Florence man looks to amend Oregon's Death with Dignity Act

Florence resident Bruce Yelle lives with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, memory loss and circulatory issues. He said with every day that goes by, the suffering gets worse.

Posted: Mar 25, 2019 5:39 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2019 5:45 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. -- A Florence man is working with lawmakers in Salem to change Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, knowing if he gets his way, the result will be his own death.

Bruce Yelle lives with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, memory loss and circulatory issues. He said with every day that goes by, his suffering grows worse.

That's why he created a nonprofit group called End Choices and has been working with lawmakers on a number of House bills to amend Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

"Human rights, you know right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said. "We believe it is a human right to make human choices right up to the end of our lives."

The current law allows legal, supervised ingestion of medication to slowly stop someone's heart from beating. However, you must have six months or less to live according to a doctor, which Yelle said excludes people.

"That leaves out too many people that have ALS, MS and Parkinsins that have been suffering for years that really don't want to keep going anymore," he said.

Yelle took his ideas to Salem last week to show his support for the bill. However, he said it hasn't been smooth sailing.

"When I do get a little bit of opposition, the question i ask -- 'cause i get 99 percent of people saying no -- is, 'Do you wanna live with dementia?' That's what it comes down to."

Yelle's nonprofit has received thousands of dollars and support from dozens, but he said it's unlikely lawmakers will listen and agree to amend the current law.

To read more about Yelle's nonprofit End Choices, click here.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Corvallis
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 81°
Roseburg
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 85°
North Bend
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 62°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events