The Washington, D.C., Death With Dignity Act went into effect on February 18, 2016, authorizing the compassionate option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults to get a prescription they can take to end their life peacefully.
Authorizing the law is only the first step. Now we must ensure that patients can access it. Through our access campaign, Compassion & Choices continues to educate health care providers and residents of Washington, DC about medical aid in dying and the full breadth of end of life options.
Education & Outreach
Burdensome administrative requirements slowed initial implementation of the D.C. law. However, Compassion & Choices has been successful in partnering with D.C. Health (D.C.’s Department of Health) in having the rules eased, making access easier for both doctors and patients.
For Compassion & Choices, the hard work of reaching and educating residents, physicians and other health providers continues. We are emphasizing outreach to diverse communities to ensure access for all residents of the District. We have also worked closely with health systems. Sibley Memorial Hospital, George Washington Hospital and Vitas Hospice now have supportive policies in place, and DC Health partnered with Compassion & Choices to provide a medical training to over 80 medical providers. We continue to hold trainings for the public, nurse, social workers, and physicians.
We also produced Public Service Announcements with Dr. Omega Silva and Diane Rehm about the importance of education around all end-of-life options. Watch them here.
Our active volunteer group meets once a month and provides presentations on the law. If you are interested in joining please sign up here.
Tools and Resources
Learn whether you are eligible for the D.C. Death with Dignity Act.
Recursos en Español
Recursos en Español.
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Resources for Providers
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Dementia Values & Priorities Tool
Use our tool to document your preferences to make sure you get the care you want.