Difference between revisions of "Washington "Death with Dignity Act", Initiative 1000 (2008)"

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{{TOCnestright}}{{Assistedsuicide}}The '''Washington Aid-In-Dying Initiative''', '''I-1000''', was on the [[Washington 2008 ballot measures|November 4, 2008 ballot]] in the [[Washington|State of Washington]] as an [[Initiatives to the People (Washington)|Initiative to the People]], where it was approved.<ref>[http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/Results.aspx?RaceTypeCode=M&JurisdictionTypeID=-2&ElectionID=26&ViewMode=Results Official election results]</ref>
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Initiative 1000 allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults the legal choice to request and self-administer a lethal overdose of medication.
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The '''Washington Assisted Death Initiative''', also known as '''Initiative 1000''', was on the [[2008 ballot measures#Washington|November 4, 2008 ballot]] in [[Washington]] as an {{witpfull}}, where it was '''defeated'''. The measure allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults to request and self-administer a lethal overdose of medication.<ref>[https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote/OnlineVotersGuide/Measures?electionId=26&countyCode=xx&ismyVote=False#ososTop ''Office of the Secretary of State'', "2008 Voters Pamphlet," accessed September 5, 2013]</ref>
 
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The official [[ballot title|ballot measure title]] referred to the measure as "aid in dying." Supporters of the measure referred to it as the '''Death with Dignity''' initiative, and critics referred to it as the '''Assisted Suicide''' initiative. 
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==Election results==
 
==Election results==
  
:''See also [[2008 ballot measure election results]]''
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{{Short outcome
 
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| title = Washington Initiative 1000 (2008)
{{Outcome
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| title = Initiative 1000
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| yes = 1,715,219   
 
| yes = 1,715,219   
 
| yespct = 57.82
 
| yespct = 57.82
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| nopct = 42.18
 
| nopct = 42.18
 
| total = 2,966,474  
 
| total = 2,966,474  
| turnoutpct = NA
 
 
}}
 
}}
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Election results via: [http://vote.wa.gov/results/20081104/default.htm Washington Secretary of State]
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==Text of measure==
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The language appeared on the ballot as:<ref name=voterguide/>
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{{Quote|Initiative Measure No. 1000 concerns allowing certain terminally ill competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions.<br>
  
Results from the [[Washington Secretary of State]].<ref>[http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/Results.aspx?RaceTypeCode=M&JurisdictionTypeID=-2&ElectionID=26&ViewMode=Results Washington Secretary of State, 2008 Election Results]</ref>
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This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.<br>
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Should this measure be enacted into law?<br>
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Yes [ ] No [ ]}}
  
 
==Background==
 
==Background==
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In 1991, a [[Washington Aid-in-Dying, Initiative 119 (1991)|similar initiative]] was defeated. Initiative 1000 was more restrictive in that it explicitly prohibits euthanasia and lethal injections. Initiative 1000 was based on [[Oregon "Death with Dignity Act," Ballot Measure 16 (1994)|Oregon Measure 16]], which voters passed in 1994. 
  
In 1991, [[Washington Aid-in-Dying, Initiative 119 (1991)|Initiative 119]], a similar (but broader) measure, failed with 46% of the vote. The 2008 ballot initiative is more restrictive in that it explicitly prohibits euthanasia and lethal injections.
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Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was challenged by the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. In 2005, the {{JP|Supreme Court of the United States}} upheld the act in Gonzales v. Oregon.
  
The initiative was based on [[Oregon "Death with Dignity Act," Ballot Measure 16 (1994)|Oregon Measure 16]], which [[Oregon]] voters passed in 1994.  Oregon is the only state to have enacted similar legislation.<ref>[http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/ State of Oregon web site: Death with Dignity Act]</ref> and overwhelmingly re-approved after a U.S. Supreme Court challenge in 1997.
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==Fiscal note==
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A fiscal impact statement was included in the 2008 Voters' Guide. The fiscal impacts of Initiative 985 are described as follows:<ref name=voterguide/>
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{{Quote|Initiative 1000 would require health care providers writing a prescription or dispensing medication under this act to file a copy of the dispensing record with the Washington State Department of Health. The Department would be required to create and make available to the public an annual statistical report of information collected. The Department would adopt rules on the process for collecting this information. One-time rule-making costs are estimated at $60,000. Ongoing data collection and reporting costs are estimated at $19,000 per biennium. Total costs for the 2009–11 biennium are $79,000.}}
  
==Specific provisions in the initiative==
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==Support==
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"Yes on 1000," the organization supporting Initiative 1000, was supported by Governor Booth Gardner, the National Death with Dignity Center, Compassion & Choices of Washington, and Compassion & Choices of Oregon. Consultants to the supporting campaign included [[Christian Sinderman]] and Blair Butterworth.<ref>[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2004129009_thulets17.html ''The Seattle Times'', "My life does not belong to the state or the church," January 17, 2008]</ref> Other supporters included State Senator [[Darlene Fairley]], State Representative [[Jamie Pedersen]], the American Medical Student Association, the American Medical Women's Association, the Lifelong AIDS Association, the [[American Civil Liberties Union]], the National Women's Law Center and the National Association of Social Workers.
  
