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Week 6/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

The whirlwind of media attention to Death with Dignity continued into February. These are the highlights of press coverage of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from February 1 to February 7, 2015.

If you only read one article, make sure it's this overview of Death with Dignity developments written in response to the New York lawsuit (see below): "More states consider assisted-suicide laws since Brittany Maynard's death," The Christian Science Monitor, 2/4/2015.

(For a good overview of the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling that Canadian adults who are mentally competent and suffering intolerably and permanently have the right to a doctor’s help in dying, read this Globe and Mail article. And, TIME magazine has an analysis, including our take, of the impact of SCC's ruling in the U.S.)

California

The buzz around California's End of Life Option Act continues unabated.

Read more: Week 6/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Canada Legalizes Physician-Assisted Dying

Canada today provided terminally-ill citizens with increased peace of mind and control over the dying process. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that those who are terminally ill and experiencing intolerable suffering have the right to a physician's assistance in hastening death. The monumental ruling demonstrates Canada's commitment, as a country with a reputation of being a just and civil society, to allowing terminally ill individuals the right to increased control in their final stages of life and strikes down an inhumane ban on assisted dying that interfered with the most fundamental of relationships between a dying patient and his or her physician.

The Canadian case, Carter v. Canada, featured several patients, but was driven by the plight of countless others. Gloria Taylor was a woman living with ALS who appealed to the Canadian court system in 2011 for the right to a dignified and humane death. The British Columbia Court of Appeals granted Taylor a personal exemption from the ban on assisted suicide, providing her with the right to an assisted death. After her death, the case continued, reaching resolution today.

Read more: Canada Legalizes Physician-Assisted Dying

January 2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement, Part 2

Loudspeakers

In Part 1 of this two-part blog post series we brought you a compendium of media stories, published or broadcast in January 2015, covering death with dignity around the U.S. Today, we finish with a few in-depth articles and opinion pieces about death with dignity and end-of-life care. Enjoy!

Read more: January 2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement, Part 2

January 2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement, Part 1

The first month of 2015 has been very busy in our movement. Death with dignity appeared both in the national media and in local outlets in no fewer than 14 states around the U.S. as legislators there introduced or announced their intent to introduce bills (a handful of others will come up in the next few weeks.)

We begin with highlights of media coverage, including related editorials, of death with dignity laws being introduced or discussed around the country, along with a summary of the current status in each state (daily updates are here). The sheer number of states in play and corresponding media stories are testimony to how far the movement has progressed in large part thanks to the courage of Brittany Maynard in publicly sharing her private decision to request medication allowed under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. The outpouring of support for Brittany and the work we do toward death with dignity policy reform throughout the U.S. has been truly incredible. The issue of having death with dignity as an end-of-life option is clearly important to Americans.

California

State Senators Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced SB 168-End of Life Option Act at a press conference on January 21. Death with Dignity National Center has provided strategic support for the effort in California.

Read more: January 2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement, Part 1

Exclusive: A summary of the announcement of End of Life Option Act in California

As we recently wrote, our representatives attended the announcement on January 21, 2015, of the End of Life Option Act in the California State Capitol. A recording of the 45-minute long press conference is available online. Today we bring you an exclusive summary, including our introduction. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and share your thoughts in the comments.

The Announcement of California End of Life Option Act from Death with Dignity National Ctr on Vimeo.

Read more: Exclusive: A summary of the announcement of End of Life Option Act in California

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You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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