Friday, February 25, 2022

Washington State assisted suicide proposed study includes the expansion of assisted suicide law to include euthanasia/homicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Just as we began celebrating the news that the Washington state assisted suicide expansion bill (HB 1141) died, the main sponsor of that bill, Representative Rude, introduced PSHB 1816 which seeks $200,000 from the Washington state budget for a study on the state assisted suicide law.

PSHB 1816 seeks $200,000 to study the possible expansion of assisted suicide to include, among other things, death by lethal injection (euthanasia/homicide), elimination of waiting periods, forcing non-participating health institutions to permit assisted suicide and for the government to pay for it.

PSHB 1816 states - The study shall review the extent to which there are barriers to achieving full access to the Washington death with dignity act, including:

  1. A lack of awareness of the Washington death with dignity act and its provisions; 
  2. Burdens for qualified patients to meet the fifteen-day waiting period; 
  3. The effectiveness of pain control medication used during the fifteen-day waiting period;
  4. Concerns that inhibit the participation of health care providers in the provisions of this chapter;
  5. Hospital, medical, hospice, and long-term care providers' policies that restrict the participation in and the distribution of information about the provisions of this chapter; 
  6. Limited geographic access to compounding pharmacies or other pharmacies that dispense medications under this chapter; 
  7. Restrictions based on the requirement that the medications under this chapter be self-administered; 
  8. Lack of insurance coverage for the services and medications necessary to participate in the provisions of this chapter; 
  9. The need for improvements to the data collection system; and 
  10. Any other barriers identified in the course of performing the study.
Section 2 questions the 15-day waiting period and Section 5 questions the policies medical institutions have restricting assisted suicide.
Section 7 questions the requirement to self-administer the lethal drugs. If lethal drug cocktails are not self-administered then someone else must administer. In other words, section 7 would study changing the law to permit death by lethal injection euthanasia / homicide.
The current Washington state assisted suicide law gives doctors the right to approve and prescribe lethal drugs that the patient self-administers. If the law were amended to include euthanasia, then doctors would have the right to lethally inject their patients with lethal drugs. Euthanasia is murder.

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