Compassion & Choices, the nation’s oldest and most active nonprofit committed to improving care and expanding choice for the end of life, and San Francisco-based DeathWise, a nonprofit that helps people plan for the end of their lives, announced today that they have merged, effective March 9, 2017.
DeathWise was founded in 2009 by Anne Bonaparte, a Silicon Valley tech executive, to provide information, guidance and tools to support people planning for the end of life. The online resource helps people talk with their loved ones, healthcare providers and legal advisors about their end-of-life wishes, record their healthcare and financial decisions through advance directives and other documents, and share their preferences to ensure their decisions are heard and understood. DeathWise tools include a starter kit with forms and a step-by-step guide to complete them online.
Compassion & Choices works across the nation to improve the end-of-life experience. It advocates for federal and state policies that empower people in their own healthcare decisions. It urges healthcare providers to honor an individual’s values and priorities and and enable their well-considered decisions. Compassion & Choices created the first national end-of-life consultancy, the End of Life Consultation (EOLC) Service, which supports thousands of people each year in navigating life’s end. The service’s newly expanded, free online component will continue to grow by integrating DeathWise’s suite of advanced tools.
“The engaging content DeathWise developed will bring a new and exciting dimension to our resources to plan for the end of life. By every measure, Americans are going online in greater numbers every year to improve their health and healthcare, and we are excited at the opportunity to meet people where they are with these new resources,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion & Choices. “Empowering people with information and tools is one of our key strategies to achieve a society where people receive a full range of choices to live their last chapter in comfort, dignity and control. The merger with DeathWise will help us scale up our efforts to reach more people more quickly and help them advocate for themselves in the healthcare system.”
“Compassion & Choices and DeathWise share common goals around planning for life’s end,” said Anne Bonaparte, founder and chair of the board of DeathWise. “This merger is a great example of two nonprofits recognizing each other’s strengths and coming together to amplify each other’s efforts. Compassion & Choices is a pioneer and dynamic leader in the field. Through this merger, our tools will have a much larger impact than we could ever have given them on our own. Teaming up with Compassion & Choices will enable us to fulfill our goal to help people become wiser about death, wiser about how to prepare for it, and wiser about what to do when a friend or family member is dying.”