Compassion & Choices offers end-of-life consultation. Our counseling is by phone, and our services are free and confidential. We provide information and support. We do not provide nor administer the means for aid in dying.

Consultation is available to those residing within the United States. Those who live outside the U.S. should contact the World Federation of Right to Die Societies at www.worldrtd.net to learn about programs in their area.

When you call our EOLC, you will speak with one of our counselors, who will:

  • provide general information about our program
  • ask a few questions to better understand your individual situation.
  • when appropriate, refer you to another organization that would best meet your needs.
  • explain our Guidelines for aid-in-dying.
  • (for those who meet our Guidelines) initiate a more in-depth interview to assess your needs, explain our process, and explore your options for a dignified and peaceful death.
  • mail you information about our program to help you discuss your wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers

Please note:Specific information about our procedures is not given to the general public. If you are feeling suicidal, but do not have a verifiable terminal illness, call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to a counselor 24/7.

In addition to the above services, the End-of-Life Consultation team:

  • offers supportive counseling to you and your family. (when geographically possible) may match you with a volunteer.
  • advocates for effective pain management.
  • assists with referrals to hospice.
  • helps with planning for important healthcare decisions, such as Advance Directives (Living Will/Appointment of Health Care Agent).
  • serves as a clearinghouse for information on grief, funerals, organ donation, support groups, etc.
  • provides information and support to health care professionals.

Call us, toll-free, at: 1-800-247-7421

Have The Conversation.

We can’t control everything about our death. But if we communicate effectively, we make it more likely that our wishes for the end of life will be known and respected. Simply completing an advance directive does not ensure it will be respected. Recent studies indicate the single most powerful thing a person can do to improve the chance for gentle dying is --- simply and courageously --- to talk about it.

Effective communication with those who will be called upon to make decisions on our behalf is key to the likelihood that our wishes are carried out. Compassion & Choices offers a Good to Go Toolkit and Good To Go Resource Guide that help you define your priorities, understand who you need to talk with and come up with ideas on how to get the conversation rolling. We've also provided state-specific advance directives free of charge, available for downloading.

It is never too early to get started.

Download the "Peace at Life's End. Anywhere." brochure here.

Voluntary Stopping of Eating & Drinking (VSED)

VSED is not starvation and, with palliative support, is not painful. VSED is a legally recognized option for mentally competent adults who wish to end their suffering.  Numerous studies demonstrate that, when coordinated with hospice care, the process is peaceful and the patient does not suffer from hunger or thirst. A growing number of individuals are exploring this option. VSED permits dying to proceed naturally.

This choice involves consciously refusing all food and fluids for a gentle, natural passing. Consciousness is lost in as little as two or three days, and death typically occurs within one to three weeks, depending on the individual’s hydration and disease state. Success with VSED requires determination, accurate information, and around-the-clock support from family or other caregivers. Contact our End-of-Life Consultation program at 1.800.247.7421 for more information.

Why is an advance directive important?

Advance directives protect your right to make choices that affect your life. They are a way of letting your loved ones and your physicians know your wishes. Without an advance directive, others will be required make decisions for you which may or may not be what you want.

compassion & choices
P.O. Box 101810 • Denver, CO 80250
p 800.247.7421 • f 866.312.2690

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