We cannot do our work alone—there is strength in numbers! You’re joining a growing movement that works to ensure terminally ill Americans have the freedom to choose from a full range of end-of-life options, including how they die.
After helping to secure the passage of physician-assisted dying laws in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, we continue to work tirelessly in the rest of the country. We have our work cut out for us: Forty-six states still lack a statute outlining the procedure (and safeguards) for obtaining medication to hasten an inevitable death. We’re leading the charge alongside our local partners in D.C., Maine, Maryland, New York, and elsewhere, and we won’t stop until every state has a Death with Dignity statute—with your help we’ll win.
Seventy percent of Americans support the end-of-life option allowing qualified terminally-ill people to end their lives through physician-prescribed medications. That’s right: seven in ten Americans want this option. We are glad to count you as one of them.
There is so much you can do to help. Some of the activities, in the increasing order of commitment include:
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Join Us on Social Media
You can best advocate for Death with Dignity if you are well informed about it. These are some of the ways to educate yourself:
- Browse this website to learn more about Death with Dignity as an end-of-life option and about the legislation we promote.
- Access the latest information about the status of legislation in your state here.
- Join our mailing list to be apprised of the latest developments in our movement.
- Read the article series “Advocating for Death with Dignity” to learn how to start a grassroots effort in your community.
Declare Your Support…
We can win if your voice is heard in this campaign. Will you let your friends know you support Death with Dignity? Share this graphic on Facebook!
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Share Your Story
Find your state legislator (Senator or Representative or both) and contact them to share your views about Death with Dignity. There are several ways to go about contacting your state legislator:
- Send them a letter or email outlining why you support medical aid in dying and why you want them to advocate for it as well.
- Call your legislator’s office to request a meeting, at their office or over coffee somewhere in your district, to discuss the issue.
- Find a town hall meeting or other event where your legislators are present and approach them in an appropriate way, e.g. ask a question or simply tell them your name, that you are from their district, and that you support Death with Dignity as an end-of-life option.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Your local newspaper likely accepts and publishes reader letters. Send a letter to the editor of your favorite local (or even national) newspaper in support of physician aid in dying .
Hold a Discussion in Your Faith or Civic Group
While churches have often positioned themselves as opponents of medical aid in dying, there is common ground between the movement and denominations with a focus on human rights and social justice. Personal stories can also make the difference and bring large issues down to a human face.
Organize a Viewing of How to Die in Oregon
Peter Richardson’s unflinching, though-provoking documentary How to Die in Oregon elicits a strong emotional response and helps viewers grasp the issues faced by terminally-ill people who choose to request medication under assisted dying laws. Discussing the film helps people process all the new information and better understand this important end-of-life option.
These are some of the questions you may discuss after the viewing:
- Why did you watch the film and what did you find most memorable?
- What were your views going into the film and did they change?
- At some film festivals, moviegoers walked out of the film. Why do you think they did?
- Director Peter Richardson in an interview: “You could almost call the film ‘How to Live in Oregon.'” Thoughts?
- Ray Carnay, who recorded his own eulogy in the film, was once an ardent and outspoken opponent of Oregon’s law. Why do you think his feelings changed about Death with Dignity?
- How would Cody’s options have been different had she not lived in Oregon?
- What factors do you think played a part in Cody’s oncologist’s decision to prescribe under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act?
- In the film, Dr. Morris talked about how “do no harm” is different for every patient. Thoughts?
Note: Please check relevant statutes to avoid violating U.S. copyright law with your viewing event.
Become a Leader in You Community
If you are committed to leading an effort in your community to promote end-of-life policy reform and, ultimately, to enact a Death with Dignity law in your state, consider joining our Dignity50 State Leadership Incubator. The program is open to dedicated advocates in every state, but particularly in those 45 that lack an assisted dying statute, with the aim to provide information, resources, and expertise to help grow local organizations which can participate in effective campaigns and lead statewide advocacy efforts.
Support Our Work
Your contributions are key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. There are many avenues for supporting our work financially.