First Assisted Suicide Case Under Washington State Law Reported

May 22, 2009

Washington (ChattahBox) – The Death With Dignity Act has been used for the first time in Washington, after a 66-year-old woman suffering from pancreatic cancer opted for state assisted suicide.

Linda Fleming had been in a great deal of pain, and worried about becoming less mentally aware as she slipped slowly closer to death. She had been given less then 6 months to live, and so decided to officially request assisted suicide under the recently passed Death with Dignity Act, which allows patients of terminal diseases to receive doctor given medication to end their life, if certain requirements are met.

“I am a very spiritual person, and it was very important to me to be conscious, clear-minded and alert at the time of my death,” she told reporters after making her official request on May 15th.

“The powerful pain medications were making it difficult to maintain the state of mind I wanted to have at my death, and I knew I would have to increase them. I am grateful that the Death with Dignity law provides me the choice of a death that fits my own personal beliefs.”

Fleming passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, her beloved pet dog, and officials from Compassion & Choices of Washington, a group dedicated to the cause of responsible choices in life and death.



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