Fourteen years after a slight majority of Oregon voters made their state the first to allow physician-assisted suicide, a Washington ballot initiative nearly identical to Oregon’s law was approved with 58% of the vote.
“It was a resounding win,” said Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Portland-based Death With Dignity National Center, whose political action committee raised more than $615,000 for the ballot fight. “That’s a trouncing any sort of politician would be glad to win anyplace.”
The group’s board plans to meet in November and December to analyze which state to target next.
“We really believe this is a people’s movement,” Sandeen said. “The legislatures are still afraid” of physician-assisted suicide. She predicted it will take two to three years to mount another state ballot drive. Planning for Washington’s physician-assisted suicide ballot measure, Initiative 1000, began in 2005.
The whole shebang.