Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Martha Copp

Committee Members

Dr. Kelly Foster, Dr. Paul Kamolnick


As aid-in-dying legislation expands across the United States, this study examines the dynamics influencing participation in Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. In addition to data from secondary sources, this thesis analyzes field research data collected in Oregon, including 14 in-depth interviews with volunteers and employees of two advocacy organizations at the center of legalized physician-assisted death. Themes emerged including the conditions that motivate participation, the importance of both personal and professional autonomy, the significance of a good death, and the growth of open dialogues about end of life choices. This thesis concludes with a discussion of the impact Death with Dignity laws could have across the United States, with a specific focus on the state of Tennessee.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.