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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Compassion & Choices

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Right to Die & Euthanasia

Mission: Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding options for the end of life. Our vision is a society where people receive state-of-the-art care and a full range of choices for dying in comfort, dignity and control. We aim to ensure individuals understand the risks and rewards of all feasible treatment options, treatment decisions are fully respected, and that care reflects a person’s values and priorities for life’s final chapter.

Results: We Expand We work to bring end-of-life autonomy to Americans in every state by expanding our volunteer base of storytellers, activists and organizational partners; growing the number of lawmakers who back our legislation as well as local officials and faith leaders; persuading medical associations and professional groups to adopt a position on medical aid in dying that recognizes people should be in charge of end-of-life decisions; and litigating in court to ensure patients’ values and beliefs are respected and honored at the end of life. We Protect Through political, legal and educational efforts, we protect the options we’ve secured and work to make patient autonomy the standard of medical care. More specifically, we partner with pro bono attorneys to defend and represent the will of the people; mobilize 450,000 supporters to raise their voices; and establish medical aid in dying as an essential component of patient-centered care. We Implement We ensure that people can access a full range of end-of-life options through their own doctors and in their preferred medical setting. More specifically, we educate the public about medical aid-in-dying laws in authorized states; persuade health systems to adopt policies that support patient’s rights; provide sample institutional policies to medical staff and deliver confidential one-on-one consultations to medical professionals. We Empower Compassion & Choices’ End-of-Life Information Center and Truth in Treatment™ initiative help people take charge of their healthcare, navigate a challenging health system and ultimately achieve a peaceful death. Through these programs we provide online tools such as our Diagnosis Decoder™ and Trust Card™, which are designed to help people foster a trusting relationship with their healthcare providers. We offer resources to help people plan for a peaceful death, including state-specific advance directives, and provide free, confidential telephone consultations with trained experts to connect patients and caregivers with the tools and support they need to navigate the medical system.

Target demographics: Improve care and expand choice at the end of life

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of terminally ill patients and their family

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Truth in Treatment End of Life Consultation program

Community Stories

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 4

Funeral Consumers Alliance - end-of-life planning brings one to the subject of funerals. Again so many choices, Never fear, help is at hand! The advocacy organization Funeral Consumers Alliance can guide you with information about the General Price List (GPL), the ways to evaluate costs to fit your wishes and budget. The web site spells out options on donation, cremation, direct burial and home funerals. Each State has its own rules and the funeral industry is rapidly changing. This watchdog organization with its many affiliates can aid you in finding meaningful, affordable final rites. I found this group in a time of need, used it, became active and ended up its President.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My high regard for C&C dates back to 2008, when my beloved mate was dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease. He found C&C to be a valuable source of medical information and emotional support during his last several months. Upon his death in 2009, I became a C&C advocate for terminally ill individuals to have the right to choose to die a peaceful death. Such choice means they understand and can access the full range of end of life options, including medical aid in dying. C&C's expert legal defense team was pivotal to a Montana Supreme Court ruling in favor of a dying adult's right to access medical aid in dying. C&C has since offered health care professionals and citizens across the state reliable and useful end of life information. C&C's legislative efforts in Montana have included the organizing of multiple citizen-based legislative lobbying efforts to uphold the Supreme Court's ruling. So far, we have been successful at preventing powerful anti-choice lobby groups from enacting a law prohibiting medical aid in dying. My eternal gratitude to C&C, for helping our society offer more compassionate end of life care.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My partner Richard was a "client served" by Compassion & Choices. Shortly after receiving his ALS diagnosis, Richard asked me to contact C&C and request information pertinent to individuals with a terminal illness. C&C promptly replied with a packet of material suited for Richard, and for me as caregiver. As ALS took greater hold over Richard's body, he talked with a C&C counselor on more than one occasion about things his doctor was unable or unwilling to discuss. For example, "I'm not afraid of death itself, but I am afraid of suffocating to death. What will it feel like if that's how this goes, and can my suffering be relieved?" And, "Do you have a list of doctors in Montana that are willing to discuss aid in dying?"

After Richard's death more than nine years ago, I became a C&C volunteer and remain so today. I found C&C staff and fellow volunteers to be bright lights in my life.

