Important note:The Department of Health is responsible for ensuring health care providers comply with the Death with Dignity Act and for reporting out summary information in annual reports. The Department of Health is not authorized or able to assist a potential participant with accessing care or removing the requirements of the Act. Talk with your health care provider or contact an end-of-life resource about pursuing Death with Dignity.
The Washington Death with Dignity Act, Initiative 1000, codified as Chapter 70.245 RCW, passed on November 4, 2008 and went into effect on March 5, 2009. This act allows terminally ill adults seeking to end their life to request lethal doses of medication from medical and osteopathic physicians. These terminally ill patients must be Washington residents who have less than six months to live.
What information is collected and reported?
Under the Death with Dignity Act, the Department of Health collects information from healthcare providers, reviews this information for compliance with reporting requirements, contacts the healthcare provider if the information is incomplete or inadequate, and produces an annual statistical report. The information collected from healthcare providers is not a public record and will only be released as summarized data in the annual statistical report.
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.