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You are here News Human Rights How Oregon’s right-to-die law has inspired other US states and countries

How Oregon’s right-to-die law has inspired other US states and countries

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Oregon's civil rights law inspired others

It’s three decades since Ann Jackson voted against the first assisted-dying law in the world.

But after watching two partners succumb to cancer, and fearing the prospect of a lingering death herself as she grapples with autoimmune diseases, Jackson is now a vigorous proponent of the Oregon legislation used by thousands of people to end their own lives, and providing a blueprint for other US states and countries considering similar laws, including the UK.

“I voted twice against the law, but once it went into effect and I saw how it worked, I changed my mind,” said Jackson, the former chief executive of the Oregon Hospice Association.

“I really thought that if everyone had hospice care, they wouldn’t need this, which was very arrogant of me because hospice is something where others decide. One of the things that really bothers me is the idea that doctors should decide when to allow you to die. That is just awful. I came to realise this is about choice. Someone should be able to decide for themselves when to die.”

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