I have utmost respect for the healthcare. communications, and legal professionals that have led many of our states through a litany of lawsuits, legislative sessions, and public education processes. They are top-notch, and politically savvy. Likewise, C&C volunteer coordinators possess the skills, energy, and pluck required to guide passionate citizens through the ropes of holding community discussions, testifying before legislative committees, writing letters and making phone calls, and otherwise organizing ourselves to put human faces on the issue of end-of-life choices. All this, while many of us continue to grieve over past or impending personal loss. You might think that volunteering for C&C is a depressing way to spend "free" time and energy. I assure you it is not. It has been one of the most positive experiences of my life.

Donor

Rating: 5

Terrific organization that lives up to its name literally -- a nonprofit that is filled with compassion and dedicated to giving us all important choices at a difficult time in our lives.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit with wonderful leadership that is working on behalf of all of us so that each of us can write our own story.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2018 my mother used Medical Aid In Dying (MAID) in California to end her intolerable and uncontrollable pain and suffering from terminal breast cancer that had gone to her bones, liver, and lungs. She was within days of dying the horrible death she knew was coming and desperately wished to avoid. Thanks to MAID, my mother died a peaceful death held by her closest family members.

Compassion & Choices was the key to my mother and our family learning about the existence of the California End of Life Option Act. Her doctors certainly did not offer the information at any time during her long and difficult fight for more time with us.

Compassion & Choices is doing the hard work of advocacy and education around all end of life options in a culture where talking about death itself is taboo. But they don't just advocate and educate about Medical Aid In Dying. They do so much more in terms of educating patients and families about all options when it comes to end of life care planning.

Since my mother's death, I've learned so much more about Compassion & Choices and the people from all walks of life who work tirelessly to advocate for improving end of life care planning, expanding options, and empowering patients to plan according to their own values.

Not only did my family benefit from the vital work Compassion & Choices is doing, but clients in my private practice who are dealing with end of life decision-making gain valuable information when they visit the Compassion & Choices website. Patient education is key to making decisions based on values.

Compassion & Choices is a phenomenal group of dedicated people doing crucial work for all of us in terms of end of life options care planning.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so thankful for Compassion & Choices! I have always believed in an individual’s right to end their life on their own terms based on their personal values and beliefs! Using the tools such as the End of Life Planning Guide and the Dementia tool has given me the peace of knowing that my wishes are known in great detail! As a volunteer for C & C, I had the great opportunity to speak to a number of groups about C & C and End of Life Options. While Covid has kind of put a damper on those kinds of Community Education events for me personally, I hope to be back in the saddle again soon! This is truly a fantastic organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices helps many family and friends to understand the wishes of people in end of life care. Volunteers are willing to help, and members are assisted in helping with needs and resources. Great organization!

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices has brought education and advocacy to my area, leading to more open conversations for lots of people. The talks they sponsor are really well done! I like that the focus is on end of life planning and choices - not just the Medical Aid in Dying issue.

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the few items that will happen to all people walking this earth, is that their time, like mine, will come to an end. Compassion and Choices understands that this time is exceptionally precious and affording people the right to determine how they want to manage this period in their life, is critical. We celebrate freedom, liberty and independence in the U.S.; affording every U.S. citizen the freedom, liberty and independence to make the final decision in their lives, is critical. C&C works tirelessly every day to make sure that every person in the U.S. will have the freedom to make this decision on their own terms. Their work is not only selfless, but most honorable.

Cookie N.

Donor

Rating: 5

Extremely well-run non-profit.
Leadership is intelligent, articulate and devoted to the cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a volunteer with a terminal disease that is not covered under the Oregon Death With Dignity program. I am, as well as a volunteer, a client served by C&C.
Compassionate, thoughtful, brave and diligent describe the staff. I’ve worked for more than 35 years as a volunteer and an employee for some of the most respected non-profits in the country, often working for more than one at a time.
C&C staffers do some of the toughest work in the non-profit pantheon. They do so with compassion, empathy, bravery and respect for others, including opponents.
I’m very proud to be associated with Compassion and Choices.
Dan WInter

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I reached out to an acquaintance with a vague offer to volunteer. It turned into an opportunity that was a perfect fusion of my life situation with their rollout of a remarkable, life-changing, new service, the Dementia Tool Kit. I was so very honored to be a part of that effort. And, as a former ED of a non-profit myself, I am in a good position to judge how the C and C staff approached its work with me.
They were clear in their objective, their deadlines, and in their execution. They trusted me to create a plan and set me up for success in the presentation of it to several, related audience groups. It was win-win and win for them, their audience and me.
I was supported by people at each level of their organization. It was a great experience and I’m hoping I can do more to help.

