Information for hospitals
Initiative 1000, which allows terminally ill adults to request and self-administer lethal medications prescribed by a physician, became law March 4, 2009. Hospital leaders need to understand the law and its requirements for health care providers in order to ensure compliance with the law.
In particular, hospitals must have clear policies on the level of participation in Death with Dignity Act they allow, or if they prohibit participation. These policies must be shared with physicians, pharmacists, and other providers. The policies must also be made available to the public. Hospitals should also ensure any participating providers are correctly documenting their actions with the Washington State Department of Health.
Information for Patients and Families
A resource available in Washington State is End of Life Washington, a nonprofit organization that offers information and support to patients and families in planning for the final days of life. Learn more at End of Life Washington.