’s assisted suicide law used the state’s “Death with Dignity” Act to end his own life Sunday.

Peter Goodwin

Julie Sabatier / OPB

Dr. Peter Goodwin was one of the first physicians to voice support for the legislation in the early 1990s. Goodwin practiced as a family physician in Oregon and Washington. He was diagnosed with a rare brain disease. That prompted him to use the law he helped pass. Earlier this month, Goodwin spoke about that decision.

Chart courtesy Oregon Public Health. Click for larger image.

“I’m going to be saying ‘goodbye’ to a lot of people, a lot of people whom I love. And I just wish that I could say to them, when I cross the River Styx, I’m going to be feeling as loving towards you as you feel towards me. That would be a consolation,” he said.

More than 500 people have used the Oregon law to end their lives since it went into effect 15 years ago.

On the Web

Oregon Public Health: Death with Dignity information

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