Death with Dignity Act

Death with Dignity Act

Initiative 1000, which allows terminally ill adults to request and self-administer lethal medications prescribed by a physician, became law March 4, 2009. Hospital leaders need to understand the law and its requirements for health care providers in order to ensure compliance with the law.
In particular, hospitals must have clear policies on the level of participation in Death with Dignity Act they allow, or if they prohibit participation.  These policies must be shared with physicians, pharmacists, and other providers.  The policies must also be made available to the public.  Hospitals should also ensure any participating providers are correctly documenting their actions with the Washington State Department of Health. 

Governing Law: RCW 70.245 and WAC 246-978

Model Do Not Allow Participation Policy

Model Allow Participation Policy

Checklist for Participating Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

Press Release - Allow Participation

Press Release - Do Not Allow Participation

WSHA I-1000 Bulletin

I-1000 Text

I-1000 Legal Analysis

Oregon Death with Dignity Guide

Information for Patients and Families

If you are a patient or family member looking for resources to help in your medical decision-making, Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest is designed for you. Co-sponsored by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), Honoring Choices has a vision that everyone in the state will receive medical care that honors their personal values and goals. Learn more at