Initiative 1000 allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults the legal choice to request and self-administer a lethal overdose of medication.
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===Arguments===
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The following reasons were given in support of Initiative 1000 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:<ref name=voterguide/>
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{{Quote|'''YES ON I-1000: IT'S MY DECISION'''
  
The official ballot summary for the measure, slightly amended following a February 2008 court challenge, was, "This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents medically predicted to die within six months to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. The measure requires two oral and one written request, two physicians to diagnose the patient and determine the patient is competent, a waiting period, and physician verification of an informed patient decision. Physicians, patients and others acting in good faith compliance would have criminal and civil immunity."
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A YES vote FOR I-1000 allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live to receive – under strict safeguards – a prescription for life-ending medication. This choice belongs exclusively to the terminally ill individual. Government, politicians, religious groups and others should not dictate these personal decisions.
  
The measure enacted the following provisions regarding lethal overdoses of medicine:
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'''TEN YEARS OF DIGNITY IN OREGON'''
  
* The patient must be an adult (18 or over) resident of the state of Washington
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I-1000 mirrors an Oregon law that has been in place for over 10 years. The Oregon law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and approved twice by voters.
* The patient must be mentally competent, verified by two physicians (or referred to a mental health evaluation)
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* The patient must be terminally ill with less than 6 months to live, verified by two physicians
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* The patient must make voluntary requests, without coercion, verified by two physicians
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* The patient must be informed of all other options including palliative and hospice care
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* There is a 15 day waiting period between the first oral request and a written request
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* There is a 48 hour waiting period between the written request and the writing of the prescription
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* The written request must be signed by two independent witnesses, at least one of whom is not related to the patient or employed by the health care facility
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* The patient is encouraged to discuss with family (not required because of confidentiality laws)
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* The patient may change their mind at any time and rescind the request
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==Supporters==
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Earlier this year, The Oregonian newspaper wrote that the law “helped elevate end-of-life care” and that “in a decade of experience with the law, no abuses have shown up.” The Seattle Times added that “those it affects, and their families, will be thankful for its passage.”
  
The campaign was run by a coalition that included former Washington governor, Booth Gardner,<ref>[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2004129009_thulets17.html ''Seattle Times'': "My life does not belong to the state or the church," Jan. 17, 2008]</ref><ref>[http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/01/22/editorial/10069900.txt ''The Daily News'': "Gardner revives discussion about assisted suicide," Jan. 22, 2008]</ref>aid-in-dying advocates from Oregon, the National Death with Dignity Center, Compassion & Choices of Washington, and Compassion & Choices of Oregon. Political consultants included [[Christian Sinderman]] and Seattle-based Democratic consultant, [[Blair Butterworth]].  The name of the official political advocacy group working on the campaign was changed from "It's My Decision" to "YES on 1000".
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Independent studies of Oregon’s Death with Dignity law prove that the safeguards protect patients, prevent misuse and coercion, and allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients the option of a peaceful, dignified death. People with terminal cancer and AIDS would have the right to decide whether to end their intolerable suffering.
  
State Senator Darlene Fairley, who chairs the Death with Dignity Disabilities Caucus, said that "as a matter of personal control and autonomy, it makes sense to let patients themselves decide what kind of medical care they want to receive and how long they want to suffer with a terminal illness."
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'''SAFEGUARDS WORK'''
  
State Representative Jamie Pedersen, chair of LGBT for 1000, said, "people facing terminal illnesses gain peace of mind from knowing that their end-of-life choices will be respected. Everyone deserves that respect and can appreciate its importance."
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There are multiple safeguards in Washington’s death with dignity law. These safeguards include independently witnessed oral and written requests, two waiting periods, mental competency and prognosis confirmed by two physicians, and self-administration of the medication. Only the patient – and no one else – may administer the medication.
  
Organizations supporting I-1000 included the American Medical Student Association, the American Medical Women’s Association, the Lifelong AIDS Association, the ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center, the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the Washington State Public Health Association.
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'''YES ON I-1000: DEATH WITH DIGNITY'''
  
The Washington State Psychology Association stayed neutral on I-1000, but found that "patients choose aid in dying because of a desire for autonomy and the wish to avoid loss of dignity and control, not because of a poor mental state, lack of resources or social support," and "the law has had a positive effect in terms of significant improvements in palliative care."
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I-1000 asks, “Who should decide these difficult end-of-life questions?” We say the decision belongs with the patient and their family, and no one else.
  
===Editorial Support===
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For more information, visit www.yeson1000.org or call (206) 633-2008.}}
  
The ''Newcastle News'' endorsed the measure in a Oct. 7, 2008, editorial. "Some opponents of I-1000 will refer to the life-death option as assisted suicide, but this has no resemblance to suicide. It is a humane end to a life that is already ending," the editorial said.<ref>[http://newcastle-news.com/2008/10/07/editorial-death-with-dignity-initiative-promotes-a-humane-choice ''Newcastle News'': Editorial: "Death with Dignity initiative promotes a humane choice," Oct. 7, 2008]</ref>
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The arguments in favor of Initiative 1000 were prepared by:<ref name=voterguide/>
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*Governor Booth Gardner (D)
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*Governor Daniel J. Evans (R)
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*Tom Preston, MD
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*Dorothy H. Mann, PhD, M.P.H.
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*Rev. Bruce Parker, D. Min.
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*Linda N. Olson, Ph., RN.
  
