Recent Updates

from our blog:

living with dying

read more from our blog


This Week in the Movement

In the News by RambergMediaImages, on Flickr

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

Dignity 2012 Turns in Double the Number of Signatures Necessary

Dignity 2012 volunteer sorting signature petitions

Last week, Dignity 2012 turned in nearly double the number of signatures they needed to place Death with Dignity on the November ballot.

The work of hundreds of volunteers made it possible to get to this point. Presenting issues to the voters through the ballot in Massachusetts is a long and arduous path. Last fall, Dignity 2012 gathered nearly 85,000 signatures to move to the next major step, which was to have the initiative considered by the State Legislature. Lawmakers had until the beginning of May to act on the measure. They didn't and, the initiative moved to the second signature-gathering phase.

This second round of signature gathering involves a whirlwind of activity. Dignity 2012 had 39 days to mail out thousands of petition sheets with return postage, get the petitions to the 351 Town Clerks, pick up the certified petitions, and file them with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Volunteers braved all types of weather to gather signatures from people throughout Massachusetts. No one who signed it in the first round could sign during this stage. The petitions then had to be hand sorted and mailed to individual Town Clerks' offices. (The photo above, courtesy of Dignity 2012, is a volunteer working on this monumental process.) Once certified by the Town Clerks, the petitions were filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Read more: Dignity 2012 Turns in Double the Number of Signatures Necessary

This Week in the Movement

News by Mars Hill Church, on Flickr

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:

  • Last Friday's ruling by the British Columbia Supreme Court regarding assisted death continued to dominate news. Check out our summary of the ruling.
  • The Globe and Mail's André Picard, in his piece "The importance of picking a vocabulary for dying" wrote, "Calling medically assisted dying suicide is a lot like calling surgery a knife attack."
  • Gloria Taylor, a plaintiff in the BC case, was granted a constitutional exception allowing her to request assistance in dying. She held an emotional press conference on Monday.

Discussions about death, dying, and grieving:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

BC Supreme Court Strikes Ban on Assisted Death

Gloria Taylor, photo by Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Last Friday, the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a ruling in Carter v. Canada, a landmark court case which took a hard look at Canada's ban on medically-assisted death and found it wanting. The BC Supreme Court struck down the ban as unconstitutional and gave Parliament one year to draft new legislation regarding assisted death.

While Parliament works on new legislation, the Court granted plaintiff Gloria Taylor, who has ALS, a constitutional exemption to request assistance in dying assuming certain conditions are met. According to the Farewell Foundation's blog, the conditions mentioned in the ruling include "requirements that she make a written request, be terminally ill and near death, of sound mind, and fully informed of treatment options such as palliative care." These conditions are quite similar to the safeguards in the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts.

Since the ruling, there's been a barrage of articles about the ruling and no shortage of opinion pieces. Some of the more astute op-eds summarize the sentiment of the BC Supreme Court ruling: not all assisted death cases are the same and a blanket ban isn't allowing enough options for people facing the end of their lives.

Read more: BC Supreme Court Strikes Ban on Assisted Death

This Week in the Movement

Old news by Jason de Villa, on Flickr

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

Pages

Defend dignity. Take action.

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, non-profit organization, has been the leading advocate in the death with dignity movement. Member contributions helped us pass a new Death with Dignity law in Washington, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the death with dignity movement.

donate today