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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Matter of Opinion

Death and Dying Update

("Journey into death" illustration by Molly Quinn, artist, The Spokesman-Review)

Press release from the Coalition Against Assited Suicide:

State Senator Margarita Prentice (D-Renton) and a bipartisan group of legislators today urged voters not to sign Initiative 1000, the assisted suicide petition being circulated in Washington state.

“This very dangerous initiative never would have passed the legislature. It has virtually no protection for low-income and vulnerable people from being pressured into prematurely ending their life,” said the Senator Prentice, a registered nurse and chair of the powerful budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee.

“Don’t sign your own death warrant,” added Rep. Lynn Schindler (R-Spokane Valley). “Voters should realize that 25 states around the country have rejected this kind of dangerous proposal. Under Initiative 1000, persons who are ill could feel pressured by organizations to end their own lives to escape the financial burden,” the District 4 legislator stated.

Legislators noted that proponents didn’t event attempt to go get a hearing during this past session. They knew it would never pass out of the Legislature without better safeguards to protect underprivileged, disabled and minority voters, according to Prentice.

Among the legislators who have announced their opposition to assisted suicide are:

• Sen. Margarita Prentice (D) Renton
• Sen. Jim Hargrove (D) Hoquiam
• Sen. Rosa Franklin (D) Tacoma
• Rep. Mark Miloscia (D) Federal Way
• Sen. Don Benton (R) Vancouver
• Rep. Bill Hinckle (R) Ellensburg
• Sen. Jim Honeyford (R) Sunnyside
• Rep. Lynn Schindler (R) Spokane
• Sen. Pam Roach (R) Auburn
• Rep. Bruce Chandler (R) Zillah
• Sen. Joe Zarelli (R) Ridgefield
• Sen. Bob McCaslin (R) Spokane
• Rep. John Ahern (R) Spokane
• Sen. Val Stevens (R) Arlington
• Rep. Bob Sump (R) Republic

A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.