Washington Advance Directive
State-specific advance directives make clear your end-of-life preferences if you are unable to make or communicate medical treatment decisions yourself. For the Washington advance directive form, click here.
In 1993, members of the Hemlock Society, who wanted to provide direct volunteer service to dying people, split off and founded Compassion in Dying in Washington state. That organization provided consultation to dying patients, supported state-based advocacy for choice at the end of life and organized volunteers to increase awareness about patient rights. Compassion in Dying later became known as Compassion & Choices. Volunteers from Compassion in Dying formed a Washington chapter of Compassion & Choices called Compassion & Choices of Washington.
In 2006, a coalition that included Governor Gardner, Compassion & Choices, Compassion & Choices of Washington and the Death with Dignity National Center formed the Yes on I-1000 committee in an effort to pass a medical aid-in-dying law through ballot initiative. All of these entities made considerable financial contributions to the effort, and volunteers from Compassion & Choices of Washington served as boots on the ground, gathering the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot.
More than 317,000 Washingtonians signed the petition to put Initiative 1000 on the ballot. On July 2, 2006, Gov. Gardner turned in the signatures. On August 13, the secretary of state certified the measure and Initiative 1000 made it onto the November 2008 ballot.
On November 4, 2008, the citizens of Washington approved the Washington Death with Dignity Act by an overwhelming majority (58% to 42%). As a result, Washington became the second state to enact a medical aid-in-dying law.