By Judy Kinney, Executive Director
We are here to help you know, understand, and access your full range of end-of-life choices. Contact our office, 206-256-1636, if you ever have any questions. We are happy to mail brochures to you, your provider, or your best friend across the state.
While legally mandated to post their medical aid-in-dying policies, few Catholic facilities make it easy for patients to know about any religious care restrictions. Additionally, many health providers are discouraged from informing patients about medical options that are forbidden by Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives.
The year-old PPCA is powerful because it protects providers working in religiously restricted health systems who want to support their patients who seek information and/or access medical aid-in-dying through the Death with Dignity Act.
Health Care Provider Protections
Pursuant to ESHB 1608, a health care entity may not limit a health care provider from providing patients with appropriate treatment and care information so long as the provider acts in good faith within the provider’s scope of practice, education, training and experience, including specialty areas of practice and board certification, and within the accepted standard of care.
A health care provider acting within the above circumstances cannot be limited from providing:
- Medically accurate and comprehensive information and counseling to a patient regarding the patient’s health status including, but not limited to, diagnosis, prognosis, recommended treatment, treatment alternatives and any potential risks to the patient’s health or life;
- Information about available services and about what relevant resources are available in the community and how to access those resources for obtaining the care of the patient’s choice; and
- Information regarding Washington’s Death with Dignity Act (RCW 70.245), information about what relevant resources are available in the community and how to access those resources for obtaining the care of the patient’s choice.
A health care entity cannot discharge, demote, suspend, discipline or otherwise discriminate against a health care provider for providing the above information if the provider is acting in good faith, within the provider’s scope of practice and accepted standard of care and within the requisite knowledge and education.