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Compassion in Dying: Stories of Dignity and Choice
by Barbara Coombs Lee

This is a compilation of stories by dying individuals as well as stories by family members, friends, and spiritual leaders who respect and support the particular choices of dying individuals. Primarily, the stories are from Oregonians who made the choice to use the Death with Dignity Act, which allows for legal, physician assisted death. As of 2004, Oregon is the only state in the nation that legally allows physician assisted death. The Oregon experience with assisted dying teaches that when patients are empowered by choice and control in how they die, they experience renewed hope and courage. Interestingly, most people who obtain the necessary medication to hasten their death do not ultimately use it, but rather experience profound peace of mind knowing they have an option to escape intolerable suffering. This book moves beyond the judicial and political wranglings that threaten personal choice and dignity at the end of life. Also includes resources, and a timeline for Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.


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Updated January, 2005

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