Compassion & Choices of Washington Programs
We provide free client support services to qualified patients statewide who desire a peaceful, humane death, as well as those who want the option of using the Washington Death With Dignity Act. We are the only organization in Washington that offers personal presence at the time of a Death With Dignity death.
We created and helped lead the coalition (Yes! on I-1000) that passed Initiative 1000, the Death With Dignity Act, with nearly 60% of the vote and in all but nine counties, making Washington the second state to legalize the option of physician aid in dying.
We steward, protect, and uphold the law. We created what is widely acknowledged to be the best advance directive packet (living will and durable power of attorney for health care) in Washington and have distributed it at no charge to thousands of individual. We encourage advance planning and set a new standard in Washington for advance planning documents with our Compassion & Choices of Washington Advance Directive, and the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form, both of which we distribute at no charge. We created the first Alzheimer’s and Dementia Mental Health Advance Directive.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Since the enactment of the Washington Death With Dignity Act, we have flawlessly implemented the law, upheld qualified patients' rights to use it, and protected it from hostile legislative efforts. Our client support volunteers have empowered hundreds of people to make informed end-of-life decisions and then ensured their choices are honored, whether they wish to use the Death With Dignity Act or not.
Since 2008, our caseload had quadrupled. Because the population of older adults in Washington is growing each year, we are experiencing an increasing demand for our free services. We seek funding support for: 1) Direct client services because we saw a 30% increase in support services last year and we continue to see increases in requests every month and 2) Community Education because we the number of requests for information and educational presentations have doubled in the past year and there is a great need to educate physicians, hospice staff, nurses, the public and more.