Tory's Journey

Tory's Journey


Tory Plaisance


by KING 5 News

Posted on November 19, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 6:42 PM

Memorial for Tory Plaisance

A memorial for Tory Plaisance will be held this Saturday, April 24th.  Tory's family says anyone who would like to attend the memorial to honor and remember Tory is invited.

Saturday, April 24th at 2:30 p.m.
The American Legion Hall in Mountlake Terrace
22909 56th Ave W
Mountlake Terrace, WA

Tory Plaisance died Saturday, March 30th, after a long battle with cancer and AIDS. We knew it was coming. In fact it's really the only reason we ever got to know Tory, but it was still a shock.

For the last 10 months, a KING 5 News team has followed his efforts to use the state's new "Death With Dignity" law. He wanted us to tell his story, to show viewers that the new law had a place in Washington and that it had real value for people like him.

We agreed to track his progress toward death, knowing that we could not predict how or when the "story" would end. He wanted to support the law, we wanted to step back and show the progress, learn from it and hopefully allow viewers to learn from it as well.

Tory's Journey: Death with Dignity

In the eight month period after the Washington Death with Dignity Act took effect, 51 people formally asked their doctors for lethal medication. State statistics show 32 of those people died after receiving the medication, but there are no figures showing how many of those 32 used the prescribed drugs to end their lives. That means every month an average of slightly less than seven Washingtonians use the Death with Dignity Act.

Tory, a Seattle-area man suffering from cancer and AIDS, wanted to use the law and have the option of dying in a way, in a place and at a time of his own choosing. He contacted KING 5 News and asked if we would document his journey. We agreed to do that, it hopes by doing so, we would educate our viewers about how the law works.

KING 5 provided periodic updates on Tory’s situation on KING 5 News and King 5 News Up Front.  Portions of his personal video diary were also provided.

Tory's efforts were ultimately unsuccessful: He never did receive the legal lethal prescription he wanted.

Clearly this is an issue, or rather a whole series of issues, that will produce strong reactions from many of you. And we want to hear those reactions - about Tory's decisions and about our involvement with his last few months of life. We welcome you to comment at the end of this and other pages of our coverage. Hopefully we can make this a constructive, thoughtful discussion.