Washington voters overwhelmingly supported medical aid in dying in 2008, and the next year the legislature empowered mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or left to live by giving them the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take if their suffering becomes unbearable.
Compassion & Choices Action Network worked hand-in-hand with End of Life Washington to get a new bipartisan bill, ESHB 1141, introduced in the state legislature. This bill would have expanded access to medical aid in dying for Washingtonians by increasing the number of attending or consulting medical providers for individuals seeking this compassionate option, reducing the waiting period and allowing it to be waived in extreme circumstances, and modernizing the rules around obtaining the prescription from a pharmacy.Unfortunately, the bill failed to make it to the Senate floor for a debate or vote despite the House previously passing the bill on February 25 with a bipartisan vote of 60-37, and passing the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee with a 7-5 vote. We are disappointed in this outcome, but determined to continue this necessary work. Terminally-ill Washingtonians cannot wait for better access to the Death with Dignity Act. Common sense improvements are necessary for those seeking access to a peaceful death. Sign up to help us continue this effort, and work to pass this legislation next session.
Compassion & Choices is comprised of two organizations that improve care and expand options at life’s end: Compassion & Choices (501(c)(3)) educates, empowers, defends, and advocates; the Compassion & Choices Action Network (501(c)(4)) focuses exclusively on legislation, ballot campaigns, and limited electoral work.
Supported in part by Compassion & Choices Action Network.