X-Message-Number: 9351
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 17:13:40 -0700
From: David Brandt-Erichsen <>
Subject: First reported Oregon assisted death

The Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO) reports the

	An elderly woman suffering from breast cancer has taken her life
under the terms of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, becoming the first
person known to do so since the law became operative last October.

	Barbara Coombs Lee, director of Compassion in Dying, Portland,
Oregon, said the woman, in her mid 80s, took her life yesterday (March 24) 
by taking pills.

	The woman, whose name or location in the state was not revealed,
took the barbiturates mixed with syrup to make it more palatable, and
washed it down with a glass of brandy.  Surrounded by family members and
the physician, she fell into a deep sleep within five minutes and died
thirty minutes later.

	In a tape played today for journalists, the woman said she was
looking forward to death, which would releve her of all the stress she
had.  She had suffered from breast cancer for twenty years, and recently
had difficulty breathing.  Her doctor said recently that she had less than
two months to live.

	The woman's own doctor refused to assist her -- as the law allows
-- so the woman turned to the advocacy group, Compassion in Dying, to find
a doctor who would.

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