Samantha S.9

Board Member

Rating: 5

C&c believes in addressing end of life and planning for end of life. Everyone lives & dies. I am proud to be involved in addressing this issue and hoping that most of us will recognize how vital it is to face this A well organized and well run group.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am always so proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Compassion & Choices; I continue to be amazed by the breadth and depth of their work. Within weeks of the pandemic hitting the world, C&C had created an extensive Covid-19 toolkit (even including a Covid 19 specific addendum to add to one's Advanced Directive) and made it available to all free of charge. Their "Staying Stronger Together" webinar series brings medical and health experts, policy makers and storytellers directly to you with resources to help inform one's decision-making process around end-of-life issues. Their planning guides impart much needed information I've not found consolidated elsewhere.

When it comes to advocating for end-of-life options, there's no better organization. Not only have they been a leader in authorizing medical aid-in-dying in the 10 jurisdictions, they remain actively engaged to ensure that the laws are implemented, practiced, and accessible to all. This is the organization to know if you want to make certain that you choose end-of-life care that reflects your values, priorities and beliefs.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Compassion & Choices for twenty years now. After consulting with C&C's End of Life Consultation services with and for my mother, I became a committed advocate. Their guidance and materials on how to navigate the end of life empowered my family to parter with my mother's medical team to ensure that she got the care that she wanted - no more, no less.

Seeing how the most difficult stage of life could be managed so that my mother was able to enjoy her last year convinced me that everyone should know their options for end of life care. I became a board member so I could spread the word, giving others the opportunity to chart their own end of life paths.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have worked with and supported Compassion & Choices for 20 years. Their mission is absolutely essential to creating and maintaining a world in which we all can make informed, humane healthcare choices. And everyone I know personally at C&C is a fine exemplar of that mission. The call for merciful end-of-life care is vital. And Compassion & Choices answers it,

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Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion & Choices is doing the most important and far-reaching work in the country today. The option for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to access life-ending prescription medication should be a right for all U.S. citizens. Anything short of this leads to undue suffering for people who have no further options. The work Compassion & Choices is doing is both profound and essential, and I am proud to support their mission in any way I can.

Donor

Rating: 5

Twenty three years ago, I first became aware of the possibility of Medical Aid in Dying, and
have watched its gradual evolution and acceptance ever since, until today so many people
look to Hospices as a sensible way to ease one's way out of this world, when one's time comes.
It is in these more recent years, that Compassion and Choices has taken Front and Foremost
in its Leadership in this effort, with offices on both Coasts, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC,
working strongly with different State Legislatures towards legalization of their efforts.

Donor

Rating: 5

I didn’t want to discuss the subject of dying - mine or my beloved brother and sister-in-law. But they invited me to hear a presentation by Compassion & Choices. After hearing about their mission and engaging in the conversation with my brother and his wife I realized it all made sense. This subject is of primary important to everyone. Discovering what limits current laws place on our choices was shocking; learning that with my help laws can be changed to enable me and my loved ones to die with serenity and dignity, reassured that our wishes will be respected by our care givers was very comforting.

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices is important because it promotes giving an individual in hospice an opportunity to choose to end the suffering at the inevitable final time of life. I heard a number of supporters speak at a legislative hearing; they were so respectful of everyone's views and truthful about their motivation for helping to craft Medical Aid and Dying bills.

