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A second state lets doctors lend help in suicide

New York Times, March 5, 2009

Assisted suicide becomes legal in Washington on March 5, but dozens of hospitals are not expected to participate. Washington's law is essentially identical to the one in Oregon, the only other state that allows doctors to prescribe lethal medications. The law allows terminally ill patients who are 18 or older, and who have been found mentally competent, to self-administer lethal drugs under the prescription of a doctor. An opt-out provision for hospitals was included, partly for the sake of healthcare providers affiliated with religious groups, though many nonreligious hospitals have also invoked it.