Opinion

I-1000: Reject ‘Death with Dignity’ | Mirror editorial

The Mirror recommends voting no on Initiative 1000, the so-called Death with Dignity initiative.

If passed, the proposal would allow terminally-ill patients with less than six months to live to obtain life-ending medication from a doctor.

Supporters of I-1000 say the proposal gives patients control over end-of-life care as well as their own suffering.

Since the passage of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act more than a decade ago, about 1,000 Oregon residents have requested a legal life-ending prescription; 546 chose not to take the medication, according to former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts, who supports I-1000.

Perhaps the biggest red flag of I-1000 in Washington state: The proposal does not require a witness for a patient’s death, nor does it require notification to the patient’s family or spouse. When treading legal waters on such a delicate issue, the proposal must cover more bases. If a sick person truly wishes to die on his or her own terms, and reaches this conclusion in a competent manner, then that person will find a way. Moral issues aside, Washington state should avoid this sticky and unnecessary public policy.

The Mirror recommends voting no on I-1000 — and keeping the state out of such personal matters.

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