Ellie C.3

Donor

Rating: 5

Each person should have the option of making end of life choices. C & C is working to make this option come true in all 50 States.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's important to break the taboo around talking about the last chapter of our lives. I am so happy to find that Compassion and Choices promotes education around death and dying that is empowering to patients and providers both. I like that they are active both in the public and in terms of policy. Better choices at the end of our lives is something that affects everyone and this non-profit does a great job of promoting these choices.

gliptic

Donor

Rating: 5

As my father nears the end of the road, it is comforting to know that C&C is there to advocate for his dignity and choice. I am proud to make this contribution.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices has worked for decades to pass and protect critically important medical aid-in-dying laws in multiple states. At the same time they have developed great tools to help individuals plan for and express their wishes for end of life care, including state-specific information. Their information and tools are easily accessible on their website free of charge, including new tools related to dementia. They fill the void in a culture that remains so adverse to having these important discussions.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to testify for C & C against a bill criminalizing death with dignity in a recent legislative session. Their executives, lobbyists and the other volunteers were inspiring! They were passionate, dedicated and very organized. Every volunteer had the opportunity to ask questions of their staff and get additional information. I learned so much more about C&C than I knew previously and the information was presented in a way that was never preach-y, always kind and so helpful. I was really impressed with the resources that were available for anyone involved with end-of-life-issues, not just death with dignity. Great staff, great volunteers.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been involved with Compassion & Choices as a donor & volunteer for many years and have seen the positive results of their work first-hand.

C&C is an extremely well-run organization with a long track record of driving real systemic change and positively impacting the lives of countless families.

I highly recommend that anyone with interest in end-of-life care check out their website and social media, sign up for their newsletters, or attend an event. In addition to donating, there are many ways to get involved and learn more about this important work!
https://compassionandchoices.org/

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

C&C gets maximum bang for the donor buck, consistently exceeding its ambitious goals for getting results that empower patient choice and expands the crucially important availability of medical aid in dying.

6

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have stage four lung cancer. I worked with Compassion & Choices as a speaker and a canvasser to pass our bill in Colorado. I loved and admired the people I worked with and I believe our work is the most important work I have ever done.

I am expected now to live less than six months and I have started the procedure to request the pill. I am so grateful I will have the benefit to exercise my own will thanks to C&C, Amy and all the leaders of the movement. Hurrah for us!! Patti James

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are doing a great job in trying to get Medical Aid in Dying legalized in all states. They do a lot more than that by helping people learn about the many options related to end-of-life concerns. But, my focus is My Life, My Death, My Choice. I should be able to choose how and when I want to die if I meet the very strict criteria before a life-ending prescription can be written. Compassion & Choices is the one major organization fighting for this right.

1 smcampbell

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for many organizations and Compassion and Choices is one of my favorites. It is an amazing organization, with incredible staff who are all very responsive to their community. It has a clear mission and does not stray from it. End of life decisions are among the hardest to make and this organization helps individuals make that decision without pressure but providing an informative array of tools on their web site or through consultations that help people and their loved ones make these tough decisions.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the year 2015 my best friend died of cancer. Harry would have chosen to have control over the end of his life. It was very difficult to watch someone you love not die gently,painless at home. He was suffering and I felt powerless. Hospice came but could not always help with his pain.
I looked on line found the organization Compassion and Choices. They believe as Harry did and I do we should have an option. This organization has made a difference in my life working to pass a law Medical Aid in Dying Act is one.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

David Allan. Compassion&Choices Volunteer.
I have volunteered for Compassion and Choices for some time now and have no reservations commending their tireless ongoing effort to improve all aspects of end-of-life care for those dying of an incurable illness. I particularly support their historic advocacy for those eligible patients who freely choose to avail themselves of the California End-Of-Life-Option by requesting a prescription from a supportive physician to end their dying process in a peaceful, humane and dignified manner. I spent forty-three years as a registered nurse and too often witnessed and participated in the delivery of futile aggressive medical care to those at the end of life. The reasons why this occurs so often are multiple and complex, but major factors are the medical profession and our society are woefully unprepared to confront our mortality and paradoxically this can lead to much unnecessary suffering at the end of life. It is this area that Compassion and Choices excels through education, advocacy, and outreach to medical professionals, lawmakers, journalists, healthcare systems and hospices, and particularly the general public. Through these efforts, gains are being made in preparing all of us to better meet the needs of those at the end of life. As a volunteer, I find Compassion and Choices well managed, organized and very supportive of its volunteers by providing multiple resources in order to achieve its goals. I also commend them for their vigorous defense of the California End-Of-Life Option against legal challenges brought by opponents of an eligible patient’s right to self-determine how they pass from life based on their own values, beliefs, and ethics. Paraphrasing one author, “ It is one thing to say - I don’t believe in medical-aid-in-dying and I would never choose it for myself, and quite another to say - I don’t believe in medical-aid-in-dying and no-one else should be allowed, those who participate should be criminally prosecuted.” The first statement is acceptable, the second is not. There is only one stakeholder that matters in this whole debate, and that is the eligible dying person and their beliefs, values, and wishes.

