Washington has joined Oregon in legalizing “physician assisted death.” From the Wall Street Journal blog post on the initiative:
A state measure known as Initiative 1000 passed by a margin of 59% to 41%, making it legal for doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication for patients with less than six months to live.
As we reported last week, the law is packed with provisions intended to limit the practice. Patients must make two separate requests, orally and in writing, more than two weeks apart; must be of sound mind and not suffering from depression; and must have their request approved by two separate doctors. Doctors are not allowed to administer the lethal dose.
Backers of the bill, including national right-to-die organizations and a former Democratic governor who has Parkinson’s, raised $4.9 million to support it. Opponents, including several Catholic organizations, raised $1.6 million to fund their fight, the Seattle Times reports.
In Oregon, the only other state with a similar law, some 341 patients have committed physician-assisted suicide in the 11 years the law has been in effect, the New York Times reported last week.