As a health researcher who has seen a loved one suffer through illness, ‘aid in dying’ is a humane option

However, my 77-year-old grandfather was bedridden, often in pain and uncomfortable. After a long, full life, he no longer wanted to live under these circumstances. He told my father, he did not think it was right that the law did not allow him to peacefully end his suffering.

When Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act in 1994 (enacted in 1997), I saw it as the long overdue answer to my grandfather’s plea and my own desire for a way to avoid terminal misery, if such was my lot.

I wished I lived in Oregon. Then, as six states plus the District of Columbia followed Oregon’s lead and authorized medical aid in dying to end unbearable suffering for terminally ill adults, I wished I too could share in the peace of mind that this legal self-determination would bring.

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