Physician-assisted suicide legalized in WA

In Washington state, Initiative 1000 overwhelmingly passed on election day, allowing doctors to prescribe lethal amounts of medication to patients who have six months or less to live. However, this is only possible after two separate requests, once orally and once in writing, have been made two weeks apart by the patient. Furthermore, patients themselves must be able to administer the lethal dose on their own--doctors are not allowed to administer the lethal dose.

An ex-Democratic governor who suffers from Parkinson's disease, as well as several right-to-die organizations, raised nearly $5 million in support of the bill. Those opposing the bill, including some Catholic groups, raised only about $1.6 million.

Oregon is the only other state in the country to pass a similar law, 11 years ago. So far, 341 patients have committed physician-assisted suicide.

For more:
- check out this Wall Street Journal blog entry
- read this Seattle Times article
- read this New York Times article

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