PORTLAND, Ore. (AP/The Blaze) — A Portland physician who campaigned for Oregon's Death With Dignity Act has died using lethal chemicals obtained under the law he championed. He was 83.
A spokesman for the organization Compassion and Choices says Peter Goodwin died Sunday at his home surrounded by his family. Goodwin told the Oregonian last month (http://bit.ly/Axamvh ) he's battled a rare brain disorder for six years.
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.
The act was the result of a long campaign by Goodwin, and he's called it his greatest legacy.
NPR reports Goodwin had been planning the act for some time:
Dr. Peter Goodwin practiced as a family physician in Oregon and Washington for five decades. Well after Oregon's Death with Dignity law passed, he was diagnosed with a rare brain disease known as corticobasal degeneration. As it progresses, the condition can affect balance, muscle control and speech as well as cognitive abilities. Last September, Goodwin said that when he received his diagnosis he began to think about the right time to use the law to end his own life. But back then, the right time still seemed far away.
"I don't want to die," he said then. "No way do I want to die. I enjoy life; I enjoy company; I enjoy my friends. I have many, many, many friends."[...]
On Sunday, he swallowed a fast-acting barbiturate prescribed by his doctor. He died less than half an hour later.
Pro-assisted suicide organization Compassion and Choices released this video tribute to Goodwin: