Aid In Dying … Medical Aid In Dying (MAID) … Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) … Voluntary Euthanasia … Death With Dignity … Right To Die … Final Exit: There are a variety of terms, but they all describe the same fundamental ethical truth: A mentally capable individual, suffering physically in an intolerable and irremediable manner, typically (but not always) as death is approaching, should have the right to choose a peaceful, dignified, humane and pain-free death … and each such person’s doctors and loved ones should have the right to assist in achieving that peaceful chosen end. It’s the ultimate human right, and it’s a simple matter of compassion … and choice.
- The best way to stay in touch with what’s happening around the world — subscribe to the World Right To Die News Service, originally started by our movement’s founder Derek Humphry
- Visit ERGO, Mr. Humphry’s website, with a wealth of books, videos and other information
- Visit the World Federation of Right To Die Societies (for a more complete worldwide list)
- Visit Exit International and the Peaceful Pill Handbook, created by famed Australian physician Dr. Philip Nitschke.
In the U.S.A. where medical aid in dying is now legal in nine states (California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, Vermont and New Jersey, plus the District of Columbia), there are three major national groups:
- Compassion & Choices (“C&C”) is the largest and best funded. Its motto says it all — it’s about improving care and expanding choice at the end of life. C&C is the direct descendant of the original Hemlock Society. Get on their email list, contribute to C&C, join the C&C Action Network, sign up as a C&C volunteer, follow C&C on Facebook and Twitter. Check out their In Your State page and their Resources Page. You can reach their End of Life Consultation Service at 800-247-7421.
- The Death With Dignity National Center like C&C works to pass medical aid in dying laws throughout the U.S. Get on their email list, contribute to the National Center, contribute to the Death With Dignity Political Fund, see what’s happening state by state, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
- Final Exit Network (“FEN”) operates its uniquely valuable Exit Guide program, which helps suffering people learn about ways and means for peaceful self-deliverance and provides a compassionate presence at the bedside, all done by volunteers and without charge. Get on FEN’s email list (browse to the bottom), join FEN, follow FEN on Facebook, and visit FEN’s private discussion group on Facebook.
Around the U.S.A, there are number of state and local groups. Some of the most important are:
- In Washington: End of Life Washington
- In New York: End of Life Choices New York
- In Ohio: Ohio End of Life Options
- In Vermont: Patient Choices Vermont
- In Illinois: Final Options Illinois and the Illinois End of Life Options Coalition
- In Texas: Texas Death With Dignity
- In California: the Hemlock Society of San Diego keeps going strong.
Also visit the American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid In Dying. formed by physicians in 2020 to develop best practices, now that aid in dying is available to more than 20% of Americans, and the Completed Life Initative.
And death with dignity is a worldwide movement.
For Mexico, visit DMD Mexico Por el Derecho a Morir con Dignidad AC.
For Australia, where aid in dying is legal in the states of Victoria and Western Australia and bids fair to become legal in the states of Tasmania and Queensland, visit the Facebook page of My Life My Choice Australia (and signup for their email list, and follow them on Twitter), the magnificent website of Go Gentle Australia, and also check out Dying With Dignity Queensland, and Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice.
For New Zealand, where voters legalized aid in dying by a two to one majority in a national referendum in November, 2020, visit Yes for Compassion.
For The Netherlands, where aid in dying is extremely well established, visit the website of NVVE.
For Germany, visit the German Society for Dying with Dignity.
For Israel, visit Lilach.
For South Africa, visit the magnificent website of Dignity South Africa.
Send updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.