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.
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 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.
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
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.
Finding Compassion & Choices when my mother was diagnosed with late stage Ovarian Cancer was literally a life saver. Both my parents loved life, lived it fully, and always made clear that when they could no longer do so,they wanted to die with dignity.
The counseling services and support we received were phenomenal. Once my mother knew that her end-of-life decisions could be honored, she lived the last months of her life with the same spirit and zest that characterized her.
After she died, there was no question in my mind that I would work with Compassion and Choices to ensure that we can all have that same freedom of mind and heart at the end of life.