===TV and radio ads===
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===Advertisements===
 
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|{{#ev:youtube|LJkgBIYJuXI|300}}<br><span style="font-size:80%">Barbara Roberts: "Yes on 1000" television advertisement</span>
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|{{#ev:youtube|O2JSBgRkyws|300}}<br><span style="font-size:80%">Dr. Nicolaidis: "Yes on 1000" television advertisement</span>
 
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Yes on I-1000 ran three television spots urging a "yes" vote.
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Three ads were run by the "Yes on I-1000."
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* One of the television ads, called "[http://youtu.be/Tx5K4rjsZtM Get the Facts]" featured former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts reassuring voters who were worried that some may be taken advantage of if the measure were to be approved.
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* Another ad, "[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2JSBgRkyws Doctor-Daughter]," showed a doctor whose mother used physician assisted suicide in Oregon.
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* A third ad, "[http://youtu.be/yribAiWGBEs Lies]," was a response to the "No on 1000" television commercial featuring actor Martin Sheen.
  
* One of the television ads, called "[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= Get the Facts]" featured former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts reassuring voters who were worried that some may be taken advantage of if the measure were to be approved.
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===Contributions===
* Another ad, "[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXZSyXB1IX4 Doctor-Daughter]," showed a doctor whose mother used physician assisted suicide in Oregon.
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"Yes on 1000" and "Compassion & Choices Washington Initiative PAC" spent $5,530,436 on the campaign.<ref name=followyes>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/ballot.phtml?m=443 Follow the Yes on 1000 money]</ref>
* A third ad, "[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-DwFmZP0Lw Lies]," was a response to the "No on 1000" television commercial featuring actor Martin Sheen.
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===Funding===
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$5,530,436 was spent urging a "yes" vote on I-1000 by two different groups, "Yes on 1000" and "Compassion and Choices".<ref name=yes>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/ballot.phtml?m=443 Follow the Yes on 1000 money]</ref>
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The largest donors were:
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The eight largest donors were:<ref name=followyes/>
 
* Oregon Death with Dignity: $1,006,381
 
* Oregon Death with Dignity: $1,006,381
 
* Compassion & Choices of Washington: $776,500
 
* Compassion & Choices of Washington: $776,500
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* Judy Sebba: $253,555
 
* Judy Sebba: $253,555
 
* Compassion & Choices Action Network: $250,000
 
* Compassion & Choices Action Network: $250,000
* Stephen G. Clapp: $250,000<ref name=yes/>
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* Stephen G. Clapp: $250,000
  
 
==Opposition==
 
==Opposition==
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"Coalition Against Assisted Suicide," the organization opposing the Initiative 1000, was supported by disability rights advocates and organizations, anti-abortion organizations, religious organizations, the Roman Catholic Church and the Washington Medical Association. Both Governor [[Christine Gregoire]] and Republican challenger Dino Rossi opposed Initiative 1000.<ref>[http://www.kndo.com/Global/story.asp?S=9152173&nav=menu484_2_12 ''KNDO-TV News'' "Gregoire opposes Eyman initiative, Rossi for," October 9, 2008]</ref>
  
The "Coalition Against Assisted Suicide" was the organization officially opposing the measure.  It included doctors and nurses, disability rights advocates and organizations, hospice workers, minorities, right-to-life organizations, Christian organizations, the Catholic Church, and politicians from both sides of the aisle. A more comprehensive look at the opposition to I-1000 can be found at the [http://www.noassistedsuicide.com/supporters.html Coalition's website].  
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===Arguments===
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The following reasons were given in opposition to Initiative 1000 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:<ref name=voterguide/>
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{{Quote|I-1000 legalizes assisted suicide in Washington. The law is flawed and dangerous.
  
Their primary objections to I-1000 were that, in their view, the dangers of making doctors bring death to patients outweighed any advantages to assisted suicide and safeguards in the initiative text. They felt that the legalization of assisted suicide would put lethal pressure on minorities, the disabled, and the poor.  
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'''I-1000 IS DANGEROUS FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD HEALH CARE.'''
  
The opposition focused on several aspects of the initiative's text that they viewed as particularly problematic:
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Adding I-1000 to our broken, profit-driven health care system puts Washingtonians at risk – anyone with limited access to health care or inadequate health insurance. In Oregon, patients have been denied chemotherapy but offered assisted suicide instead.
  
* '''Endangers those struggling with the high cost of health care'''. Under I-1000 an ill and vulnerable person could be pressured to “choose” a fatal drug overdose rather than be given the health care and support they need. No one wants to be a financial burden; mixing I-1000 with our current unequal and expensive healthcare system would be deadly. In Oregon Medicaid pays for assisted suicide for poor residents under the category of “comfort care”. The drug costs less than $100 – far less than medications and treatments to make patients comfortable. Already some Oregon patients seeking chemotherapy drugs for cancer have been denied treatment but sent a letter suggesting they consider assisted suicide (“A Gift of Treatment,” The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon June 3, 2008)
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'''I-1000 HAS NO REAL SAFEGUARDS.'''
  
