Friday, February 25, 2022

Great News: Washington State assisted suicide expansion bill died a natural death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I have great news. Washington State's assisted suicide expansion bill (HB 1141) has died a natural death. 

I congratulate everyone who spoke out against the bill and lobbied to defeat the bill.

HB 1141 was introduced in January 2021 and passed in the state House on February 25, 2021. It was referred to the Senate where it was stopped. 

HB 1141 was re-introduced in January 2022 and passed in the state House on January 12, 2022 and referred to the Senate. On February 18 it had a Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care. HB 1141 is now dead.

HB 1141 would have:

  • Expanding the list of who can prescribe lethal drug cocktails by changing it from physicians to "qualified medical provider." A "qualified medical provider" is defined as a physician, or a licensed physician assistant, or a osteopathic physician, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner.
  • Expanding the list of who is legally able to counsel a person, when the qualified medical provider questions the ability of the person to consent. Those who would be permitted to offer counseling include: a state licensed psychiatrist or, psychologist, independent clinical social worker, advanced social worker, mental health counselor, or psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner.
  • Eliminating the 15 day waiting period and replacing it with a 72 hour waiting period and then allowing the waiting period to be rescinded if the qualified medical provider believes that the person may be imminently dying. This permits a "same day death."

Here is a link to my video on HB 1141 from January 2021.

Please note that the current version of HB 1141 did not permit the lethal drug cocktail to be delivered by mail or courier.

This is great news, but we expect that the assisted suicide lobby will try again to expand the Washington State assisted suicide law in 2023.

Once again, I congratulate everyone who successfully worked to defeat HB 1141. Similar assisted suicide expansion bills are still being debated in Vermont and Hawaii.

As I have always stated, once we legalize prescribing suicide by lethal drugs, the prohibition on killing has now been crossed. The only remaining question is the rules that are established to kill.

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