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Public Hearing for Vermont Death with Dignity

Social movements like Death with Dignity are slow, ponderous behemoths, which seem to unexpectedly speed up. For 12 years, dedicated advocates in Vermont have been working toward enacting the first Death with Dignity law through the legislative process. And after a somewhat quiet period of building support, the last two years have seen major steps forward for the state. All the years of hard work by our partners, Patient Choices Vermont, (watch their new video to the right) are now coming to fruition at a rapid pace.

The Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee began hearings to weigh the merits of the proposed Death with Dignity law this morning, and this evening at 5:00 pm ET, the Committee will hear public testimony about the proposed bill.

Read more: Public Hearing for Vermont Death with Dignity

This Week in the Movement

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date with information about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook and Twitter. Below are highlights from this week.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Oregon's 2012 Death with Dignity Report

Written into Death with Dignity laws is the requirement the state's Health Department must issue annual reports of information collected during the medication request process.

Oregon's Public Health Division recently issued their 15th annual report, and consistent with all previous years, the data continue to show the law works the way it's intended: rarely used, but providing comfort to countless individuals who know they have options at the end of their lives.

Some quick facts about the usage of Oregon's law in 2012:

  • 77 people hastened their deaths under the Oregon law.
  • This accounts for 0.2% of all deaths in Oregon.
  • The top three concerns people expressed to their doctors when requesting the medication were centered around wanting control over their final days.
  • Of the end-of-life concerns expressed, the least common was "financial implications of treatment."

The numbers also show people who request the medication under Oregon's law are receiving high quality end-of-life care:

Read more: Oregon's 2012 Death with Dignity Report

This Week in the Movement

Adam Kingsmith on Death with Dignity

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date with information about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook and Twitter. Since I took a little vacation at the beginning of the year, I have a few weeks to catch up on. Below are highlights.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Quebec Is Keeping the Assisted Death Debate Alive--With Dignity

Adam Kingsmith on Death with Dignity

Adam Kingsmith has an M.A. in International Relations and is an Associate Editor of The Hidden Transcript, where his blog Social Glasnost explores the linkages between technology, culture, and dissent—with the occasional ill-advised foray into Canadian politics. He currently splits time between his hometown of Vancouver and Toronto. His article below originally appeared on The Huffington Post Canada.

Following the recommendations of a provincial panel of legal experts on medically assisted end-of-life procedures, the government of Quebec has announced plans to proceed with its "dying with dignity" legislation—paving the way for doctors in the province to assist terminally ill patients in ending their lives.

"Every person should be able to make their own choice according to their values and according to their experience, their life, at the end of their life," said Jean-Paul Ménard, who led the legal panel.

Read more: Quebec Is Keeping the Assisted Death Debate Alive--With Dignity

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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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