“She needed so much morphine it would have rendered her basically unconscious,” said Sutherland’s daughter, Julie McMurchie, who lives in Portland, Ore. “She was just kind of done.”
Sutherland, 68, decided to use Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act,” which allows terminally-ill residents to end their lives after a 15-day requisite waiting period by self-administering a lethal prescription drug.
“Her doctor wrote the prescription and met my husband and me at the pharmacy on the 15th day,” said McMurchie, recalling how her mother “didn’t want to wait,” she said. “Then he came back to the house, and he stayed with us until her heart stopped beating.”
But not all doctors are on board with the law. In the 15 years since Oregon legalized physician-assisted dying, only Washington and Montana have followed suit, a resistance some experts blame on the medical community.