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Assisted Suicide Legal???
March 5, 2009, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Health News: Assisted suicide occurs when an individual, typically someone suffering from chronic intense pain or an incurable illness, intentionally kills himself with the help of another person. For instance, a doctor may prescribe drugs with the understanding that the patient plans to use them to fatally overdose. Or a doctor may insert an intravenous needle into the arm of a patient, who then triggers their own fatal injection. The United States has long outlawed assisted suicide, charging people who help others kill themselves with murder, manslaughter, and other offenses. For many years, right-to-die groups attempted to change the laws, but were unsuccessful until 1994 when Oregon voters approved the Death With Dignity Act allowing physician-assisted suicide. Although the act was blocked for three years by critics who challenged its constitutionality in the U.S. Supreme Court, it was finally enacted in 1997. Since then, Oregon has stood alone and under great pressure as the only state in the country to allow assisted suicide—but not any longer.

On March 5th, Washington state will enact Initiative 1000, which will allow terminally ill patients with less than 6 months to live to ask their doctors for a life-ending prescription. As with Oregon’s measure, Washington’s law will require any patient requesting fatal medication to be at least 18 years old, declared competent, and they must be a state resident. Two doctors must certify that the patient has a terminal condition and six months or less to live. The patient will have to make two oral requests, fifteen days apart, and submit a written request witnessed by two people, one of which cannot be a relative, heir, attending physician, or connected with the health facility where the patient is being treated or is a resident. Health care providers writing a prescription or dispensing medication must also file a copy of the record with the state Department of Health, which is required to create an annual report on how the law is used

Taken from and read more: http://www.healthnews.com/medical-updates/washington-adopts-death-with-dignity-act-legalizing-assisted-suicide-2724.html

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