Recent Updates

from our blog:

living with dying

read more from our blog

Vermont's Death with Dignity Effort

Vermont 4/11/12 Newspaper by Patient Choices

The effort in Vermont to enact Death with Dignity is different than how the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts became law. Oregon and Washington, like Massachusetts, allow voters to directly decide on proposed laws during elections through an initiative process.

In Vermont, on the other hand, laws may only be enacted through legislative action. Opponents of physician-assisted death have very deep pockets and are able to convince elected officials they don't want to take on a controversial bill about a topic no one likes to talk about—death. They do it time and time again, making a legislative effort an especially difficult challenge.

This year, however, advocates in Vermont made tremendous headway. When I last wrote about Vermont in early March, the State Senate Judiciary Committee had scheduled hearings for the proposed law. In the past month, there've been quite a few developments in Patient Choices Vermont's efforts to support a Death with Dignity law in their state.

Read more: Vermont's Death with Dignity Effort

Living Through Death with Dignity

This article is reprinted with permission from Snofly's post on HubPages. Snofly also started a blog before her brother passed and occasionally still blogs as the mood strikes at Grumpy Butterfly.

In 2009, the Death with Dignity Law became effective in Washington State. I voted for it. In theory, death with dignity sounds like a good idea.

In 2011, I actually lived through it. When faced with the reality of going through this with someone you love it can be a shock. It can make you ask yourself, "what in the world was I thinking?"

Read more: Living Through Death with Dignity

Grieving After 25 Years

DeVida with her mom and dadThis Easter marks 25 years since my dad died. I was barely 20 years old at the time. He's been physically out of my life longer than he was in it. But, he, like my mother who also died a long time ago, is with me every day. On this 25th anniversary, I'd like to share a bit about what it's been like to live with this loss over the years.

In my previous post, "How a Loved One Dies Matters", I spoke about how it took several years for me not to wake up crying on the anniversary of his death. In the first year after his death the oddest things would set me off into a torrent of tears. One moment was my senior year in college. I was eating breakfast when I noticed the butter I was spreading on my toast. What followed was a free association thought process about butter and death. "Butter, that's what killed my dad...eating too much butter which is high in cholesterol. That's what caused him to have a massive heart attack." Then sobs, right there in the cafeteria.

Read more: Grieving After 25 Years

The Measure of Time

 True Stories About How We DieBelow is an excerpt of Amanda J. Redig's essay in At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die, an anthology of essays on death and dying, forthcoming April 10 from In Fact Books.

Dr. Redig studied biochemistry and creative writing at the University of Arizona prior to enrolling in the medical scientist training program at Northwestern University. She completed her PhD in cancer biology and graduated from the Feinberg School of Medicine. She's currently a resident in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Her writing has appeared on the Virginia Quarterly Review's blog and in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Health Affairs.

Read more: The Measure of Time

This Week in the Movement

Newspapers B&W (4)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.

Assisted death in the US:

  • Vermonters continue to voice their frustration with two of their elected officials who aren't allowing the proposed Death with Dignity bill to go to the full Senate for a vote.
  • In an unfortunate turn of events, the Georgia Senate passed a bill to ban assisted suicide. A similar bill was passed by the state House of Representatives earlier in the month. Because of some changes made by the Senate Committee, the bill heads back to the House for approval before heading to the Governor for consideration.

International developments in the assisted dying movement:

Read more: This Week in the Movement


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, 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.

donate today