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.)