Dr Peter Goodwin, 83, was legally assisted to die on the 11 March 2012, surrounded by his four children at his home in Portland, Oregon.
He was able to do so due to the passing of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act which legalised assisted dying. Peter had himself campaigned for this change in the law and called it:
The most gratifying work I have done in my entire life
Death with Dignity Act
He was convinced the law was necessary after his experiences as a doctor and of seeing the drastic measures some people had taken to end their own suffering.
For him the law was symbolic of a person’s right to autonomy and dignity.
“This law puts the patient in control of a very traumatic situation. There is always the option of using the dose or not using it… for someone in my unfortunate situation this law is a blessing”
In 2008 Peter noticed his hand was constantly shaking. At first he believed it to be Parkinson’s but it later transpired to be a fatal brain condition.
Four years after his diagnosis Peter realised his health was deteriorating rapidly. He made the decision to take advantage of the law that he had passionately championed on behalf of his patients.
Surrounded by loved ones Peter Goodwin was allowed to have his last wish of a painless assisted death.
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