[Note: On Nov. 4, 2008 Washington voters approved the Washington Death with Dignity Act (Initiative 1000).]

The Associated Press wrote in its Nov. 5, 2008 article "Washington Voters Approve Assisted Suicide Initiative" that:  

"Voters have approved a ballot measure making Washington the nation's second state to allow terminally ill people the option of medically assisted suicide.

The measure, patterned after Oregon's 'Death with Dignity' law, allows a terminally ill person to be prescribed lethal medication, which would be self-administered.

With about 30 percent of the expected vote counted Tuesday in unofficial returns, about 58 percent of voters had approved the measure and about 42 percent rejected it."

Nov. 5, 2008 Associated Press

Janet I. Tu, staff writer at the Seattle Times, wrote in her Nov. 5, 2008 article "'Death with Dignity' Act Passes," published in The Seattle Times:

"Washington will become the second state to allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication for terminally ill patients seeking to hasten their deaths…

I-1000, modeled on a decade-old Oregon law, permits terminally ill, competent adult residents of Washington, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.

The measure protects doctors from being prosecuted under a state law forbidding anyone from aiding in a suicide attempt…

Initiative supporters said terminally ill patients who are suffering great pain should have the choice to hasten their deaths in a ‘humane and dignified’ manner. They said the measure includes many safeguards, and that no abuses have been found in Oregon in the 10 years the law has been in effect there.

Opponents said end-of-life care has advanced to the point where pain can be controlled. They also said there would be no way of really knowing if safeguards are working because very little information about specific cases would be public and there wouldn't be an independent review of possible abuses."

Nov. 5, 2008 Janet I. Tu


Related Links:

  • State Laws on Assisted Suicide

  • Public Opinion Polls