Report: 121 participated in state’s Death with Dignity program in 2012

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Seal_of_WashingtonOf the 121 who requested and receive prescriptions for lethal doses of medication under Washington’s Death with Dignity Act, at least 83 died after taking the drugs, according to the state’s fourth annual Death with Dignity Act report released Thursday,

Overall, 104 people who were dispensed lethal doses of medication in 2012 are known to have died, the report said.

Since the 2009 law was passed, 376 terminally ill adults have received medication in the state. The new report covers January 1 to December 31, 2012.

As in previous years, many of the patients who received medication told prescribing physicians about concern over loss of autonomy as a reason for participating, the report said.

According to the report by the Washington State Department of Health:

  • Number of patients participating increased 17 percent in 2012 from 2011.
  • Death with Dignity participants who died in 2012 were between the ages of 35 and 95.
  • More than 90 percent lived west of the Cascades.
  • Most had cancer.

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