Melissa Barber, Expert

Melissa Barber has been building and managing the online community for the Death with Dignity National Center since 2010. On a daily basis, she chats with people seeking to learn about legal end-of-life options. In all states, people are able to document their care wishes in advance and elect to receive comfort measures with the help of hospice and palliative care. In addition, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont have Death with Dignity laws that allow terminally ill, mentally competent adult state residents to request medication to control the manner and timing of their own deaths.

Why I Care

"The greatest human freedom is to live, and die, according to one's own desires and beliefs. From advance directives to physician-assisted dying, Death with Dignity is a movement to provide options for the dying to control their own end-of-life care. Death with Dignity National Center is the leader in this movement, successfully establishing, advancing, and defending the landmark Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity Acts. As a representative of this nonprofit organization, I strive to help people throughout the U.S. better understand the care options available and how to access them."