* '''Allows doctors to give lethal drugs to mentally ill or depressed patients'''. Many people feel sad, lonely, or afraid when they are seriously ill. Under I-1000 any such “cry for help” by a fearful or depressed person could easily be mistaken for a request for assisted suicide. Depressed or mentally ill persons can be given lethal doses with no psychological evaluation required (“A psychological disorder…does not necessarily disqualify a person.” [Oregonian, 10/17/99]). In Oregon in 2007, no one was referred for psychological evaluation.  
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I-1000 requires almost no government oversight, with no penalties for abuse. It overrides our disclosure laws and requires doctors to falsify death certificates.
  
* '''Does not require that spouses and family be told before a doctor gives a loved one a lethal overdose'''. Under I-1000, a spouse or family member need not be consulted before the patient is given lethal drugs (I-1000, [Sec. 8]). Afterward, the family might never be told the truth of how their loved one died. Finding out after the fact that a loved one intentionally died from a drug overdose would be devastating for grief-stricken family members.
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I-1000 endangers vulnerable people. Its supposed “safeguards” are inadequate:
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*Depressed and mentally ill people can be given lethal drug overdoses.
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*Spouses and children need never be told a loved one is being given a lethal drug overdose.
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*There is no protection against coercion or financial pressures.
  
* '''Has no safeguards for the patient after the prescription is written'''. No one needs to witness the death, only the initial request. There are no provisions to ensure that the patient is competent when the overdose is taken, that the patient is not pressured into taking the drugs, or that the fatal dose was not given to the patient against his or her will.
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'''OUR STATE'S LEADING PHYSICIANS' ORGANIZATION, THE WASHINGTON STATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, STRONGLY OPPOSES I-1000.'''
  
* '''Allows other people to give the patient the lethal overdose'''. Initiative 1000 states that the patient “may” self-administer the lethal overdose, but does not make the requirement mandatory.
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Proponents say I-1000 provides a choice when dying, but for those who are not wealthy, it could be a choice made by insurers and state bureaucrats; they will have the choice to steer patients toward assisted suicide rather than provide actual end-of-life care.
  
* '''Allows beneficiaries to witness death requests'''. Estate law wisely frowns on heirs witnessing wills, but I-1000 allows beneficiaries to sign as a witness to the request for lethal drugs. I-1000 is dangerous because the death does not need to be witnessed, and there is the real possibility that people will be coerced or forced into ending their lives. Common sense tells us that no one who benefits from a death should be involved in giving lethal drugs to the patient; I-1000 does not include this common-sense safeguard.
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'''DISABILITY COMMUNITY LEADERS OPPOSE I-1000.'''
  
* '''Requires a doctor to falsify death certificates'''. I-1000 requires doctors to lie on the death certificate, so the fatal overdose is not listed. Instead, doctors are directed to fill out the death certificate as if the patient died of natural causes. Relatives would never know the real cause of death, and vital statistics could not be used to track assisted suicide. [I-1000, Section 4, (1)(ii)(B)(2)]
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Recent medical advances assure pain can be controlled and no one need suffer at the end of life. I-1000 is not needed.
  
* '''Has secretive and inadequate reporting so any abuses will never be known'''. The assisted suicide initiative requires that information on assisted suicide be collected [I-1000, Sec. 15]. However, there are no penalties for incomplete or inaccurate reports. And there are no penalties for failing to report. The original reports are kept secret and sealed from any possible independent study. The Oregonian, the state’s major newspaper, complained in 2005 that the law’s reporting system “seems rigged to avoid finding” the answers. [Living with the Dying ‘Experiment,’ Oregonian, 3/8/05]
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Dangerous assisted suicide laws have been rejected in 24 states, including here in Washington in 1991. It’s time to reject assisted suicide, again.
  
* '''Protects even bad or incompetent doctors from lawsuits'''. The doctors who prescribe drug overdoses would be given protection from lawsuits or disciplinary action by medical authorities. Most doctors are capable and honest, but I-1000 would make it impossible to stop assisted suicide malpractice. If doctors make a “good faith” effort to obey the law, they cannot be sued.
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'''VOTE “NO” ON I-1000. IT'S JUST TOO DANGEROUS.'''
  
'''Not Dead Yet''', a disabilities advocacy group, objected to the measure because they said:
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For more information, visit www.noassistedsuicide.com or call (206) 337-2091.}}
  
* It discriminates against and targets the disabled.
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The arguments against Initiative 1000 were prepared by:<ref name=voterguide/>
* They believe that disabled people who are worried they will become a burden to their families need help and pain relief for their conditions, not encouragement to die.<ref name="notdeadyet">[http://www.lifenews.com/bio2484.html LifeNews.com: "Spokesman's Son, Disability Groups Oppose Washington Assisted Suicide Prop," June 16, 2008]</ref>
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*[[Margarita Prentice]], State Senator and nurse
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*Cynthia Markus, MD, President, Washington State Medical Association
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*Duane French, disability rights leader, Not Dead Yet – Washington
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*Rose Crumb, RN, hospice nurse, founder Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County
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*David Cortinas, publisher of LaVoz Hispanic Newspaper
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*Linda Seaman, MD, FAAHPM, board certified hospice and palliative medicine
  
