Big Wins in Two States

Maine passes medical aid in dying, and Oregon approves a modification to the mandatory waiting period, important victories for the movement.
June 27, 2019

This month Maine became the 10th jurisdiction — and the second state this year — to authorize medical aid in dying! 

Governor Janet Mills signed the Maine Death with Dignity Act into law June 12. This victory would not have been possible without the tireless work of local advocates from Maine Death with Dignity and the Death with Dignity National Center. Our gratitude and thanks go out to these incredible activists and organizations.

This marks the first time two states have passed medical aid-in-dying legislation in the same year. Now, more than twenty percent of the nation’s population lives in a state where medical aid in dying is authorized. 

“Such tremendous progress is a testament to the momentum the end-of-life choice movement has been building these last five years, said CEO Kim Callinan. “At the same time, we cannot forget that 80 percent of people across 41 states are still deprived of this compassionate option, leaving far too many terminally ill Americans needlessly suffering. Rest assured, Compassion & Choices will redouble our efforts until no state and no American is left behind.”

More good news this month: The Oregon House of Representatives voted to pass Senate Bill 579, which lowers the waiting period for medical aid in dying from 15 days to two days for patients who are not expected to live through a 15-day wait. 

The win was a massive group effort, with a multitude of supporters contacting their legislators and urging them to reduce hurdles to access medical aid in dying in Oregon. This achievement represents the first steps to refine the safeguards to the Death with Dignity Act since its passing in 1997. “We are very grateful that the 15-day waiting period will be reduced for those who are suffering and do not have time to meet the law’s original requirements ,” said Director of Integrated Programs Matt Whitaker, an Oregon resident. The bill has been sent to Governor Kate Brown, who we feel hopeful will sign. 


Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

Mail contributions directly to:
Compassion & Choices Gift Processing Center
PO Box 485
Etna, NH 03750