Important note: Changes to the Death with Dignity Act go into effect on July 23, 2023, and electronic submission will be available starting July 23, 2023.
The Washington Death with Dignity Act, Initiative 1000, passed on November 4, 2008, and went into effect on March 5, 2009. This Act allows some terminally ill patients to request and use lethal doses of medication from qualified medical providers as part of their end-of-life care. A terminally ill patient must be eligible to use the Death with Dignity end-of-life care:
- 18 years of age or older
- Can make and communicate an informed decision to health care providers
- Diagnosed with an incurable and irreversible disease that will produce death within six months
- Washington resident
The Law and Regulation
- Washington Death with Dignity Act- Chapter 70.245 RCW (statute)
- Death with Dignity Act Requirements- Chapter 246-978 WAC (regulation)
2023 Changes and Implementation Timeline
The Washington Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5179 in 2023 that made changes to the Death with Dignity Act. The changes become effective on July 23, 2023.
July 21, 2023 – Updated forms and webpages
July 23, 2023 – Changes to the Death with Dignity Act becomes effective
July 23, 2023 – The Department begins accepting forms electronically and by fax
July 25, 2023 – Training for providers
August 1, 2023 – Rulemaking completed
Training for medical providers hosted by End of Life Washington is on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, from 5:30 – 6:45 pm. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4436556166
Electronic Submission of Forms
Submit your forms electronically to the Department of Health.
- Use https://redcap.link/DeathWithDignity , or the Submit your forms button below.
Forms for Patients and Providers
Visit the Death with Dignity Act forms for patients and providers page for more information about forms and requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Health keeps a record of health care provider compliance with the Death with Dignity Act and reports summary information in Death with Dignity Act Annual Reports.
The information collected from healthcare providers is not a public record and will only be released as summarized data in the annual statistical report.
The Department of Health is not able to help a potential participant with accessing care or authorized to remove any requirements of the Act. Talk with your health care provider or contact an end-of-life resource about pursuing Death with Dignity.
You can find information about a specific hospital’s end-of-life care services on the Hospital Policies website
Additional information regarding Physician's Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), Advanced Directives, and other end-of-life resources is on the Washington State Medical Association's website.
Health care providers, if you have questions about the Death with Dignity forms or requirements, contact DeathwithDignity@DOH.WA.GOV.