Controversial Washington bill said to force religious hospitals to take part in assisted suicide

assisted suicide, euthanasia

A bill has been introduced in the state of Washington which would force hospitals, including religious institutions, to commit assisted suicide.

House Bill 1035 requires that “[a] health care entity may not discharge, demote, suspend, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against a health care provider” for committing assisted suicide. As Alex Schadenberg noted, “The assisted suicide lobby wants to remove the right of religiously affiliated healthcare institutions from prohibiting medical practitioners from participating in assisted suicide.”

This bill is in addition to one last year, which already expanded assisted suicide to allow non-physicians to commit it, shortened the waiting period, and allowed the fatal drugs to be sent in the mail. It also allows medical providers to commit assisted suicide the same day it is requested, under certain circumstances.

Reports from Washington state already have troubling implications; 400 prescriptions for assisted suicide were written in 2021, but only accounted for 291 deaths… and not all of the drugs left have been accounted for. According to the report, from the Australian Care Alliance, some people died of natural causes before they were able to take the drugs, or just chose not to take them. However, those drugs were never tracked, meaning they could still be used accidentally — or given intentionally to another person.

READ: Alarming report unveils the perils of promoting ‘assisted dying’

Forcing those morally opposed to assisted suicide to participate in it has also become increasingly common.

In Canada, Catholic hospitals have been forced to provide the fatal “service,” thanks in large part to assisted suicide advocacy organizations like Dying with Dignity. Helen Long, CEO of Dying with Dignity Canada, called it “unacceptable” for Catholic hospitals not to commit MAiD (medical assistance in dying). “[W]e’re talking about a hospital and hospitals don’t have conscientious rights. The hospital should have a policy that allows outside physicians to come in and perform MAiD without having to transfer the patient,” she said, adding, “It’s just a horrible situation to put people in when all they want to do is say goodbye and spend a few minutes with their loved ones.”

Yet polling found that it was Long and Dying with Dignity that were out of touch; most Canadians disagreed that religious health care organizations should be forced to participate in MAID.

Should the Washington bill be signed into law, it will almost certainly face significant legal challenges. In 2022, a federal judge ruled that doctors cannot be forced to participate in assisted suicide, record a request for it, or refer a patient to another provider.

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