Early in the life of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act, one of our ageless, tireless and inspirational lead Client Advisers found herself helping a young woman use the law to end the suffering caused by her brain tumor. The client died without incident after ingesting her medication.

Then things turned serious.

As was the rule in those days, the Client Adviser was obliged to call 911 so medics could officially pronounce the death.

When they arrived, the gaggle of hulking firefighters rushed into the house, intent upon resuscitating the client.

Our lead Client Adviser, who has never weighed more than 100 pounds, stood in front of them and told them they could not do that.

They insisted … she resisted.

Finally she asked, “How many of you know about the Washington State Death with Dignity Law?” That drew a room full of confused looks as well as admissions that none were aware of it.

She gave them a quick tutorial, they made some phone calls, continued a several-hour investigation, and then left the scene.

The upshot of our lead Client Adviser’s own version of “Stand Your Ground,” was a new ruling by the King County Medical Examiner that future deaths could be reported without intervention by police or medics – a fact that has made life more comfortable for us and our clients.