2B: Medical Aid in Dying in Oregon: Practical Considerations for Hospice Providers

Barbara Hansen, MA, RN 

Medical Aid in Dying has been legal in Oregon since 1997. This session will review the history of the law in Oregon and its impacts on hospice programs. The speaker, a former director of hospice program, will describe the many policy and practice decisions hospice providers in Oregon have encountered in the 22+ years since the “Death with Dignity” law passed. The session will include a discussion the need for programs to address issues such as policy development, how to define and whether to allow “participation” and whether to make referrals to outside participating providers. In addition, the need for program planning regarding staff training, staff and family bereavement support, scheduling and after-hours coverage will be discussed. The session will also review how policies and practices in Oregon have evolved over the past 22 years.

By the end of the session, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the requirements which must be met for patients to avail themselves of medical aid-in-dying (“Death with Dignity”) in Oregon
  • Describe what is not required and what is not allowed by the “Death with Dignity” law in Oregon
  • Describe the history and experience of “Death with Dignity” in Oregon
  • Identify operational considerations in caring for patients who are pursuing aid in dying as identified by hospice providers in Oregon