Aid In Dying Organizations
updated June 30, 2017
Compassion and Choices
Death With Dignity National Center
Final Exit Network
ERGO -- website of Hemlock Society
founder Derek Humphry
Dying With Dignity Canada
There are three major national groups that work for aid in dying (death-with-dignity.) They differ in their approach, but all three are wonderful, and earn our highest recommendation. We strongly recommend joining and supporting all three.
Compassion and Choices (C&C) is the largest and best-funded group. C&C is leading the charge to get the right to death-with-dignity established in states all around the US. In Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California, we already have death-with-dignity laws that allow physicians to prescribe the needed medications in appropriate circumstances. The right has been established in Montana due to a state supreme court decision.
C&C is leading campaigns in many other states, and it works on many fronts. It's a most wonderful group -- please join if you're not already a member. And it also provides trained counselors who can offer advice if you're suffering intolerably. If this is you, don't hesitate to call C&C at 800-247-7421.
The Death With Dignity National Center, based in Oregon where the first death-with-dignity law was passed, serves as a clearinghouse for the movement and does wonderful advocacy work.
Final Exit Network (FEN) provides uniquely valuable services to suffering, terminally ill people. If you are a member of Final Exit Network, and if you are suffering intolerably and wish to cut your suffering short, the dedicated volunteer "exit guides" of FEN can help. They never provide physical assistance. But they will counsel and support you, and most importantly, they will be present with you, if and when you choose to exit. And FEN can help no matter where you live! If you are suffering ... if you think you want to exit ... don't hesitate to call Final Exit Network at 866-654-9156. There are never any costs to members.
Here in Illinois, you can reach FEN of Illinois, the local affiliate of Final Exit Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ERGO, at www.finalexit.org, is the website of Derek Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock Society and of the modern death with dignity movement. There's a tremendous amount of information there, and many books, e-books and DVD's that can be ordered. We especially recommend Derek's book, Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, now in its revised third edition, and the ultimate 'how to' textbook available worldwide since 1991.
We also strongly recommend subscribing to ERGO's World Right-To-Die News email list. There's no charge, and it's the single best way to stay in touch with what's going on around the US and around the world.
Around the US, there are many statewide and local groups, including:
State by state information is available at the C&C website at http://www.compassionandchoices.org/what-we-do/on-the-ground/.
And death with dignity is a worldwide movement.
For the broader movement to reduce suffering at end of life, visit The Conversation Project. And in Chicago, check out the Chicago End of Life Care Coalition. "Dedicated to improving the care of dying patients." A coalition of hospice providers, palliative care doctors, organizations and concerned citizens. An important group with whom we share common cause. And for professionals in the field, there's the Chicago Bridge -- Emerging Professionals in the field of Aging.