"This capitalizes on those fears people have about a disability, about people losing bodily control and function, that people would be better off dead than having to face that," Not Dead Yet spokesman Duane French said.<ref name="notdeadyet"/>
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===Advertisements===
 
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Gov. Christine Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi both opposed I-1000.<ref>[http://www.kndo.com/Global/story.asp?S=9152173&nav=menu484_2_12 KNDO-TV News: "Gregoire opposes Eyman initiative, Rossi for," Oct. 9, 2008]</ref>
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Previously, [[Christine Gregoire, Washington Governor|Gov. Gregoire]] was taking no position on the measure. According to her spokesman at that time, "Gov. Gregoire believes this is a deeply personal issue, and she is not going to tell people how to believe. Voters in Washington will have to make up their own minds."<ref>[http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-righttodie22-2008jun22,0,5400583.story ''Los Angeles Times'': "Washington's right to die battle is personal," June 22, 2008]</ref>
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The Washington Medical Association has opposed assisted suicide since 1991, when the broader Washington Initiative 119 went to voters.<ref name="wenatchee">[http://wenatcheeworld.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/NEWS03/971512377 ''Wenatchee World'': "Right-to-die initiative making its way to state ballot," July 14, 2008]</ref>
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"We believe physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the role of physicians as healers," said Dr. Brian Wicks, the association's president. "Patients put their trust in physicians, and that bond of trust would be irrevocably harmed by the provisions of this dangerous initiative."<ref name="wenatchee"/>
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Two Spokane attorneys formed "Democrats Against Assisted Suicide" to educate people that the issue crosses party lines, income levels, and education levels.<ref name="wenatchee"/>
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Greg Magnoni, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Seattle, said that Archbishop Alex Brunett and two other bishops authorized 290 Catholic parishes in Washington to take up a collection for the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide.<ref>[http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_suicide_catholics.html ''Seattle Post-Intelligencer'': "Catholics fighting Wash. suicide initiative," Sept. 3, 2008]</ref> <ref>[http://www.thenewstribune.com/front/topstories/story/469358.html ''News Tribune'': "Catholic parishes raising money to fight assisted suicide initiative," Sept. 4, 2008]</ref>
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===TV and radio ads===
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|{{#ev:youtube|zGLaZmOZFxo|300}}<br><span style="font-size:80%">"No on 1000" television advertisement</span>
 
|{{#ev:youtube|zGLaZmOZFxo|300}}<br><span style="font-size:80%">"No on 1000" television advertisement</span>
 
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Television ads run by the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide featured actor Martin Sheen, a pro-life Democrat known for his role as the president in the popular television drama West Wing.<ref name="sheen">[http://www.lifenews.com/bio2591.html LifeNews.com: "Washington Group Airs First Ads Against Assisted Suicide, Feature Martin Sheen," Sept. 30, 2008]</ref>
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Ads run by the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide featured actor Martin Sheen, a self-desribed pro-life Democrat. In the ad, Sheen called the initiative ""a dangerous idea that could hurt low-income people who need medical care. It's a step backwards and I urge you to vote no... Initiative 1000 would open up a loophole that health care insurers could exploit to cut payments for the disabled and the working poor encouraging them to use assisted suicide. This is exactly the wrong direction for real health care in America."<ref>[http://www.lifenews.com/bio2591.html ''LifeNews.com'', "Washington Group Airs First Ads Against Assisted Suicide, Feature Martin Sheen," September 30, 2008]</ref>
  
In the ad, Sheen called I-1000 "a dangerous idea that could hurt low-income people who need medical care. It's a step backwards and I urge you to vote no."<ref name="sheen"/>  He goes on to say in the ad, "Initiative 1000 would open up a loophole that health care insurers could exploit to cut payments for the disabled and the working poor&#8212;encouraging them to use assisted suicide. This is exactly the wrong direction for real health care in America."<ref name="sheen"/>
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===Contributions===
 
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The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide spent $1,678,796 on the campaign.<ref name=followno>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/committee.phtml?c=3259 Campaign finance details for I-1000]</ref>
===Funding===
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The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide raised and spent $1,678,796 in their effort to defeat I-1000.<ref name=no>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/committee.phtml?c=3259 Campaign finance details for I-1000]</ref>
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The largest donors to CAAS were:
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The six largest donors were:<ref name=followno/>
 
* Connecticut Knights of Columbus: $250,000
 
* Connecticut Knights of Columbus: $250,000
 
* Knights of Columbus: $75,250
 
* Knights of Columbus: $75,250
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* Archdiocese of Seattle: $55,000
 
* Archdiocese of Seattle: $55,000
 
* Catholic Health Association: $50,000
 
* Catholic Health Association: $50,000
* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: $30,000<ref name=no/>
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* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: $30,000
 
