HB 2326 was introduced in the Washington State legislature on January 9, 2020. It is an amendment to the existing law requiring every hospital to submit its policy regarding providing access to medical aid in dying to the Department of Health. HB 2326 was passed out of the House Chamber and was heard by the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on February 24, 2020. Compassion & Choices supports the amendment. HB 2326 stalled in the legislature before it’s third reading because of the shortened legislative session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that Washington will revisit this issue in the future.

HB 2419 was introduced in the Washington State legislature on January 14, 2020. It is an act relating to studying barriers to the use of the Washington death with dignity act. HB 2419 was passed out of the House Chamber and was heard by the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on February 24, 2020. Compassion & Choices supports this act. On April 3, 2020, Governor Inslee vetoed HB 2419 due to concerns surrounding the state’s budget in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are disappointed that this bill’s journey has ended this year, we hope to see a similar bill passed and signed in the future.

Washington became the second state to authorize medical aid in dying on November 4, 2008 following a successful ballot initiative. The Washington Death with Dignity Act went into effect on March 5, 2009, and was modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. 

In 2006, Governor Booth Gardner initiated the campaign to bring medical aid in dying to Washington state. He approached advocacy organizations to join his efforts. Compassion & Choices and Compassion & Choices Washington were two of the four collaborative groups. Representatives from these groups eventually comprised the Yes on I-1000 committee.

Governor Gardner filed the initiative with the Secretary of State’s office, contributed considerable resources to fund the effort and served as one of the main public faces for the initiative. Compassion & Choices and Compassion & Choices Washington contributed significantly to the effort and devoted substantial volunteer capacity to the campaign. The citizens of Washington approved the Washington Death with Dignity Act on November 4, 2008, making Washington the second state to enact a medical aid in dying law.  

To learn more about medical aid in dying in Washington, visit our friends at End of Life Washington or view our fact sheet here.

Get more information about Washington.