Monday, March 31, 2008

Death with Dignity in Washington State

Activists in Washington are trying to get an initiative on the ballot for November that would legalize death with dignity. The proposed law is very similar to the one that passed in Oregon about 10 years ago. If it gets onto the ballot and passes, Washington would become only the second state in the nation to have physician assisted suicide.

Here's a link to a pdf with the text of the proposed law.

It's creating some heated and fear-filled discussions in the local papers. Here's a link to an editorial in today's Seattle Times.
You can also read reader responses, which run the gamut from complete support to complete opposition.

An interesting tidbit about this initiative: In February 2008, proponents of the potential law filed a complaint in Thurston County Court saying the title of the Act "Death with Dignity" was misleading because it did not say explicitly that the act would lead to suicide. Proponents wanted the name changed to "Physician Assisted Suicide" to reflect the initiatives goals of creating "an entire protocol for facilitating suicide." However, on February 28, a judge struck down their objection and let the original ballot title stand noting that "suicide" is a somewhat loaded term.

They weren't playing politics ... they were just trying to help the people understand :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

umm yeah, ok. to bad "Death with Dignity" is used by people to gloss over the act of suicide, as suicide is the act of taking one's own life. Calling it "Death with Dignity" doesn't at all change what it really is; in fact, calling it this tries to desensitize people to suicide by making suicide sound like a valient or corageous act.