Washington St. Sees First Doctor Assisted Suicide Under "Death With Dignity" Law

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A 66-year-old woman with terminal cancer has become the first person to die under Washington state's new assisted suicide law, an

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – A 66-year-old woman with terminal cancer has become the first person to die under Washington state's new assisted suicide law, an advocacy group said Friday. Linda Fleming, of Sequim, died Thursday night after taking drugs prescribed under the "Death with Dignity" law that took effect in March, said Compassion & Choices of Washington.

The organization said Fleming was diagnosed last month with advanced pancreatic cancer. She would have had to have been diagnosed by two doctors as terminal in order to qualify for assisted suicide.

The group said Fleming died at home with her family, her dog and her physician at her bedside.

"The pain became unbearable, and it was only going to get worse," Fleming said in a statement released by the organization. Read on...

A good friend of mine died recently from pancreatic cancer and I know how devastatingly painful it was for her. I can't even begin to imagine her suffering. Regardless of what side of the debate you're on, the subject always seems to stir a lot of emotions, most recently brought to the surface during the political and media circus surrounding Terri Schiavo's life and death.

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