Two prescriptions filled for WA assisted suicide - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Two prescriptions filled for WA assisted suicide

SEATTLE, Wash. - State health officials say two prescriptions have been filled for life-ending drugs under Washington's new assisted suicide law.

Health Department spokesman Tim Church said Thursday he could not provide any details about the people considering suicide. The department has received two forms from pharmacists saying they have dispensed the drugs that people say they want to use to end their lives.

The department has not received any forms certifying that a person has committed suicide under the state law that took effect in early March.

Church says the people who filled a prescription for life-ending medication have as long as they want to take the medication or can change their minds and never take it.

Assisted suicide law takes effect, opinions clash
(3/5/2009)The recent passage of the Washington State Initiative 1000, the "Death with Dignity Act," has required hospitals and healthcare providers to make decisions about whether they will participate under the Act. The Act is clear that no provider, including Deaconess, is required to assist a qualified patient in ending his or her own life and requires hospitals that do not allow participation to provide public notice. 

"After thoughtful conversations with our medical staff, board of trustees and patients, Deaconess Medical Center has chosen to not participate in the ‘Washington State Death with Dignity Act,'" said Shelley Peterson, Deaconess' Chief Nursing Officer.  "However, we do believe that the passage of this act by Washington voters is a call to improve end of life care.  We also believe that whether or not to participate in Death with Dignity is a decision for providers and their patients. Therefore, we will not interfere with decisions made in private clinics on the Deaconess campus."

Deaconess says it will continue to provide compassionate, high quality care to all patients.  Any patient wishing to receive life-ending medication while a patient at the hospital will be assisted in transfer to another facility of the patient's choice, assuring continuity of care. More>>

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