State of Washington
66th Legislature
2020 Regular Session
ByHouse Health Care & Wellness (originally sponsored by Representatives Rude, Macri, Kloba, Peterson, Springer, Cody, Ormsby, Riccelli, and Doglio)
AN ACT Relating to studying barriers to the use of the Washington death with dignity act; adding a new section to chapter 70.245 RCW; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 70.245 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The University of Washington shall conduct a study, in consultation with the department of health and with approval from the Washington state institutional review board, of the ability of Washington residents to make use of the rights established under this chapter. The study shall review the extent to which there are barriers to achieving full access to the Washington death with dignity act, including:
(a) A lack of awareness of the Washington death with dignity act and its provisions;
(b) Burdens for qualified patients to meet the fifteen-day waiting period;
(c) The effectiveness of pain control medication used during the fifteen-day waiting period;
(d) Concerns that inhibit the participation of health care providers in the provisions of this chapter;
(e) Hospital, medical, hospice, and long-term care providers' policies that restrict the participation in and the distribution of information about the provisions of this chapter;
(f) Limited geographic access to compounding pharmacies or other pharmacies that dispense medications under this chapter;
(g) Restrictions based on the requirement that the medications under this chapter be self-administered;
(h) Lack of insurance coverage for the services and medications necessary to participate in the provisions of this chapter;
(i) The need for improvements to the data collection system; and
(j) Any other barriers identified in the course of performing the study.
(2) By June 30, 2021, the University of Washington shall report its findings, as well as any legislative or administrative policy recommendations, to the governor and the committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over health policy. The report must protect the confidentiality of the subjects of any data that it receives while conducting its research, including the names of any qualifying patients and health care providers. The department of health and the University of Washington shall enter into a signed data-sharing agreement for the purpose of this section. Data obtained pursuant to this section is not subject to public disclosure.
(3) This section expires January 1, 2022.
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