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Death with Dignity

In: Historical Events

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Death with Dignity Act

Kleta Shinn

HSC/430

September 26, 2011
Professor Smith

Death with Dignity Act

In Washington State, the people voted and passed a law to legalize assisted suicide, called Death with Dignity Act in 2009. This law is for terminally ill patients, diagnosed by their physician to have less than six months to live. There are several steps before the patient is allowed to receive the medication for assisted suicide .“The patient must be a resident of the state, be at least eighteen years old, declared mentally competent to make the request, and two doctors have to certify that he or she has less than six months to live” ( Medical News Today, 2009 ). The representative for Compassion and Choices, an aid in dying advocacy group for assisted suicide, is very supportive of the new law, which gives terminally ill patient other option and helps he or she decide how they wish to live their last days. The Death with Dignity Act allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medications to the terminally ill patient. Barbara McKay is terminally ill from advance ovarian cancer and she said “I have watched both my parents suffer with few choices at the end of their lives. I want to be able to decide what time and the way I wish to die.”(Medical News Today,2009). Death with Dignity Act has placed a considerable load of ethical and unethical consequences of emotions on the health care professionals, who will be performing this request. Death with Dignity Act passed, many health care facilities been deciding whether to opt in or stay out of the assisted suicide. Cassie Saucer, from the Washington State Hospital Association, said “ about a third of the state’s hospitals seem to be opting out”( Tu, 2009 ). This meaning medical professional are not allowed to write prescriptions for the lethal drug, pharmacist are not allowed to dispense...

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