2 Susan J.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices is an amazing nonprofit organization with great leadership at all levels. They are making a positive difference in the world by helping individuals and families effectively make important and vital end of life decisions. Their website offers invaluable resources for everyone.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion and choices is a leader in explaining to the community the end of life options act. This amazing group has allowed my family and friends to understand this law and how we can make our life’s journey so much more meaningful. Compassion and Choices has helped bring dignity and education to our community each and every day. I’m so grateful to this progressive and thoughtful group. I’m proud to be a supporter.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Even though Compassion & Choices has a long history of providing people with information and resources around end-of-life care, I see its work today in a much broader context: to transform the dynamic between patients and doctors so that patients have the deciding voice in their healthcare decisions and treatments.

As a national board member, I am impressed with the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that informs the work of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for the leadership and dedication Compassion & Choices brings to those of us who volunteer to help pass legislation to guarantee every citizen a broad range of end-of-life options. Without their leadership, I'm not sure how we could hope to achieve our goals. It takes more than a few concerned citizens scattered across a region to get organized and to engage more citizens in this worthy cause. Compassion & Choices provides that kind of leadership.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Compassion and Choices has been eye-opening. Aside from the fight they are fighting to make medical aid in dying legal in states, the organization’s empathy and compassion is its keystone. The Leadership, Board, and Committees are committed to the end-of-life journey. It is a delicate subject. C&C does this in a very refined way that the end-of-life decision is very personal and an individual option. As a volunteer with C&C, I have talked with so many people in the country who support this law and want it in their state. C&C is working hard for this and I salute their never-ending commitment.

1 lhrjennifer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion & Choices commitment to improving patient rights and individual choice at the end of life is outstanding. I support medical aid in dying. As an advocate for end-of-life options, this organization is for anyone who desires to get involved with this cause. Highly recommended! Amy J. Hetzler, the C&C staff and volunteers are all truly AMAZING people! I am forever moved and grateful to help this WONDERFUL nonprofit organization & the right to dignity cause. www.compassionandchoices.org

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an old guy and a physician, I am not afraid of being dead but I am very afraid of the process of dying, of the risk dying slowly and being in great pain for weeks or months. That's why I feel that C&C's cause, medical aid in dying for people who are in that fix, and who want help, is a very, very, important cause.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compassion & Choices provided vital assistance to me when my mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She desperately wanted to avoid spending 10 years of slowly deteriorating to a near vegetative state, the horrible fate she had witnessed in her father. With help from C&C, she was able to pass on her own terms and with dignity--and most importantly, legally, without putting any of her loved ones at risk.

I am incredibly grateful that there is an organization like C&C fighting for and helping people to have rightful control of their own lives at the end of life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There's no group more compassionate than Compassion & Choices. They were not only helpful to my husband who was dying of CA, but extremely compassionate to me too.
After he died, I heard from the CEO who suggested I call if I have the need to speak with someone in the organization. The people are ALL kind and helpful. I would certainly recommend them to people in need of help whether suffering unbearable pain or wanting to know about services and how to plan.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Compassion & Choices to help pass "End of Life Option Act" (Death with Dignity), I had the best experience in my 80 years of life. I volunteered almost as a full-time worker, and I met the most wonderful, compassionate people whose goal to help patients achieve their Constitutional right (to choose to end extreme suffering). The law passed and I carry with pride my part in helping. I've done a lot of volunteering in my adult life, and I've never met finer people working toward an extraordinary goal which was achieved.
I consider it a privilege to have worked with such intelligent, helpful people.
The photo is of me at a rally before the law for "Death with Dignity" was passed.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The fact that Oregon's Death With Dignity Law, the first in the country, has worked so beautifully is because Compassion & Choices has been there to make sure it did. We've done it right, and this organization has made it happen.

Barbara Roberts

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering can feel like undervalued work -- but not at Compassion and Choices. Thoughtful training, a super-appreciative staff and meaningful work made all the difference when I came on as a volunteer. This is an organization that recognizes the importance of its supporters and volunteers, and does everything possible to help us give them our best.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've encountered many compassionate people in the organization who were very helpful.
I'm a cancer patient with concerns. I was given written information as well as many helpful websites. I even got a website for doctors and pharmacists who may require advice.

