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Death with Dignity Political Fund

Portland, OR   |  DeathWithDignity.org

Mission

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.

Ruling year info

2001

Chief Executive Officer

Peg Sandeen PhD, MSW

Main address

520 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 1220

Portland, OR 97204 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

93-1324899

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In the last 50 years, advances in medical technology have fundamentally changed how Americans die. These advances have led to positive outcomes for many individuals, but there are others for whom the extension of their lives through modern medicine has led to a painful and protracted dying process. Terminally ill individuals seek—and deserve—the freedom to decide how they die. For some, this includes the option of a hastened death as a means to end their suffering and maintain autonomy until their final breath. Through drafting legislation, campaigning, lobbying, and advocating for death with dignity laws in the states that lack them, Death with Dignity Political Fund works to make this option available to mentally capable individuals with six months or less to live. In the process, we strengthen the nationwide movement for greater choice and control at the end of life.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Death with Dignity Political Fund

Death with Dignity Political Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that acts as the political arm of the National Center. The Fund drafts death with dignity laws based on the Oregon model and campaigns, lobbies, and advocates for death with dignity legislation in the states that lack it.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through our Dignity50 program (formerly Oregon Plus One), we provide tactical and financial support to grassroots advocacy organizations in states across the country.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of jurisdictions that have death with dignity laws

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Dignity50

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We helped enact death with dignity laws in nine jurisdictions: OR-1997; WA-2008; VT-2013; CA-2015; CO-2016; Washington, DC-2017; HI-2018; ME, NJ-2019, & NM-2021.

Number of new organizations signing on as collaborators

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dignity50

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Through our State Leadership Incubator program, we provide financial and/or strategic support to grassroots groups in: CO, AZ, FL, CA, GA, ME, NC, NM, NH, VT, OH

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Death with Dignity Political Fund works to pass legislation legalizing medically assisted death for mentally capable individuals with six months or less to live.

We work directly with legislators to craft the best bills possible and shepherd them through the legislative process by providing political strategy guidance and other support.

For example, in the District of Columbia the Death with Dignity Political Fund was at the center of legislative efforts from Day 1. On the day Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced the Death with Dignity Act of 2015, her office requested assistance from us with shepherding the bill through the Council. From that point on, we stayed by Councilmember Cheh and her colleagues’ side to get the bill passed.

In California, which passed a death with dignity bill in 2015, our experts reviewed and revised every version and amendment of the bill; provided expert guidance from the experience of passing and implementing similar laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont; and helped prepare sponsors and witnesses for hearings and meetings.

And in Hawai'i, we worked with the Governor's office to draft one of the state's earliest assisted-dying laws in 2002 and successfully lobbied legislators to pass the Our Care, Our Choice Act in 2018.

Additionally, we operate a fund that allows us to launch promising campaigns, fill a critical gap in existing campaigns, offer financial support to successful efforts, and help push death with dignity initiatives over the top when a win is imminent. We used these funds in 2019 to assist Maine Death with Dignity, the local group working with Maine legislators to pass a death with dignity bill which successfully passed, and End of Life Options New Mexico to help pass death with dignity legislation in 2021.

Launched by individuals with profound roots in the nascent stages of the death with dignity movement, the Death with Dignity Political Fund has been involved in every campaign, be it legislative or ballot initiative, codifying the medical standard of care known as death with dignity.

We are the most accomplished organization in the death with dignity movement, having played a leadership role in successful efforts to draft, pass, and defend death with dignity laws in states across the country. Our Board of Directors includes pioneers of the assisted-dying movement in Oregon who continue to lend their legal and legislative expertise to efforts in other states.

In a quarter-century's worth of work, we have changed end-of-life policy to provide greater comfort and control to the terminally ill, both through the promotion of death with dignity policy reform and by influencing key decision-makers to increase awareness and availability of options such as hospice and palliative care.

Support for assisted dying continues to grow, as evidenced by numerous state and national polls. The pace at which lawmakers pass assisted-dying statutes has accelerated; five of the nine aid-in-dying laws on the books were passed by legislatures within the past five years. In 2013, our stated goal of 10 States with Death with Dignity in 10 Years seemed lofty. Now, it's within reach.

Eleven jurisdictions representing over 73 million Americans now have policies authorizing death with dignity. And a 2017 New England Journal of Medicine analysis found that residents of Oregon, where the death with dignity movement began, were more likely to die at home—something 85 percent of Americans wish for— and have other end-of-life wishes honored than residents of any other state.

Currently, we are working with 11 local partner organizations in a diverse group of states. We hope to double the number of partner organizations in the next two years. We will accomplish this by promoting and increasing participation in our Dignity50 State Leadership Incubator, through which we provide essential tools and training to dedicated activists seeking to launch and grow organizations dedicated to promoting death with dignity in their respective states.

We will continue to provide thought leadership in the media, education to a wide range of constituencies, and referral services for terminally ill patients and their families.

And we are actively engaged in defending existing assisted-dying laws through the U.S. court system, which has been a cornerstone of our work since the mid-1990s.

In Washington, D.C., we have joined a coalition of organizations focused on defending D.C. laws, including the Death with Dignity Act passed in 2017, from congressional interference. Some members of Congress are attempting to nullify D.C.'s assisted-dying law through the federal budget process. We have defeated their efforts in the past and will continue to work to protect the District's statute.

Financials

Death with Dignity Political Fund
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Death with Dignity Political Fund

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

George Eighmey

ELI STUTSMAN

CAROL PRATT

MIDGE LEVY

GEORGE EIGHMEY

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/27/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Non-binary, Transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data