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Suicide doses for 63 in 9 months of Wash. law

SEATTLE — The state of Washington says 63 suicide prescriptions were dispensed during the first nine months of the state’s Death with Dignity Act.

The state Department of Health said Thursday the prescriptions for lethal doses of medication were written by 53 doctors and dispensed by 29 pharmacists.

Of the 63 who received lethal doses of prescription medicine between March and December 2009, 47 are known to have died. Thirty-six died after ingesting the medication. Those who died were between the ages of 48 and 95. Nearly all of them lived west of the Cascades. Most had terminal cancer and all were expected to die within six months.

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