By Margaret K. Dore, Esq.
On March 10, 2011, Washington State issued a formal report about its physician-assisted suicide act. The report does not address whether the people who died under the act did so on a voluntary basis. The information provided is inherently unreliable.
A. Washington’s Act
Washington’s assisted suicide act was enacted via a ballot initiative in 2008 and went into effect in 2009.
During the election, proponents claimed that the act’s passage would assure individuals control over their deaths. The act, however, has significant gaps so that such control is not assured. For example, the act allows a person’s heir, who will benefit financially from the death, to assist in signing the person up for the lethal dose.