Announcing Allyne Hammer Excellence in Advocacy Award Winner Doris Fischer
Sep 6, 2023
This year, Compassion & Choices honors Doris Fischer, the co-winner of the inaugural Allyne Hammer Award. For 16 dedicated years, Doris has volunteered with Compassion & Choices, leaving an indelible mark in Montana. Medical aid in dying was authorized in Montana by court ruling in 2009, with Doris participating in the efforts to keep it authorized for terminally ill Montanans.
Unique among states that have authorized medical aid in dying, Montana is the only state to have done so by court ruling. In Baxter v Montana, 2009 the legal landscape of end-of-life choices and medical aid in dying was transformed when the Montana Supreme Court affirmed that terminally ill adults could access medical aid in dying under state law and that it is lawful for Montana physicians to participate in the practice.The Baxter ruling has faced challenges in the years since its implementation, despite state-wide popularity. Throughout the years (and challenges), Doris has been a resolute supporter of medical aid in dying and has dedicated a tremendous amount of her time volunteering on behalf of Compassion & Choices to ensure that people in Montana continue to have access to medical aid in dying.
Since the Baxter ruling, Doris testified at every legislative hearing and maintained steady lobbying efforts, going above and beyond and encouraging her friends and family to join her lobbying efforts. Doris consistently assumes leadership positions within the Montana action team, offering valuable insights on refining the advocacy efforts in Montana. She warmly welcomes and engages new volunteers, fosters a sense of community, and collaborates closely with Compassion & Choices staff. She is a model volunteer and Compassion & Choices is proud to present her with the inaugural Allyne Hammer Excellence in Advocacy Award.