Death With Dignity – Oregon Family Doctor Peter Goodwin

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

peter goodwin death with dignity 150x150Death with Dignity

Peter Goodwin, a Family Practice Doctor who championed Death With Dignity laws in Oregon for many years, took his own life on Sunday using drugs obtained under a law he promoted.

Goodwin was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare brain disorder, corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, that progressively robbed him of his movement. He has talked publicly about what he would do if he received a terminal diagnosis. In his words …

“I don’t want to go out with a whimper. I want to say goodbye to my kids and my wife with dignity. And I would end it,”

Oregon was the first state to allow terminally ill patients to take their own lives with the help of lethal medications supplied by a doctor. Voters approved the Death With Dignity Act in 1994 and 1997. In 2010, 65 people used it to precipitate their own death with dignity, the largest number since the law was enacted.

Dr. Goodwin died at home, surrounded by his family experiencing the death with dignity he fought for as a basic human right. Here is another quote:

“Be fulfilled. In other words, be happy with yourself. Recognize achievements and be proud of them then go on to further achievements. Know what you want to do and do it. Be happy. Know good friends. Be in love.”