Death With Dignity or Assisted Suicide - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Death With Dignity or Assisted Suicide

Posted: Updated:
YAKIMA, Wash.- Initiative 1000 or Death With Dignity is a controversial topic on this year's ballot.

"The act of dying should be within a person's right to choose the quality of that death," said Judy Enriquez, who supports I-1000.

That's what the supporters are saying, but there are many people who oppose this initiative.

"Human life is a precious gift from god and is to be protected," said Father Robert Siler from the Diocese of Yakima.

This initiative would allow terminally ill patients who have been diagnosed with less than six months to live the option to take a lethal dosage of medication. And while some refer to it as Death With Dignity, some are calling it Assisted Suicide.

"True death with dignity is giving people near end of their life the medication they need, the comfort and support of their family, friend and community," said Siler.

But one voter says we live in a democracy and should be able to choose what's right for each individual.

"I want personally to have the choice of how I die and the dignity with which I'm allowed to die," said Enriquez.

Voters who oppose this initiative say they're not against medication to end pain but that there's a fine line between prescribing medication to save a life and to end one.

"It's not our decision, it is God's," said Siler.

But not everyone agrees.

"If they're saying technology should keep people alive and for nature to take its course, often we put machines on that take away nature's natural progression anyway," said Enriquez.

 The lethal dosage is currently illegal and Oregon is the only state that has passed this measure.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/