Press Room

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Death with Dignity National Center is a 501(c)3, non-partisan, non-profit organization that has led the legal defense and education of the Oregon Death with Dignity Law for more than 11 years. Death with Dignity National Center is affiliated with the Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund, a distinct and separate 501(c)4 entity responsible for the political defense of the Oregon law and the promotion of Death with Dignity initiatives in other states. Death with Dignity National Center's and Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund's boards of directors are comprised of some of the Death with Dignity movement's most esteemed medical, legal and scholarly experts.

Members of the press, please direct your inquiries to our executive director, Peg Sandeen or via phone at 503-228-4415.

Below you will find our most recent press releases.

Death with Dignity Ahead in the Polls

The Boston Globe logo

The Boston Globe conducted a statewide public opinion poll which demonstrated slightly more support for the Massachusetts Death with Dignity initiative than was seen in previous polls. This poll was conducted by the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire between Sept. 21-27, and found 68% of likely voters would vote yes on the Death with Dignity initiative.The poll question was slightly different from other recent polling surveys, but similar to how it'll appear on the ballot:

"I'd like to turn to an issue that will be on the ballot in November. Issue 2 concerns allowing a person who is terminally ill to request a physician to help them end their life. The proposed law would require that the person have an incurable disease and have six months or less to live, voluntarily request a physician's assistance in ending their life, and be medically determined to be mentally capable of making the decision to end their life. A YES vote on Issue 2 would enact the law allowing a physician to prescribe medication, at the request of a terminally-ill patient, to end that person's life. A NO vote would make no change in existing laws."

Read more: Death with Dignity Ahead in the Polls

Two-Thirds of Likely Voters Support Massachusetts Death with Dignity

Suffolk University logo

Another independent poll released this week showed winning support for the Massachusetts Death with Dignity initiative which will appear on the state's November ballot. Tuesday's poll conducted by Suffolk University and 7News, demonstrated 2/3 of likely voters would vote yes on the Death with Dignity initiative. The poll question had the same wording as what will appear on the November ballot:

Question #2 is the Prescribing Medication to End Life Proposed Law. A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law allowing a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication, at the request of a terminally-ill patient meeting certain conditions, to end that person's life. A NO VOTE would make no change in existing laws. At this point would you vote yes or no?

Yes......................................... 64%
No ......................................... 27%
Undecided............................... 10%

Read more: Two-Thirds of Likely Voters Support Massachusetts Death with Dignity

Majority of Massachusetts Voters Support Death with Dignity

Public Policy Polling logo

If Massachusetts voters had their say today, they'd approve of their Death with Dignity initiative by a winning margin. A new independent Public Policy Poll showed 58% of Bay Staters would vote yes for Death with Dignity. The poll question had the same wording as what will appear on the November ballot:

Question 2 would allow a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication, at the request of a terminally ill patient meeting certain conditions, to end that person's life. If the election was today, would you vote yes or no on Question 2?

Yes......................................... 58%
No ......................................... 24%
Undecided............................... 18%

This is an excellent sign; however, the race is far from over. With 76 days left until the election, opponents who object to Death with Dignity based on their own moral beliefs will waste no time in firing up their lie machine in an effort to mislead voters.

Read more: Majority of Massachusetts Voters Support Death with Dignity

The Need for Carefully Crafted Death with Dignity Laws

The Lancet journal

Physician-assisted death happens every day in every state. This reality is often avoided by patients and the medical community in discussions about end-of-life care, and it's time we started talking about it. A new study published last week in The Lancet looked at this situation in the Netherlands.

The researchers analyzed the prevalence of assisted death before and after the Dutch law went into effect in 2002. The results of this study showed two important trends regarding assisted death:

  • The practice was already happening before the law was in place: The same percentage of deaths were attributed to physician-assisted death before and after the law was in place.
  • Presence of a law doesn't result in increased use: The law didn't lead to a common myth spouted by opponents that legally regulating assisted death will lead to people clamoring to access the law. Or as it was known in Oregon, "People would flock to our beaches to die."

Read more: The Need for Carefully Crafted Death with Dignity Laws

Massachusetts Media Round-Up

The Atlantic magazine featured a discussion about MA Death with Dignity

With the exciting announcement that Death with Dignity is now officially certified for the November Massachusetts ballot, there's been a flurry of excitement about the measure in the news. Something refreshing I've noticed in these reports is the reliance on facts about these important laws which have been in effect in Oregon and Washington for years. All too often, people get distracted by misinformation and scare tactics put forward by opponents of additional end-of-life options.

A consistent theme throughout these articles about the proposed law is to outline what would and would not be allowed under the Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act. An example from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bioethics Blog:

Read more: Massachusetts Media Round-Up

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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.

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