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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Compassion & Choices

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, 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.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My "honest and candid" experience has been nothing but positive. I'm uncertain exactly how we came in contact with Compassion & Choices. But I am certain it was a great thing that we did. Very few organizations are able to combine on the ground assistance to individuals and families in time of needs with pressing a legislative agenda and on the ground grass roots organizing. Somehow C & C manages all these things, with grace, punch and political savvy. They were helpful to me personally as my father was dying, and have been helpful in providing clear leadership in the step by step process of helping to bring ordinary folks and legislatures to understand the importance of being permitted to die with dignity. Several of my closest friends have gone through drawn out, terminal, end-of-lives. Some were lucky enough to have persons and family to help them make choices and have the ability to carry them out. Others were not so lucky, and suffered pain, indignity, and the misfortune of being trapped in hospitals when all they wished for was to die at home in the company of friends and family and with the comforts of a lifetime of nesting around them. Compassion fights at all levels to help people handle what is perhaps the most difficult time they will face. I give them every star I am permitted to give, and more.