Friday, May 22, 2009

First Assisted Suicide in Washington State

Washington has now seen the first person die under state's the second-in-the-nation law legalizing the practice of assisted suicide. A 66-year-old woman from Sequim named Linda Fleming died Thursday night after taking a lethal cocktail prescribed to her by a physician under the law.

The pro-euthanasia group Compassion & Choices announced Fleming's death Friday morning.

The group, which spearheaded the fight for the law, claims Fleming had stage 4 pancreatic cancer which promoted her to kill herself with her doctor's help.

"The pain became unbearable, and it was only going to get worse," the organization quoted Fleming as saying in a statement.

Given that she just received the diagnoses last month, and given the "waiting period" between the required two requests, one has to wonder; was she even treated for the inevitable onset of fear and depression?

It will undoubtedly be spun by Compassion and Choices that she was in unbearable pain. If that was the case, she wasn't being provided all the options for pain management.

No one who opposes assisted suicide is in favor of unbearable pain. But unbearable pain does not have to be a part of the dying process given today's medical advances.

WA Human Life

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