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==Lawsuits==
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===Ballot title===
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In February 2008, the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court challenging the initiative's proposed [[ballot title]], arguing that the ballot title did't let voters know the "specific impact" of the initiative on existing laws.<ref>[http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000006494.cfm ''Citizen Link'']</ref> They say that the measure, were it to pass, would create "an entire protocol for facilitating suicide."
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On February 29, 2008, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham refused to add the words "physician-assisted suicide" to the ballot or official voters pamphlet description for the measure, saying, "It is a somewhat loaded term."<ref>[http://www.spokesmanreview.com/local/story.asp?ID=234219 ''Spokesman Review'': "Suicide not in initiative summary," March 1, 2008]</ref>
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Instead of "suicide," what voters saw in the official Voter Guide was that Initiative 1000 would allow some terminally ill patients "to request and self-administer lethal medication" prescribed by a doctor. The court declined to add specific language requested by opponents of the measure and largely upheld the description as written by the state attorney general's office.
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===Donor disclosure===
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Human Life of Washington, a pro-life group, opposesdthe measure.<ref name="disclosure">[http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/story/368913.html ''News Tribune'': "Human Life’s donors should be disclosed," May 21, 2008]</ref> The group has been running a radio ad campaign against the initiative, but because the ads do not mention the initiative, the group argues that they are issue advocacy and not election ads and thus do not require them to disclose their donors.<ref name="radio">[http://www.postchronicle.com/news/breakingnews/article_212157650.shtml ''Post Chronicle'': "Judge: Group Must Disclose Donors," July 11, 2008]</ref>
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In May 2008, Human Life, a pro-life group opposing the measure, filed a federal lawsuit against Washington's requirement that it disclose its contributors. Human Life's attorney argues that disclosure could expose donors to harassment and intimidation. The court held that Human Life was conducting a political campaign, and that the public has an interest in disclosure of those campaign donations.
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The state Attorney General argued that voters have a right to know who is funding the commercials, leading Human Life to file a suit challenging the law. But U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour ruled July 11, 2008, that Human Life must obey state election laws while its legal challenge is pending.<ref name="radio"/> <ref>[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004425619_assistedsuicide20m.html ''Seattle Times'': "Assisted-suicide foes want donor privacy," May 20, 2008]</ref> In July, the federal judge denied Human Life's request for a preliminary injunction and ruled that Human Life was engaging in a political campaign and must follow state campaign finance laws and disclose their donors. <ref>[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008042512_webhumanlife09m.html ''Seattle Times'': "Death with Dignity foes lose effort to protect donors," July 9, 2008]</ref>
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==Polls==
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: See also ''[[Polls, 2008 ballot measures]]''.
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A poll conducted Aug. 11 and 12, 2008, showed 51% of respondents were leaning toward supporting Initiative 1000, while 26% indicated they were leaning against it. Undecided voters made up 23%. The poll was sponsored by KING 5 and conducted by Survey USA. It included 1,000 adults and 718 likely voters.<ref name="polls">[http://www.lifenews.com/bio2549.html LifeNews.com: "Washington Poll Finds Strong Support for Assisted Suicide Ballot Proposal," Aug. 15, 2008]</ref>
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A statewide Elway Poll from early August indicated a higher level of undecided voters, with 39% of those polled saying they favor the measure and 26% opposing it.<ref name="polls"/>
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A poll released the last week of October showed strong support for I-1000, with 56 percent in favor, 38 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided.<ref>[http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/washington_voters_consider_mea.html ''The Oregonian:'' "Washington voters consider measure for terminally ill", October 30, 2008]</ref>
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==Path to the ballot==
 
==Path to the ballot==
 
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Initiative 1000 was filed on January 9, 2008 by former Governor Booth Gardner. Signatures were submitted to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the [[Article II, Washington State Constitution#Section 1|state constitution]].<ref>[http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/statistics_initiatives.aspx ''Washington Secretary of State'', "Initiatives to the People," accessed September 5, 2013]</ref>
:: ''See also: [[Washington signature requirements]]''
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The measure was certified for the November 2008 ballot on Aug. 13, 2008. Supporters of the initiative filed approximately 320,000 [[valid signature]]s on July 2, 2008.<ref>[http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7011502895 All Headline News: "Washington's Doctor-Assisted Suicide Initiative Gathers Public Support," July 4, 2008]</ref> Approximately  170,000 of the necessary signatures were gathered by volunteers, the rest by a paid petition drive management company from [[California]], [[Progressive Campaigns, Inc.]].<ref>[http://www.pdc.wa.gov/rptimg/default.aspx?batchnumber=100239647&formtype=A Expenditure detail]</ref>
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Supporters turned in their first batch of signatures for the measure on June 26, 2008.<ref>[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008018780_apwaassistedsuicide.html ''Seattle Times'': "Supporters of Initiative 1000 turn in signatures," June 26, 2008]</ref>
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==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Washington 2008 ballot measures]]
 
* [[2008 ballot measures]]
 
* [[List of Washington ballot measures]]
 
 
 
