Though Oregon voters passed the Death With Dignity Act in November 1994, due to several years of legal wrangling the country’s first law permitting physician-assisted suicide did not go into effect until October 27, 1997.
Measure 51, which if passed would have repealed the law 51% of voters had passed in 1994, was on the ballot the very next week. It was rejected by 59.9% of the voters.
The first reported use of legal assisted suicide in Oregon occurred on March 24, 1998, when a woman in her 80s who had been fighting breast cancer for 20 years took a lethal dose of barbiturates washed down with a glass of brandy.
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