Dignity Act

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Analysis of The Washington Death with Dignity Act Suffering at the end of life stems from multiple sources, including unyielding pain, depression, loss of personal identity, loss of control and dignity, fear of death, and/or fear of being a burden on others (AAHPM, 2007). The overwhelming symptoms lead many terminally ill patients to ask their doctors to help them die (Gorman, 2015). According to Dr. R. Sean Morrison, professor of geriatrics and palliative care medicine at Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York, “their choice shouldn’t be an assisted death or living with intractable suffering” (as cited in Gorman, 2015). The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) (2007) strongly recommends that medical practitioners …show more content…

According to Westrick (2014), the terms “assisted suicide and euthanasia generally mean aiding or assisting another person to kill himself or herself, or killing another person at his or her request, often called ‘active voluntary euthanasia’” (p. 349). Assisted suicide is better defined as a prescriber providing a lethal dose of medication to a patient with the intent of ending a patient’s life (Westrick, 2014). Political debate concerning assisted suicide is ongoing. Currently in the U.S., physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Montana, Washington, Vermont, and California (Death with Dignity, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to review RCW 70.245, The Washington Death with Dignity Act, Initiative 1000, and to identify and address the gap in existing statutory language in the …show more content…

(1) "Adult" means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older. (2) "Attending physician" means the physician who has primary responsibility for the care of the patient and treatment of the patient's terminal disease. (3) "Competent" means that, in the opinion of a court or in the opinion of the patient's attending physician or consulting physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, a patient has the ability to make and communicate an informed decision to health care providers, including communication through persons familiar with the patient's manner of communicating if those persons are available. (4) "Consulting physician" means a physician who is qualified by specialty or experience to make a professional diagnosis and prognosis regarding the patient's disease. (5) "Counseling" means one or more consultations as necessary between a state licensed psychiatrist or psychologist and a patient for the purpose of determining that the patient is competent and not suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired

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