Participation in Death with Dignity program increases

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OLYMPIA — A new report shows a 17 percent increase in participation in Washington’s Death with Dignity program.

The program allows terminally ill adults seeking to end their life the right to request lethal doses of medication from doctors. In 2012 medication was dispensed to 121 participants.

Of those participating, the majority had cancer. As in previous years, many of the patients who received medication told prescribing physicians their concern over loss of autonomy as a reason for participating.

Since the 2009 law passed, 376 terminally ill adults have received lethal doses of medication in Washington.

The Washington State Department of Health collects information from patients and providers who chose to participate and produces an annual report.

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