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Meet Death With Dignity Champion, Robb Miller

provided by Robb Miller
Robb Miller

Robb Miller worked as executive director of Compassion and Choices of Washington (now End of Life Washington) for most of the last two decades. That organization helps people with end of life decision making as they face incurable or terminal illnesses, and they pushed for the passage of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act.

Miller found his way to this group in 1994, 15 years before the law's passage. His partner had been given a terminal diagnosis after developing Pneumocystis Pneumonia, a frequent complication for people who have AIDS. And part of that for Miller was finding out that he too had been exposed to HIV.

At the time there weren’t many drugs for HIV or AIDS, and in fact, they were both given terminal diagnoses. So for the next 18 months, his partner slowly and steadily deteriorated. And the two of them talked about what was looming — death. His partner wanted to die at home and he wanted to be in control of how and when that would happen, but the legal right to be in control, well, didn’t exist yet.

Gabriel Spitzer sits down with Robb Miller and traces his personal history with the right to die.