I can't think of a more deserving organization than Compassionate and Choices to be on your list. I still have cancer, but no longer have questions or fears thanks to the wonderful people at Compassion and Choices.

Wolf Breiman

Board Member

Rating: 5

First I believe this is a not-for-profit that affects everyone. Everyone will die at some point
Their Mission of supporting and educating and advocating runs deep Believing that everyone has the choice to make a decision at the end of their life
Compassion and Choices has grown substantially and is becoming well-known and well viewed It is egalitarian it is open to all The staff is very professional...well run and well-versed

Donor

Rating: 5

My adult life's work has been as a hands on philanthropist. I have been involved with Compassion & Choices since its inception and have found it to be one of the most effective, dedicated organizations I have had the privilege of supporting. They have spread the movement for compassionate choices at life's end in remarkable ways throughout the nation and beyond via both legal and educational means as well as providing direct services to individuals and families in dire need of their services.. Of the literally hundreds of 501c3s I have supported in my 82 years, there is not one I feel more deserving of being called a GreatNonProfit than Compassion & Choices.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The national volunteer program manager has been very responsive and helpful. The whole organization is truly strong in their beliefs in what they think could be accomplished for the whole country.

Moira A H.

Donor

Rating: 5

While living in Washington DC more than 20 years ago I received a call from my dad, who lived in Oregon with my mother. He normally never called, leaving the long-distance chats to my mother, so I knew something was very wrong. Tersely he told me my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She wasn't ready to talk to me at that moment but she would call me soon. A couple of days later she called. We talked and she told me she was going to fight it all the way, that she was willing to be a guinea pig for research and that she was feeling strong. She then ended the call with words I have never forgotten. She said, "I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of the process of dying."

Four years later she had fought the good fight, had been a guinea pig for research, had done experimental treatments at both NIH and Cleveland Clinic, and nothing had changed the outcome. She was dying. She knew it and she wanted control over the remaining days of her life.

As my family frantically tried to make sense of her inevitable death and I web-searched late into the night looking for answers, I found Compassion and Choices. Within a week they had worked with her and her doctors to arrange for her to take control of the end of her life. She followed all the steps and her signature was on the appropriate paperwork. It was unrecognizable, bearing no resemblance to the tidy finishing-school signature of her past, but it was there and with it came some serenity. She felt as if she had been able to do one thing where she was calling the shots. She would get to choose how and when the end would be. As she signed it, she told us she might never use it, but it gave her the option should she choose.

In the end, she never had a chance to make that decision. She went downhill too fast in those last weeks, but I know during her remaining alert hours she had some small sense that she was managing her destiny. She died at home with her family around her and I have never forgotten how much it meant to her to have that option. Compassion and Choices has often said the right to choose dignity in death is like an insurance policy. Many people never end up using it, but what it provides is a choice that allows those at end of life who have lost so much dignity and control over their daily existence to feel they can control one small but immeasurably significant part of their life. To that end, I have decided not only to support Compassion and Choices on a yearly basis, but to bequeath a sum to the organization in my will. I hope you will consider doing the same.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Compassion and Choices since 2011 and now I am also a volunteer. I feel that the advances Compassion and Choices has made in encouraging medical care for the terminally ill, and in making the Right to Die legal in California and other states, are important to our continuing comfort. I plan to continue to contribute financially and actively to support their success. In my Trust, I have left a large portion of my estate to Compassion and Choices to encourage the wonderful work they are doing and all the things that they are achieving.

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion & Choices is doing incredible work to make medical aid in dying accessible for all. This important work is sometimes poorly understood by the general public, but C&C shares impactful stories and helps educate Americans about this issue. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, medical aid in dying will become an increasingly important question for millions of Americans. C&C is at the forefront. Anyone who cares about this issue should consider supporting Compassion & Choices.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this nonprofit for many years, starting in the early 90s as a member and donor (when the organization had a different name) . In 2011 I began volunteering for Compassion & Choices and it was then that I was able to truly appreciate the value of what this organization does. The mission of this dedicated group of people is to provide the option for a dignified, physician-assisted death for terminally ill individuals, and to give them autonomy and decreased suffering at the end of life. They believe, and I strongly agree, that this choice is a basic human right that should be available to all Americans. They have been successful in making this a reality in several states and are striving to add more states where this humane and compassionate practice is legal. They have also taken up the important cause of preventing unwanted medical treatment, which occurs all too often.

