Week 7/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement


Last week a bill was introduced in Alaska and Maryland Houses. A group of patients and doctors filed a lawsuit in California seeking a right to physician-assisted dying. The right-to-die movement gained an influential advocate, NPR host Diane Rehm. And the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling last week affirming the right to physician-assisted dying fueled the Death with Dignity debate in the U.S., including NBC News, TIME, and Washington Post.

A friend of our organization’s, Dr. Peter Rasmussen, a retired physician in Salem, Oregon, who was one of the original plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Oregon and who is now suffering from the same type of cancer as Brittany Maynard did, published an op-ed in the New York Daily News on Sunday. In the piece he answers the question, “Should doctors ever help you die?” with a resounding, “Yes.” Our Vice President, George Eighmey, was a guest on the Senior Answer webcast out of Texas.

These are the highlights of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from February 8 to February 15, 2015, with the corresponding media coverage.


Alaska has become the 21st state this year where a Death with Dignity bill will have been debated.


While the legislators grapple with the proposed End of Life Option Act, a group of patients and physicians filed a lawsuit seeking an end to the state’s ban on physician-assisted dying.

District of Columbia and Maryland

While in DC Councilmember Cheh’s bill is making its rounds through the Council, 37 delegates introduced a bill in the Maryland House.


Whereas physician-assisted dying isn’t illegal in Montana by Supreme Court ruling, two bills are circulating in the State Legislature: a Senate bill legalizing death with dignity and a House bill criminalizing physicians’ participation in assisted suicide.


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Image by josh hunter.

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