End of Life Care
Compassionate Care throughout all the stages of life is an important goal of our work as members of the Whatcom County Medical Society. This objective is especially important when care is rendered at the end of life.
On Thursday, March 5, 2009, Initiative 1000, known as the "Death with Dignity Law" became the law of the land in Washington State. This law outlines the circumstances and procedures by which individuals with a terminal illness can request self administered "aid in dying", in order to hasten their death. This same law provides that individual physicians can make their own choice about whether or not to offer this service in their practice.
The Whatcom County Medical Society maintains a confidential registry of physicians who have told us they will not consider offering this service. If you wish to learn if your doctor is not open to possibly helping with self administered "aid in dying", you may call our office for that information, (360) 676-7630.
All of our physician medical society members are willing and available to discuss how to improve end of life care with their patients, and we hope that you feel free to bring up the subject when you feel the need, even if we have not mentioned it first.
Detailed information and support is also available from the organization Compassion and Choices. Their website is a great resource for downloading advance directives and signing up for the online living will registry.
They can also be contacted by phone and email:
PH: (206) 256-1636
FAX: (206) 256-1640
Whatcom Hospice: The Whatcom Hospice is another important resource in our community. They can be reached by phone at: (360) 733-5877.