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MULTICARE ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE 1000 POLICY

ORGANIZATION RECOGNIZES RIGHTS OF BOTH PATIENTS AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

3/2/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(TACOMA) -- MultiCare Health System today announced its policy regarding Initiative 1000, Washington's version of the Death with Dignity Act, also referred to as Aid in Dying, which goes into effect on March 4.

The announcement follows internal discussions about I-1000 within MultiCare's physician community, Governing Board, and ethics committees.

MultiCare cannot allow I-1000-qualified patients from taking life-ending medications at its acute-care facilities. In addition, MultiCare pharmacies will not fill prescriptions for life-ending medications related to I-1000.

However, MultiCare recognizes the autonomy and rights of patients to make end-of-life choices under I-1000. MultiCare health care providers can counsel I-1000-qualified patients on their options or participate as attending or consulting physicians.

Furthermore, MultiCare recognizes the right of health care providers to choose not to participate in activities related to I-1000. No MultiCare employee will be required to do so.

When appropriate, MultiCare will refer patients to other community providers if their needs cannot be met within MultiCare Health System.

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MultiCare is a leading-edge, integrated health organization made up of four hospitals, numerous primary care and urgent care clinics, multi-specialty centers, Hospice and Home Health services, and many other services. A not-for-profit organization based in Tacoma, Washington since 1882, MultiCare has grown over the years in response to community needs. Today we are the area's largest provider of health care services, serving patients at 93 locations in Pierce, South King, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

© MultiCare Health System

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