Status of End-of-Life Legislation

In 2022, an amendment to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act was enacted, allowing for proof of agency (powers of attorney) to be stored on electronic devices.

Read the Fall/Winter 2022 edition of our newsletter, Compassionate Quarterly, here.

Survey of Illinois Physicians’ Attitudes Toward Medical Aid in Dying as an End-of-Life Option


The Compassion & Choices Illinois team and the ACLU of Illinois are co-leading the Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition to advocate for the end-of-life care option of medical aid in dying for qualified terminally ill Illinoisans.

Learn More Here


Legislation to allow medical aid in dying, an option for mentally capable, terminally ill adults to peacefully end unbearable suffering, is supported by a wide majority of Illinois voters, regardless of political affiliation, disability, race, gender identity, age or religion.

5 charts showing support for Medical Aid in dying across demographics in Illinois

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Hear from Illinoisan Deb Robertson

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Tools and Resources

Illinois Newsletter Archive, issues linked below

Fall/Winter 2022
Summer 2022
Spring 2022

Fall 2021


simple blue medical cross graphic.For Patients Access the Illinois Advance Directive  



tools for end of life planning and decision making.End-of-Life Planning Use our step-by-step guide to chart your journey.  



advance care planning and resources in Spanish, espanol.Los recursos en Español Los recursos en Español.  



answers to questions about COVID-19, including treatment and end of life.COVID-19 Toolkit Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and end of life care.  



tools for end of life planning and decision making.Resources for Providers Find resources tailored to the needs of healthcare providers.     



Ralph McFadden pictured in front of mountainous background

"I believe it takes courage to die the way you want to, rather than die the way people think you ought to."

Ralph shared her story in September of 2019.

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, in August 2018. I had already been dealing with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a platelet disorder, and worked with a hematologist-oncologist since 2002. In the Spring of 2018, I thought I had suffered a heart attack and I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. At the hospital, an EKG and thorough blood test were performed, and the information was provided to my hematologist-oncologist. 

My hematologist-oncologist recognized that the results meant I had stage 1 multiple myeloma so I was able to begin treatment immediately. I still continue to receive chemo now and I’m fortunate that I have a good oncologist and that the side effects have been tolerable.

As a retired hospice chaplain, I’ve seen terminally ill people fight to the bitter end, and I see no reason to do that. For many years, my primary focus as a chaplain was to work with those infected with HIV/AIDS. I found that there are options to dying and that a painful end doesn’t have to go on and on and on. My experience as a chaplain made me realize, I have options.

I’m 86, have lived a good life, and I am absolutely opposed to implementing extraordinary medical efforts to extend my life. Making the decision to fight and live as long as I can regardless of the pain is not particularly useful. I don’t see any reason for that. I’ve talked with my partner, Keo, and my son and daughter about avoiding certain medical efforts at the end of my life. They all know that if I get to stage 4 I will definitely not try any further curative treatments; I will simply say “no thank you” and say goodbye to my family and friends.

I accept that some people do not support medical aid in dying as an option. However, I don’t believe lawmakers should prohibit their constituents from making whatever decision is right for them. I believe it takes courage to die the way you want to, rather than die the way people think you ought to. For me that’s dignity. Making decisions around one’s own death or how someone wants to die takes courage. It’s not simplistic and it should be a decision someone has the right to make for themselves.