81-Year-Old Kennewick Man Talks About I-1000 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

81-Year-Old Kennewick Man Talks About I-1000

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Initiative 1000 is very controversial.  It would allow a terminally ill patient with less than six months to live a chance to get a lethal prescription if two doctors approved the prescription.

It's an issue many people have had to deal with and have very strong opinions about.

81-year-old Richard Whitner says he voted against Initiative 100, the assisted suicide or death with dignity initiative, depending which side you're on.  Whitner didn't refer to it as either of those, just calmly talked about it from the perspective of his age, as an author, and as Methodist.

Whitner says he's been through a lot, losing two wives and having chronic illnesses of his own, but he says it's all about how you deal with it.  He also says it's a decision each individual has to make for themselves, and you can only make that decision if you are actually in that position.
He explains, "I understand when people are very ill, very much in pain, they want relief of some kind.  I think also under those circumstances, people don't always think very clearly."

Whitner says the main reason he voted no on I-1000 isn't because he's against it, but because he believes it won't be implemented how it was intended or people will take advantage of it.