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Washington

Current Status

The Washington Death with Dignity Act has been in effect since March 5, 2009. Similar to the Oregon model legislation, the Washington Death with Dignity has worked flawlessly and as intended. In the seven years since the aid in dying bill took effect, the State of Washington reports 938 terminally ill patients have received a prescription for the medications, and 651 of those died after ingesting the medication.

In the 2017 legislative session, four Republican and one Democratic State Senators proposed SB 5433 which would add “the treatment for the purpose of cure and the treatment for the purpose of extending the patient’s life” to the feasible alternatives the attending physician would have to inform a requesting patient about under the Washington Death with Dignity Act. Our friends at End of Life Washington (see below) testified against the bill, which passed in the Senate Law and Justice Committee on February 14 and in the full Senate on March 7 on a 26 to 23 vote. The bill was then reintroduced in the 2018 session, on January 8.

History

Following our successful ballot initiative campaign, Washington voters approved of their state’s Death with Dignity Act in 2008. The law went into effect in 2009.


Learn the history of the Washington law ›


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