Washington state Death with Dignity law takes effect;; Under attack by Catholic Church

Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 08:26 am
March 3, 2009

Tomorrow in Washington state, the Death with Dignity law takes effect. When it does, Washington will be the second state with a voter-approved, legally protected right to aid in dying.

That victory is now under attack. A massive campaign to pressure doctors and hospitals to refuse to participate in the Death with Dignity law is underway. The anti-choice opposition - which receives much of its funding and agitation from the most extreme conservatives in the Catholic church hierarchy - has organized hundreds of foot soldiers to create so-called "Suicide Free Zones" across Washington. If they succeed, patients in vast stretches of the state will have nowhere to turn to access their rights and ease their suffering.

Starting tomorrow - with a high-profile news conference in Seattle - Compassion & Choices will wage a truth-telling campaign of its own to reach hundreds of media outlets with the message that death with dignity is not about suicide ... and that the whole purpose of the law is to free patients from having their health care choices dictated by anti-choice zealots; alert patients to the very real threat to their personal liberty by encouraging them to talk to their doctors about death with dignity, and gain assurance that all of their health care choices will be honored; educate doctors and hospitals with the truth about death with dignity, its successful implementation in Oregon, and the lies and distortions being spread by opponents; develop a registry of participating hospitals on our web site, so Washington citizens can choose hospitals that honor their rights, and avoid being trapped in hospitals that won't.

The anti-choice community aims to create chaos and controversy about death with dignity and lay the groundwork to repeal the law in a future election. While they subvert patient's rights, Compassion & Choices will lead the effort to tell the truth about the law and empower patients, doctors and hospitals to use it responsibly.

Barbara Coombs Lee
President, Compassion & Choices
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Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 09:06 am
If someone wants to "die with dignity", why is a doctor compelled to assist?

I support choice, but choice has to on both sides.

Not interested in what a church has to say.
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