Washington Former Governor Will Still Head Up Assisted Suicide Bid

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Washington Former Governor Will Still Head Up Assisted Suicide Bid Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 17
, 2006

Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — Former Washington Governor Booth Gardner says he is still planning to lead a campaign in the Northwest state to make it the second after Oregon to legalize assisted suicide. That’s despite recently undergoing deep brain surgery for Parkinson’s Disease, which could possibly be used to help incapacitated patients like Terri Schiavo.

In an interview with the Associated Press, his first since the surgeries, he says he feels well enough to lead the campaign next year.

Since the surgeries in July, the 70-yeard old popular former governor has divorced and moved to Tacoma, where he has a live-in caretaker, AP reported.

Gardner, a Democrat, was Washington’s governor from 1985 to 1993, said in February that he plans a ballot initiative and an extensive campaign for a measure legalizing assisted suicide.

The measure would be based on a bill that Sen. Pat Thibaudeau, a Democrat from Seattle, introduced in the state legislature. The legislation would have allowed doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to kill patients. Two physicians would have to agree that the patient had fewer than six months to live and was mentally capable of making the decision.

Gardner previously told AP he should be able to decide when he dies.
"When I go, I want to decide," he said. "That’s why I plan to work on getting ‘assisted death’ in this state."

Washington state voters rejected an assisted suicide ballot effort in 1991 that would have allowed euthanasia as well by allowing doctors to dispense the lethal doses in addition to writing prescriptions.

Pro-life groups such as Human Life of Washington, Catholic and other religious groups and doctors organizations will likely work to oppose a state initiative.

"We think that the answer is love and care at the end of life and not eliminating patients," Dan Kennedy, chief executive of Human Life of Washington, told the Portland Oregonian earlier this year. "This turns (care) 180 degrees and asks doctors to be complicit in something we find morally offensive."

Related web sites:
Human Life – https://www.humanlife.net