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C&C Magazine

Understand Medical Aid in Dying

Medical aid in dying (also known as death with dignity) is one end-of-life option currently authorized in seven jurisdictions (CA, WA, OR, MT, VT, CO, Washington, D.C., and Hawai‘i) for terminally ill, mentally capable people who have a prognosis of six months or less to live, to request, obtain and—if his or her suffering becomes unbearable—self-ingest medication that brings about a peaceful death.

Contrary to what some critics may say, medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide, does not pose a threat to people living with disabilities  and has been shown to improve care at the end of life.

Medical Aid in Dying is a safe and trusted medical practice recognized by multiple healthcare professional associations. A number of prominent thought leaders and public influencers including religious figures, actors, authors and other notable people have spoken out — in touching, profound and highly personal ways — in favor of the full range of end-of-life options and Compassion & Choices’ work. Additionally, most voters support medical aid in dying.