Woman First to Use Washington Suicide Law

Cancer patient, 66, takes lethal dose under Death with Dignity Act
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 1:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 66-year-old woman became the first to opt for physician-assisted suicide under Washington state’s new death-with-dignity law, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Linda Fleming took a lethal dose of medication last night, surrounded by her family, doctor and dog.

“The pain became unbearable,” Fleming said in a statement relayed by an advocacy group. “I’m a very spiritual person, and it was important to me to be conscious, clear-minded and alert at the time of my death.” Fleming’s pain would have worsened dramatically had she not opted to die, said Compassion & Choices of Washington, a key proponent of the measure passed in November. (Read more Washington state stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.