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Over 170 Requested Lethal Prescriptions in Washington State

News August 7th, 2015
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The Washington Health Department reported that 176 people requested lethal doses of medications in 2014. Of those, 170 died, but only 126 are known to have passed from the use of lethal prescription drugs.

Requesting lethal prescription drugs is your right in the State of Washington. According to the Death and Dignity Act, people with terminal illnesses (who are diagnosed with 6 months left to live) are allowed to request lethal prescription medication.

The majority of the people who elected for this option in 2014 had terminal cancer and the age ranged from 21 to 101 years old. Many of them died in their homes among their family and caregivers.

The Death with Dignity law was put into effect six years ago, and since then 725 adults have chosen to end their lives by physician-prescribed medication.

Although many people are still split when it comes to euthanasia (medically assisted suicide), it’s not our right to make judgments on those who elect for such services. It’s easy to make a judgement from afar, but until you’ve experienced the situation, it’s impossible to imagine what they’re going through. It’s important for everyone to respect each other’s rights.

In Home Hospice Care

For many, one of the things that makes death a little easier is being comfortable in a familiar settings. This is why many people diagnosed with terminally ill diseases elect for in home hospice care. Whether in home care is needed daily or once a week, this is the most expensive option of senior care. The reason many don’t elect for it is due to the long-term expense.

In home hospice care is truly a blessing as it can serve as a way to give people that comfort in their final days.

For many seniors on hospice, they’ve worked with their caregivers for years — some, even decades. Many increase the amount of care they need over the years as their conditions worsen. When we interviewed Vicky Johnston of Right at Home, this was certainly true for many elders who suffered.

In home care offers a multitude of services, from home health care to hospice. Regular “home care” can involve non-nursing duties, i.e. cooking, cleaning, and companionship. Home health provides caregivers who are under explicit orders from the elder’s nurse and doctor. They are often even licensed to provide intravenous injections when necessary.

Most people who elect for in home care, only need it a few times a week for a few hours. If they wanted that level of care more often, many would be better off in an assisted living to manage the cost. Hospice of course provides the maximum amount of care you can possibly receive with some caregivers living with their seniors.

For adult children and family caregivers whose elder is suffering from a terminal illness, in home care in Seattle, may be preferable to moving them into an assisted living or other housing option.

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