In the News

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Each week we summarize the week's news in the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care.

Week 9/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week Brittany Maynard's mother, Debbie Ziegler, appeared on Dr. Oz show (video preview | summary), and husband, Dan Diaz, posted an op-ed in Time magazine. Utah saw a bill introduced. New Hampshire debated a bill establishing a committee to explore end-of-life options. Polls in Maryland and New Jersey showed strong support for bills proposed in those states. The Applied Sentience blog called Death with Dignity a top three political battle this year, as continued debates in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other states demonstrate. And, the artist and Death with Dignity advocate Leonard Nimoy passed away.

Read more: Week 9/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Your Questions about Supreme Court of Canada's Ruling Answered

This guest post has been contributed by Dying with Dignity Canada.


Supporters of Death with Dignity laws in the U.S., including Death with Dignity National Center, point to the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling decriminalizing physician-assisted death as a catalyst for their work. The ruling decriminalized physician assisted death for a broader range of people than the laws being promoted in the U.S.: competent Canadians with a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual. The court did not define “grievous and irremediable” but it is clear it is not limited to terminal illness. In addition, someone who has dementia but is still competent to provide informed consent would qualify, provided their suffering is, at the time of the request, intolerable to them. The remedy from the courts includes both the prescription and administration of medication, so that individuals will not be compelled to end their lives too early out of fear they will lose the capacity to do so later on.

Read more: Your Questions about Supreme Court of Canada's Ruling Answered

Week 8/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week a bill was introduced in the New York House, a bill criminalizing physician-assisted dying failed in Montana, and debate about Death with Dignity ramped up in Maryland and Massachusetts. The Daily Beast asked whether assisted dying is "the new abortion," and after she declared support for the issue Diane Rehm featured Death with Dignity on her program.

These are the highlights of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from February 15 to February 21, 2015, with the corresponding media coverage.

California

The lively debate around the End of Life Option Act continued in the media, including on KPFA radio where our Vice President George Eighmey debated the proponents' side.

Read more: Week 8/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Week 7/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week a bill was introduced in Alaska and Maryland Houses. A group of patients and doctors filed a lawsuit in California seeking a right to physician-assisted dying. The right-to-die movement gained an influential advocate, NPR host Diane Rehm. And the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling last week affirming the right to physician-assisted dying fueled the Death with Dignity debate in the U.S., including NBC News, TIME, and Washington Post.

Read more: Week 7/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Oregon Health Authority Releases 2014 Death with Dignity Report

Oregon Health Authority, the state agency that oversees the implementation of and compliance with the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, has just released the 2014 Annual Report.

A total of 155 terminally-ill adult Oregonians received a prescription for medications under the provisions of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act in 2014, while 105 of them (67.7%) ingested the medications to die peacefully. This corresponds to 31 Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) deaths per 10,000 total deaths, or 0.3%.

Other highlights from the 2014 Annual Report:

Read more: Oregon Health Authority Releases 2014 Death with Dignity Report

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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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