Attending physician responsibilities.
(1) The attending physician shall:
(a) Make the initial determination of whether a patient has a terminal disease, is competent, and has made the request voluntarily;
(b) Request that the patient demonstrate Washington state residency under RCW 70.245.130;
(c) To ensure that the patient is making an informed decision, inform the patient of:
(i) His or her medical diagnosis;
(ii) His or her prognosis;
(iii) The potential risks associated with taking the medication to be prescribed;
(iv) The probable result of taking the medication to be prescribed; and
(v) The feasible alternatives including, but not limited to, comfort care, hospice care, and pain control;
(d) Refer the patient to a consulting physician for medical confirmation of the diagnosis, and for a determination that the patient is competent and acting voluntarily;
(e) Refer the patient for counseling if appropriate under RCW 70.245.060;
(f) Recommend that the patient notify next of kin;
(g) Counsel the patient about the importance of having another person present when the patient takes the medication prescribed under this chapter and of not taking the medication in a public place;
(h) Inform the patient that he or she has an opportunity to rescind the request at any time and in any manner, and offer the patient an opportunity to rescind at the end of the fifteen-day waiting period under RCW 70.245.090;
(i) Verify, immediately before writing the prescription for medication under this chapter, that the patient is making an informed decision;
(j) Fulfill the medical record documentation requirements of RCW 70.245.120;
(k) Ensure that all appropriate steps are carried out in accordance with this chapter before writing a prescription for medication to enable a qualified patient to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner; and
(l)(i) Dispense medications directly, including ancillary medications intended to facilitate the desired effect to minimize the patient's discomfort, if the attending physician is authorized under statute and rule to dispense and has a current drug enforcement administration certificate; or
(ii) With the patient's written consent:
(A) Contact a pharmacist and inform the pharmacist of the prescription; and
(B) Deliver the written prescription personally, by mail or facsimile to the pharmacist, who will dispense the medications directly to either the patient, the attending physician, or an expressly identified agent of the patient. Medications dispensed pursuant to this subsection shall not be dispensed by mail or other form of courier.
(2) The attending physician may sign the patient's death certificate which shall list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death.
[2009 c 1 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 1000, approved November 4, 2008).]