Doctor who championed right to die ends his life

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Dr. Peter Rasmussen, a retired medical oncologist who led the Death With Dignity movement and defended the Oregon law in the U.S. Supreme Court, takes his dog, Pugsley, for a walk around their East Salem neighborhood on Dec. 3, 2014. Photo by Danielle Peterson/Statesman Journal, courtesy of USA Today

Dr. Peter Rasmussen, a retired medical oncologist who led the Death With Dignity movement and defended the Oregon law in the U.S. Supreme Court, takes his dog, Pugsley, for a walk around their East Salem neighborhood on Dec. 3, 2014. Photo by Danielle Peterson/Statesman Journal, courtesy of USA Today

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SALEM, Ore. — Peter Rasmussen supported Oregon’s Death with Dignity ballot measure in the 1990s, and his medical career at times took a hit from his controversial stance.

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  • Dominic

    Since my real opinion was deleted, I’ll try the politically correct version:

    What a great symbol Rasmussen is for the death with dignity cause that is sweeping our nation. Now the depressed and those who decide that their life is pointless can point to this Dr. as their guide when they kill themselves. Bless him and his enlightened view of America’s future. No more sick people, no more elderly people, and no more confused people. Medical costs should nosedive and funeral parlors will be on speed call.

  • Too bad he left a law in place that puts us all at risk.

    Note these loopholes and more work with each other to eviscerate intended safeguards.
    By all these OR model laws all family members are not required to be contacted, hold that thought. A single predatory heir is allowed to steer the sign up and then execute the lethal process without a witness.
    A witness is not required to confirm that the dose was so called “self administered” (you remember this was one of their lead selling points).
    Even as the law provides immunity for all involved and demands the falsification of the death certificate (impossible to track trends for good public policy) it actually prohibits a public inquiry of any kind (remember the family members who were not contacted, no recourse for them). A straight up murder for money can slide right through. It is Dangerous public policy. As if that is not enough, in 2015 they added another black hole to the bogus signup process with “someone who claims…

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  • dmj76

    If I had brain cancer, G-d forbid, I would be grateful for this option – not that I would necessarily take it, but it would be a comfort to know it was available.

    Cancer is horrible. I know the New Testament teaches that suffering is good for you, but as a non-fundamentalist that does not impact my views.