It’s hard to believe the year is coming to an end. We are in awe of the tremendous amount we have accomplished. None of this would have been possible without you!

Improving End-of-Life Options, One Law at a Time

New state authorizations, improvements to current bills and advancements through the legislative process continued, despite the challenges of all-virtual hearings and the COVID pandemic.

 

New Mexico Authorizes Medical Aid in Dying

We made history with passage of the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act, signed into law June 18. Shown: Ms. Whitefield with her husband Paul Thorne.

California Reauthorizes and Improves their Law

Thanks to your unending support, California reauthorized its End of Life Option Act, with improvements that provide greater access. Upon authorization, the courts dismissed a five-year lawsuit that caused a temporary suspension of the law in 2018. Shown: Senator Eggman.

Advancing Legislation

Our staff, supporters and allies testified, told their personal stories, and advocated for medical aid-in-dying legislation across the country. In Connecticut, after an unprecedented 15-hour hearing, our bill cleared through the Joint Public Health Committee for the first time! We had similar success in Massachusetts, where more than 200 supporters joined us to advocate for this compassionate option.

Residency lawsuit

Compassion & Choices and legal partners Bradley Bernstein Sands LLP and Angeli Law Group LLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Gidonese to ensure the residency requirement in the current Oregon medical aid-in-dying law doesn't unfairly prevent out-of-state patients from seeking medical aid in dying.

Ensuring More People Can Access the Care They Want

Guided by our Leadership Councils, we are expanding our reach and creating new connections with communities, working to empower all people to advocate for an end-of-life experience where they are treated with respect and dignity.

C&C Collaborates with Mexican Consulate

In a historic collaboration with the Ventanillas de Salud (Windows of Health) network (implemented by the Mexican Consulate’s secretaries of foreign affairs and health), we launched a bilingual educational campaign to inform more than one million U.S.-based Mexican immigrants about their full range of end-of-life care options. Shown: Maria Otero.

NAACP Passes End-of-Life Planning Resolution

Compassion & Choices has been working with key organizations to pass resolutions related to end-of-life planning and care. The African American Mayors Association adopted a resolution in July and after five years of hard work, the NAACP also passed a resolution urging families to educate themselves on all aspects of end-of-life planning.

C&C Receives NOBEL Women Award

The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women) presented Compassion & Choices with their 2021 Corporate Champion Award for our Education, Empowerment and Advocacy series that provided valuable end-of-life education and resources to historically underserved communities.

C&C’s Inaugural Dolores Huerta Award

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta received Compassion & Choices’ inaugural Dolores Huerta Mission and Vision Award, created in her honor.

Strong use of C&C Dementia Tool

More than 185,000 people downloaded our Dementia Values & Priorities Toolkit, while one of the nation’s largest and most respected hospice providers confirmed that they would honor dementia-specific advance directives. Click the photo to watch our new dementia video.

Forging Partnerships, Collaborations

We forged alliances with community leaders, organizations and health systems to provide best-practices guidance on end-of-life care and choice.

New Councils Guide Our Work

We launched three new councils this year — Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander; LGBTQ+; and Catholics for Compassion — whose members are guiding us to maximize our reach and create new opportunities and connections with communities that have traditionally been underserved by the healthcare system.

Expanding Medical Outreach & Collaborations

We expanded our collaborations with Medscape and the City of Hope to develop continuing education activities for providers regarding medical aid in dying. Shown: Dr. Chandana Banerjee, City of Hope faculty and Compassion & Choices board member, speaking during a City of Hope End of Life Symposium webinar.

Defending Patient-Directed Care

Our legal team has been working to ensure we all have the right to an end of life on our own terms.

Idaho Lawsuit Resolved in Our Favor

Compassion & Choices and other law firms filed a suit (Almerico et al. v. Denney et al.) on behalf of four Idaho women, including Ms. Hannah Sharp, Boise, Idaho (shown with her husband and daughter), challenging the state’s pregnancy exclusion clause

Ending the Year on a High Note! 

Through art, we can reach and connect with people in powerful ways. We can help people understand and interpret the human experience, shine a light on an injustice that needs to be addressed and ultimately inspire reform.

Bringing the importance of end-of-life autonomy to the stage

Compassion & Choices served as an executive producer of the Goodbye New York soundtrack. The musical is a deeply moving story of one woman’s journey to realize her own agency at the end of life. Written by Broadway artists Andrew Beall and Evan McCormack, with book by David Don Miller. We unveiled a behind the scenes look at the creation of the album during our signature event, which will be released on February 18, 2022, at BroadwayCon.

It truly has been a remarkable year! All of this work was made possible because of the generous support and commitment of our community. Thank you! Together, we are realizing a world where we all will have a voice and choice in how we live the final chapter of our life and how we die.