A retrospective observational cohort study was conducted using data from Oregon's Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) to characterize patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who seek physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Between 1998 and 2018, a total of 57 patients with HNC received DWDA prescriptions, of whom 39 (68.4%) died by administration of the prescribed medication. There were no associated complications with medication administration. The most commonly involved subsites were oral cavity (33.3%) and oropharynx (30.8%), and the most commonly cited end-of-life concerns were loss of ability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable (79.5%) and loss of autonomy (74.4%). There were no differences in age, race, marital status, or hospice enrollment rates between patients with HNC who died by administration and those who were prescribed but did not administer the medication. Patients who died by administration were generally less educated as compared to those who were prescribed but did not administer the medication (P = .015).
View details for DOI 10.1177/0194599820923610
View details for PubMedID 32427518