Former WA Governor Files Assisted Suicide Initiative - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former WA Governor Files Assisted Suicide Initiative

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Former Governor Booth Gardner has filed an initiative that would legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill people.      

The initiative is patterned after Oregon's assisted suicide law.

It would allow Washingtonians with six months to live to get lethal prescription drugs if they want to end their lives.      

The initiative needs about 225,000 signatures to get on the fall ballot.  Disability rights advocates and other critics say it's wrong to promote suicide, even if someone takes their life with a doctor's help.      

Gardner says this is his last campaign.  The 71-year-old has Parkinson's Disease, which isn't terminal but Gardner says the prospect of losing control of his body has made him supportive of the so-called "Death with Dignity" initiative.

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