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*[[Washington 2008 ballot measures]]
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*[[2008 ballot measures]]
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*[[List of Washington ballot measures]]
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*[[Washington Aid-in-Dying, Initiative 119 (1991)]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
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* [http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/results_search.aspx State of Washington ballot measure election results]
*[http://www.yeson1000.org Yes on 1000 web site]
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* [https://wei.secstate.wa.gov/osos/en/Pages/OnlineVoterGuideGeneral2008.aspx?ElectionID=26&sorttype=Measures Washington 2008 Voters' Guide]
* [http://www.ncsl.org/LegislaturesElections/ElectionsCampaigns/BallotMeasuresDatabase/tabid/16580/Default.aspx 2008 Washington Ballot Measures Details]
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* [http://vote.wa.gov/Elections/WEI/Results.aspx?RaceTypeCode=M&JurisdictionTypeID=-2&ElectionID=26&ViewMode=Results 2008 Ballot Measures Election Results]
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* [https://wei.secstate.wa.gov/osos/en/Pages/OnlineVoterGuideGeneral2008.aspx?ElectionID=26&sorttype=Measures 2008 Washington Ballot Measures Voter Guide]
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*[http://www.noassistedsuicide.com No Assisted Suicide web site]
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*[http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/text/i1000.pdf Full text of the initiative]
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==References==
 
==References==
{{reflist|2}}
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{{reflist}}
 
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==Additional reading==
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* [http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/08/07/social-issues-dominate-2008-ballot-initiatives/ ''Wall Street Journal'': "Social Issues Dominate 2008 Ballot Initiatives," Aug. 7, 2008]
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* [http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-righttodie22-2008jun22,0,5400583.story LA Times: "Washington's right to die battle is personal," June 22, 2008]
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*[http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/oped/2007/12/05/death_with_dignity_initiative_set_for_2008 ''The News Tribune'': "Death with Dignity initiative set for 2008," Dec. 5, 2007]
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* [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gEOj2lhkuVJCGiPp-q1UD2ehPnEAD91B9BBG0 Associated Press: "Washington state mulls assisted suicide measure," June 16, 2008]
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* [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004479209_secretdonors16m.html ''Seattle Times'': "Identifying donors becomes issue in right-to-die campaign," June 16, 2008]
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* [http://www.newsroomamerica.com/usa/story.php?id=421573 NewsroomAmerica.com: "Wash. Considers Assisted Suicide Measure," June 16, 2008]
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[[Category:Washington 2008 ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:Washington 2008 ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:Assisted death, Washington]]
 
[[Category:Assisted death, Washington]]
 
[[Category:Assisted death, 2008]]
 
[[Category:Assisted death, 2008]]
[[Category:Initiatives to the People, Washington, 2008]]
 

Revision as of 07:04, 25 March 2014

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The Washington Assisted Death Initiative, also known as Initiative 1000, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People, where it was defeated. The measure allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults to request and self-administer a lethal overdose of medication.[1]

Election results

Washington Initiative 1000 (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,715,219 57.82%
No1,251,25542.18%

Election results via: Washington Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2]

Initiative Measure No. 1000 concerns allowing certain terminally ill competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions.

This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.

Should this measure be enacted into law?

Yes [ ] No [ ][3]

Background

In 1991, a similar initiative was defeated. Initiative 1000 was more restrictive in that it explicitly prohibits euthanasia and lethal injections. Initiative 1000 was based on Oregon Measure 16, which voters passed in 1994.

Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was challenged by the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the act in Gonzales v. Oregon.

Fiscal note

A fiscal impact statement was included in the 2008 Voters' Guide. The fiscal impacts of Initiative 985 are described as follows:[2]

Initiative 1000 would require health care providers writing a prescription or dispensing medication under this act to file a copy of the dispensing record with the Washington State Department of Health. The Department would be required to create and make available to the public an annual statistical report of information collected. The Department would adopt rules on the process for collecting this information. One-time rule-making costs are estimated at $60,000. Ongoing data collection and reporting costs are estimated at $19,000 per biennium. Total costs for the 2009–11 biennium are $79,000.[3]

Support

"Yes on 1000," the organization supporting Initiative 1000, was supported by Governor Booth Gardner, the National Death with Dignity Center, Compassion & Choices of Washington, and Compassion & Choices of Oregon. Consultants to the supporting campaign included Christian Sinderman and Blair Butterworth.[4] Other supporters included State Senator Darlene Fairley, State Representative Jamie Pedersen, the American Medical Student Association, the American Medical Women's Association, the Lifelong AIDS Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women's Law Center and the National Association of Social Workers.

Arguments

The following reasons were given in support of Initiative 1000 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:[2]

YES ON I-1000: IT'S MY DECISION

A YES vote FOR I-1000 allows mentally competent, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live to receive – under strict safeguards – a prescription for life-ending medication. This choice belongs exclusively to the terminally ill individual. Government, politicians, religious groups and others should not dictate these personal decisions.

TEN YEARS OF DIGNITY IN OREGON

I-1000 mirrors an Oregon law that has been in place for over 10 years. The Oregon law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and approved twice by voters.

Earlier this year, The Oregonian newspaper wrote that the law “helped elevate end-of-life care” and that “in a decade of experience with the law, no abuses have shown up.” The Seattle Times added that “those it affects, and their families, will be thankful for its passage.”

Independent studies of Oregon’s Death with Dignity law prove that the safeguards protect patients, prevent misuse and coercion, and allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients the option of a peaceful, dignified death. People with terminal cancer and AIDS would have the right to decide whether to end their intolerable suffering.

