- Hemlock Society of Oregon started 1987 by Derek Humphry. A nonprofit educational organization. (National Hemlock founded 1980)
- Oregon Senate Bill 1141, introduced in 1991 by Senator Frank Roberts (D-Portland), and sponsored by Hemlock, died in committee in the Oregon Legislature. It would have allowed physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. This rejection at the legislative level motivated the founding of a political action committee, Oregon Right to Die (1993) dedicated exclusively to getting a law passed by citizens' ballot initiative.
Result of Yes vote: Legalizes doctor-assisted suicide
Ballot Measure 16, November 4, 1994
Result of No vote: Legislation fails.
| || || Votes
|| Campaign expenditures
|Yes ||51 percent || 627,980 ||$600,000
Voter turnout: 57 percent (1,223,998 voters)
(Due to court challenges, the Death With Dignity Act was not implemented until October 27, 1997.)
- Declining to either amend or repeal the Act, the Oregon Legislature on June 9, 1997, returned it to the electorate for a second vote.
Ballot Measure 51, November 4, 1997
Result of Yes Vote: Repeals doctor-assisted suicide law
Result of No vote: Retains doctor-assisted suicide law
| || ||Votes
|No||60 percent ||666,275||$966,000
|Yes||40 percent ||445,830 ||$4,077,882
Voter turnout 59.69 percent (1,108,052) of 1,888,976 registered voters.
- In March, 1998, two people who were terminally ill became the first ones to get physician-assisted suicide under the terms of the Death With Dignity Act, 1994.