Only one other US state -- Oregon -- has similar legislation, although a court in Montana recently ruled that terminally ill patients had the right to seek physician-assisted suicide.
"It's not euthanasia because euthanasia implies action by a physician to end a patient's life. It's not suicide because people who choose aid in dying are not choosing to end their lives.
"They don't want to die -- they're choosing to end suffering that cannot be relieved and suffering that they are experiencing that is worse than death."
Barnett said Washington physicians who object to the legislation have the right to decline a request for a lethal prescription.
"Anyone who has an objection of conscience may choose not to participate," he said. Physicians were also not allowed to administer the fatal drugs.
"We know from these people that what was important was having the knowledge that they had the option if things became too difficult. Having that knowledge allowed them to keep going."
I've always supported assisted suicide, and euthanasia for that matter, so obviously I think this is a step in the right direction. What do you think?