Care2 Works Toward National Death with Dignity Rights

Care2 petition author Jared Milrad believes that all people deserve the right to die with dignity. Unfortunately, current laws through the majority of the U.S. prevent people with terminal illnesses from having the ability to die in a humane way. These people are often forced by law to suffer unnecessarily from diseases that we already know will end their lives in way that are uncomfortable, even painful.

Milrad is doing something about this. He’s created a whopping 24 state-specific petitions to bring a legal death with dignity option to their residents. I asked Milrad why he decided to dedicate such intense effort to this issue, and he told me about his father:

“In 2011, my father, Martin Milrad, began experiencing vascular dementia at the age of 81. Unfortunately, my father’s symptoms progressed over the next several years, and I decided to become more informed about the ‘death with dignity’ issue as his health declined. Although, sadly, my father passed away in October 2015, we were fortunate that he was able to do so peacefully and in accordance with his wishes. Having been with him during that difficult process – and inspired by brave activists such as Brittany Maynard – I decided to help ensure that every American has the opportunity to make end-of-life decisions with dignity.”

For those who don’t know the story of Brittany Maynard, she was a 29-year-old California woman who lived with an aggressive, terminal brain cancer. She moved from California to Oregon with her husband so she could die peacefully with medical aid in accordance with the state’s Death with Dignity Act. Maynard used her story to educate the entire country, documenting her journey with videos.

Her husband, Dan Diaz, now works full-time with advocacy group Compassion & Choices to carry on her wishes and bring the right to death with dignity to all Americans.

The Death with Dignity National Center is another organization working to bring about change, and Milrad used the organization’s resources as a springboard to developing his petition framework. “I decided to pursue a nationwide strategy, even in states where bills had yet to be proposed,” he explained. Milrad wanted “to ensure that activists with more challenging campaigns had the opportunity to speak out on this important issue.”

Some states seem close to passing legislation. “States such as New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island – where bills have been proposed and/or passed out of committee – have the greatest likelihood of enacting death with dignity legislation in the near-term,” Milrad said. Other states still have a long journey for activists. “States such as Missouri and Oklahoma – where bills have been tabled to committee and/or received no hearings – show little sign of progress in the near future, but this can change if more activists in those states get involved.”

Milrad believes this is a values issue, saying, “During our lives, most Americans believe that we should be treated with both dignity and respect, and that the rights of self-determination and personal liberty are fundamental to our democracy. Death with dignity enshrines these same ideals, which we often take for granted in life, as essential in our approach to death.”

”For the many Americans suffering with terminal illnesses who want the option of dying on their own terms, we should grant them the same freedoms that we all enjoy in life,” he told me. “In short, every American deserves to be treated equally from birth to death, and death with dignity helps fulfill that promise.”

As of this writing, only California, Vermont, Oregon and Washington have death with dignity laws on the books. Montana has de facto legality through a court decision.

Sign the state-based petitions to bring humane death with dignity laws to the rest of the United States. Click below on your state, or sign them all!

Alaska

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Hawaii

Iowa

Kansas

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Missouri

Montana

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Utah

Washington, D.C.

If you feel strongly about an issue in your community or the world, click below to start a petition and get help from Care2 members around the globe!

 

 

65 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Why is it ok to kill anyone? It's always "the least of these", the unborn babies and the old and sick. As long as there is life, there is hope. I've seen people who are really bad off, get healed and go on to live a full and productive life.

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Karen Swenson
Karen Swenson3 years ago

@ David F--what the HELL are you talking about?? Sara Palin right about Death Panels? You are in need of psychiatric care--Sara Palin isn't right about a damn thing--the woman is an idiot! She's even too crazy for Fox News and the Republican Party, but obviously not crazy enough for you.

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Danielle I.
Danielle I3 years ago

Deep Bow of respect, Jared Milrad. Namaste ❤️

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Danielle I.
Danielle I3 years ago

Thank You Jared! I have signed a number but will be sure to sign them all. This needs to be world-wide. I live in NZ & we need this too! I have watched too many loved ones die painful, torturous deaths :( If I let one of my pets suffer in this way I would be charged with animal cruelty (& rightly so!) I have a chronic illness, not terminal but I know some of the medications I take will shorten my life. When that time comes, I deserve, as a human right, the choice to end my life. Here in NZ, our highest suicide rate is our elderly people. Most hang themselves! These beautiful souls are almost always terminal & choose to die before they are incapable of doing it themselves. Breaks my heart. Everyone deserves the right to choose to die with dignity!

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