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Issue Position: End of Life Cycle

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

I was a leader on end of life choice legislation. I fully support such legislation. I experienced my father passing away when I was only 13. While it was a very difficult time, I know that he was in control of his passing. But that was because he was a doctor and was ending his days in the hospital that he had worked in and was surrounded by his friends and colleagues. Today, we have far better pain management and palliative care. We also have better hospice options. But we also still have a system whereby individuals have little or no control. Often, we enter the hospital only when things are very serious. It is a scary place and often the discussions and scenario's are difficult. We have great faith and trust in our medical providers, as we should. However, we also should have control of our own destiny. The experience in Oregon is that only a fraction of the individuals who request the medication ever use it. However, they have far more dignity and feel much more in control knowing that they have the option. In that time of uncertainty in ones life, I believe we should allow for that control. There are many safeguards in the legislation to address the concerns of abuse. We must make sure those safeguards are preserved.

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