We Did It!
The State House of Representatives passed ESSB 5179, our bill to improve access to the Death with Dignity Act, with a vote of 53-43. With this vote, critical improvements to the law are on their way to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk for his signature.
These significant changes to the law remove unnecessary barriers to access for terminally ill Washingtonians. With the passing of this bill, we have more than doubled the number of medical practitioners who can engage in medical aid-in-dying. We have helped the 20% of our clients who would have died before the end of the longer waiting period. We have saved hours of driving and delay for people living in areas not close to a compounding pharmacy.
ESSB 5179 – Protecting Access to MAID Overview:
On April 6th, Governor Inslee held a bill signing ceremony where our bill, ESSB 5179 – Protecting Access to MAID, was signed into law. Cassa Sutherland, EOLWA’s Client Services Manager, and Nancy Sapiro, EOLWA’s Lobbyist, were among the few in attendance to represent End of Life Washington. The law will go into effect July 23, 2023.
Death with Dignity Act:
Faced with terminal diagnosis, Washingtonians have a right to a full range of options for care at the end-of-life, including medical-aid-in-dying. Medical aid in dying allows terminally ill adults to get a prescription they can take to end their life peacefully; on their terms. The Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill, mentally capable Washington residents to access medical-aid-in-dying and was approved by Washington voters in 2008 and took effect in 2009.