In 2017, the Compassion & Choices Board of Directors decided the time had come to develop our new strategic plan.

While it had only been 3 years since we adopted our last plan, we had already achieved most of the long-term objectives outlined in the plan — most notably, the authorization of medical aid-in-dying in three new jurisdictions: California, Colorado and Washington, D.C. What once felt ambitious, now felt inevitable. The time had come to create a new roadmap for Compassion & Choices and end-of-life choice and care.

Given this, the Board of Directors accelerated the development of a new strategic plan by one year. We embarked on an inclusive and collaborative strategic planning process that harnessed the skills and talents of our supporters to develop our next strategic plan. 

We formed a strategic impact committee, tapped into our African American and Latino Leadership Councils, conducted a listening tour, and administered two surveys of the network.  All in all, thousands of people participated in the development of this bold, new vision for the future of end-of-life choice and care. 

With the collective wisdom of these voices, in April of 2018, the Compassion & Choices Board of Directors adopted its new strategic plan. The new plan, which went into effect on July 1, 2018, serves as a bold roadmap to advance end-of-life choice and care for the next five to 10 years.  Key elements include: 

Our Vision: A society that affirms life and accepts the inevitability of death, embraces expanded options for compassionate dying, and empowers everyone to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities and beliefs. 

Our Mission: Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options, and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey. 

Our Values

  • Compassionate in our conviction that dying patients should be free of unwanted treatment, suffering, or outside interference.
  • Respectful of the autonomy of individuals to decide what end-of-life options are best for them and their family.
  • Courageous in our willingness to confront the toughest end-of-life health challenges, disrupt the broken status quo, and protect individuals’ right to self-determination.
  • Credible in all our education, advocacy and partnerships — our efforts are grounded in objective research and demonstrable facts.
  • Resilient in our capacity to respond to opportunities and threats in the movement so that we can achieve our vision as quickly as possible.

Our Key Strategies

  • educate the public and healthcare professionals
  • empower people to take charge of their healthcare
  • advocate for expanded end-of-life options around the country, and 
  • defend end-of-life choice from legal and legislative threats

Our Long-Term Objectives

Compassion & Choices will work toward realizing these long-term objectives:

  1. We have set the bold intention that by 2028, half the U.S. population will live in a location where medical aid in dying is an open and accessible medical practice. In addition to authorizing more states, we are also addressing the many regulatory roadblocks that limit access to the laws.
  2. We seek to ensure that more patients can access the care they want — nothing more and nothing less. Our programming includes two key focus areas:  1) closing the disparities in end-of-life care and planning for communities of color and authorizing legislation to advance equity in end-of-life care; and 2) transforming how people with dementia die through legal recognition and acceptance within the medical profession that a person can document their preference to forgo treatments and allow for a natural death in advance, before losing their mental capacity to give informed consent due to dementia.
  3. We continue to grow a diverse, equitable and inclusive movement in the areas of race, religion, party affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and age, so that people of all demographic groups approach life’s end equipped with information and encouraged to claim their voice. 

Conclusion

With the wisdom of the network, and the power of a clear vision for the future, Compassion & Choices looks forward to realizing continued progress toward ensuring everyone has the humanity of realizing a compassionate death.