Medical Aid in Dying Litigation

What is Medical Aid in Dying?

Medical aid in dying is a medical practice in which a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live may request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can choose to self-ingest to bring about a peaceful death.

​​Medical aid in dying is a widely-supported, safe, and compassionate end-of-life option that provides dying people with peace of mind and comfort. The practice of medical aid in dying exemplifies patient-directed care and promotes a medical system that respects patient autonomy by allowing individuals to assert their values and priorities as death approaches.

Medical aid in dying is currently authorized in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. For more information about medical aid in dying in authorized jurisdictions, please visit our Medical Aid in Dying page. For more information about legislative efforts to expand medical aid in dying to non-authorized jurisdictions, please visit our Take Action page.

Litigation efforts to protect and expand medical aid in dying

Compassion & Choices’ litigation team seeks to protect and expand the option of medical aid in dying through the courts so all eligible, terminally ill people will have access to the full range of end-of-life care options. Compassion & Choices is commonly involved in litigation to (1) protect existing laws in authorized jurisdictions from opponent attacks, (2) remove barriers to access for patients in authorized jurisdictions, and (3) expand the option of medical aid in dying in jurisdictions that have not passed medical aid-in-dying legislation.

Current Medical Aid-in-Dying Cases:

For More Information about Residency Restrictions:

For More Information about Past Cases:

U.S. District Courts & Federal Courts of Appeals

State Courts

Compassion & Choices
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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.