70 people die in Washington through lethal prescriptions

May 2, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — At least 70 people died in Washington last year after requesting and taking a lethal prescription through Washington's Death with Dignity law, the Department of Health reported Wednesday.

The department said 103 people requested and received lethal doses of medication in 2011. Of those people, 94 are known to have died, state officials said, including the 70 who died after taking the medication. The 103 prescriptions were written by 80 different physicians and dispensed by 46 different pharmacists

Those who died were between the ages of 41 and 101 and most had cancer, according to the health department.

Washington was the second state after Oregon to adopt a death with dignity law after voters approved an initiative in 2008.