Understanding Medical Aid in Dying


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Target Audience

Healthcare providers.


Six states and the District of Columbia currently authorize medical aid in dying as an option for patients at the end of life. At least 20 state legislatures have introduced similar legislation, including Iowa. The powerful story of Brittany Maynard’s struggle to control her death and her family’s move to Oregon to access its Death with Dignity law sparked interest across the country. As public awareness increases, physicians and other health professionals will face questions from patients, lawmakers and the media. This presentation will provide an in-depth understanding of the clinical practice of medical aid in dying based on experience and data from authorizing states.


  • Define medical aid in dying and summarize clinical criteria and patient eligibility.
  • Summarize data on medical aid dying from authorizing states.
  • Distinguish between “assisted suicide” and “medical aid in dying” and the importance of terminology.
  • Identify fact-based versus opinion-based objections to medical aid in dying.
  • Explain trends in support for medical aid in dying among the medical community.
  • Articulate competing ethical views.



Rebecca Thoman, MD
Manager, Doctors for Dignity, Compassion & Choices


Relevant to the content of this CME activity, Dr. Thoman indicated she has no financial relationships to disclose.

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Date of original release: February 2, 2018
Most recent review/update: February 2, 2018
Termination date: February 1, 2021

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Available Credit

  • 0.75 CE Contact Hour(s)


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