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From Your CEOs

Spring 2005

Courage. Commitment. Choice. We have carried these core values with us through years of struggle. We grew stronger, we formed strategic alliances, and our efforts redefined care, choice, dignity and control at life's end.

Now we are taking our unified organization, Compassion & Choices, to the next level. We're moving forward with a passion and a purpose that makes us formidable catalysts for social change. Choice and end-of-life care is a movement whose time has come.

As individual organizations, we were often sprinters, offering excellent services for the needs of the moment. Now we are long-distance runners ready for a marathon. We understand the tasks at hand and how they fit into the long-term goals of our movement. We know the future of choice in dying is entrusted to us and we need the stamina to go the distance.

Never before has an organization offered the client support and the legal and legislative programs that bring every person access to excellent care and maximum choice. Our resources include:

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  • Active legal and legislative efforts in seven states with several more states underway soon;

  • Comprehensive client services throughout the US;

  • Local groups in 33 states;

  • More than 150 committed volunteers;

  • Over 30,000 members and supporters.

Our Client Support Program is exceptional in its reach and inclusiveness. For the first time, anyone in the United States can call us toll-free for help, regardless of membership status or diagnosis. We provide information, support, counsel and referrals to all who call. We help with advance directives, from writing them to enforcing them at the bedside.

Our legal and legislative programs are unparalleled in their scope. In courtrooms and legislatures across the country, we are your advocates. Collectively, we lead the charge to bring choice to comprehensive end-of-life care.

Our local presence in communities across the country allows us to provide the best possible services to our clients. Hundreds of trained volunteers help us maintain a personal connection to clients during a profoundly vulnerable time in their lives. These individuals also inspire grassroots activism in the communities they serve. This ever-expanding network of support gives our movement an even stronger voice.

Our history -- with all of its challenges, its lessons learned and each cherished victory -- brings us to a view of the tough road ahead. As we go to press, we recognize the familiar face of adversity. The upcoming Supreme Court case, Gonzales v. Oregon, calls for unrelenting fortitude on the part of Compassion & Choices. This is not an insurmountable obstacle; we are resolute in our dedication to defend Oregon's aid-in-dying law.

Our past is rife with legal struggles. We are grateful to the prominent law firms that have contributed millions of dollars in pro bono work to fight for the right to comfort and choice. In this moment, they are preparing for Supreme Court arguments that will likely occur in November. Their work and your support have never been more precious to us. Any financial donation you can provide at this time will be deeply appreciated.

We are both immensely proud to have you join us at the forefront of this movement. In this time of significant social change, we answer the call to stewardship. Together we bring an unwavering commitment to you and to our cause.




  
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This article was provided by Compassion & Choices. It is a part of the publication Compassion & Choices Magazine.
 

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