Compassion & Choices should definitely be recognized as a top-rated nonprofit!

Susan Woods
Portland, Oregon

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having been a Clinical Social Worker for 40 years and as a clergy wife of an Episcopal Priest for almost 50 years, I have had a lot of experience with the terminally the ill. Aid in Dying is a tricky issue, one many people find distasteful. As a Client Service Volunteer for the past 7 years I can tell you that this organization has the highest ethical standards and provides a variety of services to terminally ill people.
Here in Oregon, where we have had 20yrs of experience helping terminally ill patients acquire and take a lethal dose of medication that will end their suffering and their life, the question of choosing death over suffering is legal, well documented, and a relief to both patients and their families. It has been an honor to be present at over 80 deaths.
But C & C is so much more than just providing services for the terminally ill. It is in the forefront of the movement to make this compassionate end available in all states, to all who qualify and want a peaceful end. Our volunteers in states without the law advocate, educate, and support people who are looking for the security of knowing that if their suffering becomes too great they have the legal right to end their life.
I am proud to be part of this movement and this organization.
Betsy Moss, Eugene, Oregon

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If we stand by and watch the pain unfold in a persons life and do nothing about it; then thats our stand.
C&C has rallied a call for Action and I so wish there was such a group I could've offered to a dear friend of mine who had dnr directives in place and ended up 9 weeks starving to death on morphine patches all alone in his apartment controlled by a home hospice who checked in on him daily then left him alone. My Dad didn't know the option of choosing death. Instead he suffered for years declining from liver cancer which finally he gave into. Horrible stories of family members and friends are numerous. My own call to Action is moving terminally ill adults to any state they want to go to regardless of finances or what reasons they have for the move. Movemehome@gmail.com

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices is a great nonprofit that helps everyone all over the US. With it's great work they are doing, they are achieving and educating the consumers, nurses and doctors. Being able to learn your options and having the choice is very important.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to C and C for the last 13 years. Their work matters and they do such much with a limited budget. Advocating for choice at the end of life is not an easy topic and therefore raising money to do the important work is not easy.
I have known my donations will be used well advocating and supporting patients and families on those tough end of life decisions.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion & Choices is a superior non-profit: well-organized, effective and competent in all those critical areas that make a donor want to give and give.

3 Norma C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has been at the forefront for years in teaching folks how to prepare for dying: Advance Directives, withholding invasive treatments where the side effects are sometimes worse than the illness, supporting terminally ill people, and providing consul to folks at the end of their lives. More recently, they have been very active in the legislative side of the right-to-die using medically prescribed drugs. This is an idea whose time has come...and I'M ALL FOR IT. And if someone is not "for it"....that's fine too...but legally we should have a choice. This organization is helpful for anyone who will eventually die...all others should put their money into saving the planet....no sense living forever if the earth doesn't go along with the program!

1 Bonnie104

Client Served

Rating: 5

These dedicated people are simply amazing. The subject of Compassion and Choices makes it somewhat difficult to speak to certain people. Yet they have a staff to handle everything including reluctant family members, who may want to put off speaking about death with dignity. I have been observing for several years. I have raised money for them. I speak out to those who may not know about this organization. And they have helped me. They have wonderful councilors and talking to them is free. As the population ages and medical policies change it is more important than ever for people to think ahead. Compassion and Choices is as good as it's name. It helps people make and keep choices and they do this with great compassion. They are growing and becoming more effective as more and more people learn about them. I want to help them in any way that I can.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

When my mother was at the end of her life, the doctor could not give her pills she could take for a peaceful death with her family gathered around her. Instead, we had to suffer with her for several weeks as she starved herself to death. And as it turned out, I was not able to be at her bedside when she died.
I am therefore very hopeful that the District of Columbia Council will soon pass a Death With Dignity Bill, so that if I or my husband should find ourselves in a similar situation, two doctors could give us pills with which to end our lives, with our children around us.
Because we feel so strongly about this issue, we are enthusiastic supporters of Compassion & Choices and its work to make a dignified death possible. I'm proud to give this organization a top rating as a Great Non-Profit!
Sarah G Epstein
Washington DC

