Right to Die and Death With Dignity Organizations

If you're considering your right to die and death with dignity, there are many organizations you can turn to for education and support. You are not alone in your journey. Most of the organizations focus on two or more of these aspects:

  • Education: Some organizations provide decision-making information and support to patients who have an interest in learning more about their choices. They may also help you learn about ethical arguments both for and against the right to die.
  • How-To: Some organizations help patients learn about how to die, and may even help them make it happen.
  • Civil Rights and the Law: Some of the organizations are more political in nature. They work with both grass-roots organizations and representatives of state and federal governments to pass legislation that either supports or opposes aid in dying.
Elderly couple holding hands
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Compassion and Choices

This organization, formerly known as The Hemlock Society, offers consultations, assistance, and support. They are also involved in legal defense and lobbying efforts to expand right to die legislation in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Canada.



The Death With Dignity National Center

According to the Death with Dignity National Center, its mission is "to promote death with dignity laws based on our model legislation, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in end-of-life care."




Located near Zurich, Switzerland, Dignitas offers counseling and assistance for people who want to understand their death with dignity options, and to help those who have chosen to die to obtain the necessary lethal drugs. They also provide "accompanied suicide."



Dying With Dignity Canada

Focusing on right-to-die legislation in the provinces, Dying with Dignity provides decision-making support to Canadians who wish to "choose a gentle death."



The Final Exit Network

The organization holds that "mentally competent adults who suffer from a terminal illness, intractable physical pain, chronic or progressive physical disabilities, or who face loss of autonomy and selfhood through dementia, have a basic human right to choose to end their lives when they judge their quality of life to be unacceptable." This organization was founded on the book Final Exit by Derek Humphry. 



Patients Rights Council

This group, which was formerly known as the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, opposes right to die legislation because they believe the healthcare industry will promote it to contain costs. "The Patients Rights Council is committed to the principle that you have the right to know all the facts about the critical issues of life, death, and assisted suicide."



The Right to Die Society of Canada

This society lobbies for right to die legislature in Canada, educates the public, and helps individuals find the right options for themselves.



Worldwide Lists

Organizations that support death with dignity and the right to die can be found through the World Federation of Right to Die Societies. Organizations that are against right to die legislation can be found at Euthanasia.com.

By Trisha Torrey
 Trisha Torrey is a patient empowerment and advocacy consultant. She has written several books about patient advocacy and how to best navigate the healthcare system.