Adjusting to Death with Dignity

The law changed, and now all factions are changing too
The law changed, and now all factions are changing too

There's been a lot written about how terminally ill patients and their families approach the end of life, and the ethics of physician assistance when one wants to die. Since this state began considering a Death with Dignity law — and former Gov. Booth Gardner took to the podium on the issue &mdash the subject's been a frequent headliner.

In his article, "Washington ushers in era of 'Death with Dignity,' posted on, journalist Harris Meyer (a Crosscut contributor) brings readers up to date on this new law.

Accepted by a vote of the people last November and in effect since March 5, this law is fascinating on several levels: It arouses strong feelings, tests beliefs, changes the doctor-patient relationship in profound ways. This is an evolving issue, not one legal change that flipped a societal switch, which is often how we-the-people often think about new laws.

Meyer's article is a cogent summary of how the various parties — supporters, foes, doctors, religious institutions — are responding to the change. Well worth a read.


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