Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Fall 12-2022

Publication Title

Brookings Public Policy Minor Culminating Project

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Advancements in medicine, surgery, and treatment have prolonged life spans in a way that presents new considerations for death and dying. When it comes to terminal illnesses, all of these innovations increase life expectancy but cannot do the same for a patient’s quality of life. In fact, many people with terminal illnesses lose their autonomy and dignity, leading to the emergence of assisted dying as a way to provide terminally ill patients with an alternative to palliative care. This report takes a look at how assisted dying has developed within the US over the past two and a half decades, including the formal procedure as well as legal battles and public perception. Central to these considerations is the Oregon model of medical aid in dying that began assisted dying policy in the US and has influenced policy implementation in the states that have followed. Qualitative analysis is used to show how the policy balances personal autonomy with barriers to access. By evaluating the results of its implementation in eleven jurisdictions around the country, this report will conclude with recommendations for the future of the policy both within Nevada as well as the broader US.


Aid-in-Dying; medical procedures; terminal care; personal autonomy; medical privacy


Higher Education | Other Medical Specialties | Public Affairs | Public Policy | Social Policy | Urban Studies