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Olympic Medical Center in Washington state has changed its position on whether staff and patients will be allowed to pursue an assisted suicide. The decision is a modification of its original one to opt out of participating in the law that made Washington the second state to legalize assisted suicide.

Olympic Medical Center originally said its physicians would not be ones who would assist elderly and terminally ill patients in killing themselves.

However, according to a Peninsula Daily News report, its board of directors held a debate at their May 20 meeting and voted Wednesday night 5-1 to pass the resolution changing its position.

Commissioners Jim Cammack, Arlene Engel, Jim Leskinovitch, John Beitzel and John Nutter approved the pro-assisted suicide measure while Jean Hordyk opposed it, the newspaper indicated.

The OMC board “has received further input from the medical staff and the public in consideration of end of life issues,” according to the language of the resolution, since its March 4 vote.

Dan Kennedy, the head of Human Life, the statewide pro-life group, told he is disappointed with the decision and blamed euthanasia proponents for lobbying the medical center to change its decision.

“It’s very revealing, that during the campaign for Initiative 1000, the proponents insisted that no one would have to participate,” he said. “After passage, Compassion & Choices has begun a campaign to intimidate hospitals into acquiescence, including a letter-writing campaign to local newspapers.”

“If patients must use Olympic Medical Center, they better make certain what their doctor’s position is, and be wary of staff,” Kennedy added.

ACTION: Contact Olympic Medical Center with your comments against its decision at: Olympic Medical Center, 939 Caroline Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362, (360) 417-7000, email [email protected]

Related web sites:
Human Life of Washington –
Olympic Medical Center –

Printed from:
[Ertelt, June 5, 2009, Port Angeles, WA (]