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion and Choices is a powerful non-profit offering advocacy, education, and support to people at the end of their lives. The goal of the organization is to educate, consumers, medical personal, medical entities like hospitals, insurance companies, Hospices, and legislators about Medical Aid in Dying which has been legal in Oregon since 1997.
They also provide direct support to the dying, their families, and their medical providers. In every state in the country. They are an advocacy group that has worked hard to pass Medical Aid in Dying in Oregon, Washington State, Montana, Vermont, California, and are on the ballot in Colorado.
As a national organization they are second to none in utilizing their donations to the maximum. It always amazes me what so few people can accomplish with so little! I nominate them as an outstanding non-profit!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This charity supports a cause I believe in. I have been a supporter of Death with Dignity bills for many years.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A very responsible organization that provides valuable information and forthright advocacy for an important cause.

2 susan barry

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned of Compassion and Choices by name from a close friend's daughter who represented it in California. I of course knew of the much needed assisted-dying options legally in progress or process in some states, but had no idea of the vast resource and personal consultant aid this remarkable organization also offers. (For example the two C and C -initiated Directive Forms regarding dementia and end-of-life measures,"My Particular Wishes," which you can add to your Advance Directive.) The free service of a personal voice and name "there" for you --during the challenging terminal stage of life--is simply beyond superlatives. As someone with a hospice background, I am proud to support and heartily recommend this nonprofit. Susan Barry, Horseshoe Bay, TX

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Shortly after my Mom- 90, a California resident, emailed ( with child like spellings)from 3,000 miles away(New England) to say she felt like her head had opened up and everything she ever knew had flown out of it, that she was in big trouble and did not know what to do,(she ALWAYS knew what to do) she started asking for help to end her life.
She was an extremely competent, confident ,accomplished person whose entire self identity and worth was experiencing herself as a competent contributing person.
In our search for information and help, my brother and I first connected to Compassion and Choices in Washington state where he lives.
They were helpful compassionate listeners , sharing information but not pushing an agenda other than to answer our questions and suggest resources.
As we traveled along with Mom on her journey of diminished cognitive ability she never stopped realizing what was happening to her or begging for help to choose her exit time.
She was emphatic that she did not want to be at the point of "wetting the bed and not recognizing her own children". In the end at age 92 (and under hospice care) she was 'saved' from this outcome by a a diminishing heart rate that allowed her to be spared from the longer decline into loss of her own identity and self that dementia suffers can experience.
In honor of her life (and lack of choice at its end) I have been a supporter of Compassion and Choices. They are doing a remarkable job of educating people and working on legislation to give people the choices for death with dignity that are wanted.
I have found CC to be excellent at keeping donors informed of what is happening. I do not feel that they hit me up for donations each time I make one as with some organizations but rather that we are on a mutual journey to accomplish introduction of legislation and passage of choices for people if they want /need them during the last chapter of their lives. California's new law was not in time for my Mom but I celebrate it on her behalf and look for more states to offer compassion and choice including my own.


1

Donor

Rating: 5

The people in this organization are very bright, passionate, and compassionate. I've worked with many non-profits, and none compare to the group of people who make up Compassion & Choices....they are so helpful, go out of their way to appreciate volunteers, donors, and handle inquiries brilliantly. Seriously, don't give it another thought....they are the best at what they do, are responsible and dedicated. They set a very high bar for any other non-profit. Joan Hoberman

2

Donor

Rating: 5

C&C is a tremendously successful lobbying organization. It deserves most of the credit for getting death-with-dignity legislation enacted in California last year - in a special session of the legislature, bypassing all committees. I am a California lawyer and had judged this feat to be impossible. Barbara Combs-Lee, the president, and Dan Diaz are truly extraordinary spokespersons.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I cannot share this group's enthusiasm for death. There are too many people in this world who need encouragement to live, not to kill themselves.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about this organization when I was looking for a group that deals with my concerns about having a choice about how I might die. I have had many exchanges with the staff , and I have started working with a group in Clearwater FL. I think these issues are extremely important, and I like the thoughtful, caring way this organization approaches them.