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On January 9, former Governor Booth Gardner filed the Washington State
Death with Dignity Initiative with the Secretary of State. It is a
replica of the successful and court-tested Oregon law. Joining Governor
Gardner were Washington nurses, physicians, clergy, patient advocates,
and family members who have faced difficult end-of-life decisions.

Compassion & Choices (national), Compassion & Choices of Washington (the
local affiliate), and the Death with Dignity National Center are also
spearheading this important effort.

The initiative allows terminally ill, mentally competent adult
Washington residents the option to receive and self-administer
medication to end their suffering. It allows people of every faith to
live and die according to their most personal beliefs, values, and
religious ideals.

The many safeguards include:
~ The patient must ask to qualify three times, once in writing.
~ Two physicians must certify the patient is terminally ill and has only six
or less months to live.
~ There is a required mental health examination for any instance of impaired
~ The initiative protects individuals with physical disabilities.
~ All patients wanting to qualify must be offered hospice and palliative

The Oregon law has now been in effect for more than 10 years. It has
been tested in practice and in our courts – all the way to the United
States Supreme Court. It is time to give Washington’s terminally ill
patients a choice in their end-of-life decisions.

The campaign is reaching out to citizens in Washington from all walks of
life to support this humane and sensible initiative. Too many of us know
friends or family members who endured painful terminal illnesses. Giving
these loved ones the option to make their own end-of-life decisions is
of great comfort – regardless of whether or not they elect to use the

We need your help gathering the 100,000 volunteer signatures needed by
June 30 to get the initiative on the November ballot.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact the campaign
headquarters at (206) 633-2008, campaign@itsmydecision.org, or go to

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