Death With Dignity

dwd logo.png Death with Dignity also known as "Right to Die," "physician-assisted dying" or "aid-in-dying" laws allow mentally competent, terminally-ill adult state residents to voluntarily request and receive a prescription medication to hasten their death. In the USA, four (4) states have approved laws in place, while seven (7) states have bills submitted in favor of physician-assisted deaths.  

Find your state in our  to access the full suite of information for end-of-life planning and death with dignity legislation in your state.

States with Death with Dignity Laws

Oregon: voters approved of their Death with Dignity Act in 1994 and confirmed their support in 1997. Oregon's law went into effect in 1997.

Washington: voters of Washington passed their law in 2008 and it was implemented in 2009 after no credible legal challenges.

Vermontin 2013 Vermont became the third state with a Death with Dignity law, and the law went into effect immediately after Governor Shumlin signed it on May 20th. 

California: in Oct 2015 the governer of California signed into effect the End of Life Option Act, making California th 4th state with a Death with Dignity Statute.

Colorado: in Nov 2016, Colorado's Proposition 106, the Colorado End of Life Options Act passed

Montana: while it is not official, in December 2009, Montana's Supreme Court ruled nothing in the state law prohibited a physician from honoring a terminally ill, mentally competent patient's request by prescribing medication to hasten the patient's death. Since the ruling, several bills have been introduced to codify or ban the practice, but none of those bills have become law.

States with Bills submitted for Death with Dignity

Connecticut House Bill 5326  2/24/14
DC House Bill 21-0038 2015
Hawaii House Bill 606 1/18/13
Kansas House Bill 2068 1/23/13
Massachusetts House Bill 1998 1/22/13
New Hampshire House Bill 1325 1/8/14
New Jersey Senate Bill 382 & 
Assembly Bill 2270
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1032 6/24/13

To stay up to date on Bill progress and for more information on Death with Dignity, visit the Death with Dignity National Center.

The content on Death with Dignity was reprinted with permission from the Death with Dignity National Center.