In short, Compassion & Choices is the rebranded Hemlock Society. It’s morphology into the ambiguously named Compassion & Choices can be found in the archives of the Colorado Secretary of State office.
In 1980 the Hemlock Society was founded by Derek Humphry to support legalization of assisted suicide. 1 After formerly being incorporated in Oregon, Hemlock incorporated in Colorado in 1995. 2 In 2003, Hemlock changed their name to Hemlock Foundation for End-of-Life Choices. 3 In 2004, Hemlock changed its name again, to Compassion & Choices. 4 Despite the name change, Compassion & Choices still uses Hemlock Society as a trade name. 5
As Derek Humphry pointed out, Hemlock was a recognizable brand. 6 This begs the question, why did Hemlock change its name?
Hemlock had a brand built around death — helping people die. Hemlock unequivocally advocated the right for people to end their lives, even if that meant helping people with disabilities who were not anywhere close to death, die. Hemlock’s “words and deeds mark a clear and consistent pattern of promoting assisted suicide for people with disabilities.” 7 This is an agenda that does not sit well with most Americans.
The name change reflects Compassion & Choices discovery that promoting death does not sit well with most Americans. As I have discussed before, the pro-death factions have a deliberate campaign to hide the ball with language. Hiding their background behind nebulous phrases does not change who they are. Compassion & Choices has a history of promoting assisted suicide for people with disabilities. Their proposed legislation is dangerous to people with disabilities.
- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/suicide-plan/the-evolution-of-americas-right-to-die-movement/ ↩
- http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/ViewImage.do?fileId=19951156502&masterFileId=19951156502, http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/ViewImage.do?fileId=19961012123&masterFileId=19951156502 ↩
- http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/ViewImage.do?fileId=20031370105&masterFileId=19951156502 ↩
- http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/ViewImage.do?fileId=20041402378&masterFileId=19951156502 ↩
- http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/ViewImage.do?fileId=20071016087&masterFileId=20071016087 ↩
- http://www.assistedsuicide.org/farewell-to-hemlock.html ↩
- http://www.broadreachtraining.com/advocacy/arhemloc.htm ↩