State by State
By Kim Callinan
March 15, 2021
Where you live shouldn’t determine your access to end-of-life choices. We’re in the midst of an inspiring legislative session; a promising number of medical aid-in-dying bills are quickly and successfully advancing. To have this much momentum in the midst of a pandemic is a demonstration of the importance of our issue and the strength of our community.
There is still a small, but vocal minority that is committed to suppressing end-of-life options. We’re prepared to fight for patient autonomy, to put power back into the hands of terminally ill people and have a real chance at progress in the coming years.
State by state, our Compassion & Choices community is de-mystifying this compassionate end-of-life option, harnessing the power of their own stories to change hearts and minds and bringing medical aid in dying out of the margins and into the mainstream.
Our advocates’ personal and powerful experiences are the fuel that makes this movement an unstoppable force. So, from March 15 – April 15, we’re raising funds and sharing stories from our volunteer advocates who are paving the way for progress.
You’ll meet Maya, who has shared her story at hearings and rallies in New Mexico for years. Now, in partnership with the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition, we’ve cleared legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying through the House. It cleared two committees in the Senate and we’re expecting a vote on the floor at any moment.
You’ll hear from Leslie, Nurse Practitioner and daughter of the lead plaintiff in the court case that made medical aid in dying available through a state Supreme Court decision in Montana. Every legislative session since that ruling, lawmakers have introduced bills designed to strip this option from their terminally ill constituents. Most recently, we were successful in halting an egregious attempt to criminalize doctors for relieving their patients’ unbearable pain.
Authorizing medical aid in dying is not the end of the fight for end-of-life autonomy. We need to prepare to not only pass, but defend, expand and ensure access to medical aid in dying in every state.
Grassroots organizing will be the key to end-of-life autonomy.
President and CEO
Compassion & Choices