SAFEGUARDS WORK

There are multiple safeguards in Washington’s death with dignity law. These safeguards include independently witnessed oral and written requests, two waiting periods, mental competency and prognosis confirmed by two physicians, and self-administration of the medication. Only the patient – and no one else – may administer the medication.

YES ON I-1000: DEATH WITH DIGNITY

I-1000 asks, “Who should decide these difficult end-of-life questions?” We say the decision belongs with the patient and their family, and no one else.

For more information, visit www.yeson1000.org or call (206) 633-2008.[3]

The arguments in favor of Initiative 1000 were prepared by:[2]

  • Governor Booth Gardner (D)
  • Governor Daniel J. Evans (R)
  • Tom Preston, MD
  • Dorothy H. Mann, PhD, M.P.H.
  • Rev. Bruce Parker, D. Min.
  • Linda N. Olson, Ph., RN.

Advertisements


Dr. Nicolaidis: "Yes on 1000" television advertisement

Three ads were run by the "Yes on I-1000."

  • One of the television ads, called "Get the Facts" featured former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts reassuring voters who were worried that some may be taken advantage of if the measure were to be approved.
  • Another ad, "Doctor-Daughter," showed a doctor whose mother used physician assisted suicide in Oregon.
  • A third ad, "Lies," was a response to the "No on 1000" television commercial featuring actor Martin Sheen.

Contributions

"Yes on 1000" and "Compassion & Choices Washington Initiative PAC" spent $5,530,436 on the campaign.[5]

The eight largest donors were:[5]

  • Oregon Death with Dignity: $1,006,381
  • Compassion & Choices of Washington: $776,500
  • William Booth Gardner: $455,000
  • Andrew Ross: $400,000
  • Loren Parks: $275,000
  • Judy Sebba: $253,555
  • Compassion & Choices Action Network: $250,000
  • Stephen G. Clapp: $250,000

Opposition

"Coalition Against Assisted Suicide," the organization opposing the Initiative 1000, was supported by disability rights advocates and organizations, anti-abortion organizations, religious organizations, the Roman Catholic Church and the Washington Medical Association. Both Governor Christine Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi opposed Initiative 1000.[6]

Arguments

The following reasons were given in opposition to Initiative 1000 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:[2]

I-1000 legalizes assisted suicide in Washington. The law is flawed and dangerous.

I-1000 IS DANGEROUS FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD HEALH CARE.

Adding I-1000 to our broken, profit-driven health care system puts Washingtonians at risk – anyone with limited access to health care or inadequate health insurance. In Oregon, patients have been denied chemotherapy but offered assisted suicide instead.

I-1000 HAS NO REAL SAFEGUARDS.

I-1000 requires almost no government oversight, with no penalties for abuse. It overrides our disclosure laws and requires doctors to falsify death certificates.

I-1000 endangers vulnerable people. Its supposed “safeguards” are inadequate:

  • Depressed and mentally ill people can be given lethal drug overdoses.
  • Spouses and children need never be told a loved one is being given a lethal drug overdose.
  • There is no protection against coercion or financial pressures.

OUR STATE'S LEADING PHYSICIANS' ORGANIZATION, THE WASHINGTON STATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, STRONGLY OPPOSES I-1000.

Proponents say I-1000 provides a choice when dying, but for those who are not wealthy, it could be a choice made by insurers and state bureaucrats; they will have the choice to steer patients toward assisted suicide rather than provide actual end-of-life care.

DISABILITY COMMUNITY LEADERS OPPOSE I-1000.

Recent medical advances assure pain can be controlled and no one need suffer at the end of life. I-1000 is not needed.

Dangerous assisted suicide laws have been rejected in 24 states, including here in Washington in 1991. It’s time to reject assisted suicide, again.

VOTE “NO” ON I-1000. IT'S JUST TOO DANGEROUS.

For more information, visit www.noassistedsuicide.com or call (206) 337-2091.[3]

The arguments against Initiative 1000 were prepared by:[2]

  • Margarita Prentice, State Senator and nurse
  • Cynthia Markus, MD, President, Washington State Medical Association
  • Duane French, disability rights leader, Not Dead Yet – Washington
  • Rose Crumb, RN, hospice nurse, founder Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County
  • David Cortinas, publisher of LaVoz Hispanic Newspaper
  • Linda Seaman, MD, FAAHPM, board certified hospice and palliative medicine

Advertisements


"No on 1000" television advertisement

Ads run by the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide featured actor Martin Sheen, a self-desribed pro-life Democrat. In the ad, Sheen called the initiative ""a dangerous idea that could hurt low-income people who need medical care. It's a step backwards and I urge you to vote no... Initiative 1000 would open up a loophole that health care insurers could exploit to cut payments for the disabled and the working poor encouraging them to use assisted suicide. This is exactly the wrong direction for real health care in America."[7]

Contributions

The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide spent $1,678,796 on the campaign.[8]

The six largest donors were:[8]

  • Connecticut Knights of Columbus: $250,000
  • Knights of Columbus: $75,250
  • Washington State Catholic Conference: $70,394
  • Archdiocese of Seattle: $55,000
  • Catholic Health Association: $50,000
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: $30,000

Path to the ballot

Initiative 1000 was filed on January 9, 2008 by former Governor Booth Gardner. Signatures were submitted to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[9]

See also

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External links

References