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01/03/2018

End of Life Liberty Project now at UC Hastings

UC Hastings College of the Law is the new academic home of the End of Life Liberty Project (“ELLP”). The ELLP works to protect and expand the rights of terminally ill patients. 


“We are so delighted to welcome the End of Life Liberty Project to UC Hastings, which aligns well with our public service mission and the Consortium’s dedication to addressing critical issues at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics,” said Jaime King, Professor of Law at UC Hastings and Associate Dean for the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science, and Health Policy.  

The ELLP engages in creative analysis and advocacy to promote changes in law and policy that improve end of life care and expand the autonomy of terminally ill patients. The ELLP is the work of Kathryn Tucker, one of the nation’s most respected advocates for end of life liberty, with an advisory board of end of life care luminaries including Timothy Quill, Robert Brody, Thaddeus Pope, Sylvia Law, Kathy Cerminara and Robert Schwartz. 


Tucker founded the ELLP in 2015 as a program within the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC), the nation’s oldest disability advocacy organization, during her tenure as DRLC’s Executive Director. This union between disability rights and end of life liberty proved transformational in the movement for end of life liberty. The ELLP’s unique position has enabled it to educate the public, professionals and policy makers about these issues and move the nation forward in the social change movement to expand end-of-life liberty. 

Tucker joined DRLC with a record of two decades of success in leading advocacy work on end of life care.  Tucker’s work to protect and expand the rights of the terminally ill has been at the forefront of nearly every advocacy effort in this arena in the United States since 1990, including both litigation and advocacy in legislative and administrative proceedings.  The focus of these efforts ranges from advocacy to ensure respect for patient wishes with regard to prolonging life and managing pain and symptoms to a variety of efforts to expand end of life liberty to include the option of aid in dying.

Tucker now brings her work to UC Hastings under the auspices of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. There, she will continue in her role as Executive Director of the End of Life Liberty Project.

“An academic base for the ELLP at Hastings will be symbiotic and synergistic: providing a firm foundation for its work while also educating the next generation of end of life liberty advocates at one of the nation’s leading law schools.” Said Tucker, who has longstanding relationships at UC Hastings and UCSF, and decades of involvement in scholarship and teaching, which makes joining the Consortium a natural fit and evolution. Tucker is also eager to involve students in her academic writing and advocacy work. 

“Kathryn Tucker is the leading end of life litigator in the United States, and she is also one of the leading academic and policy voices on good medical care for those facing death” said Robert Schwartz, a Senior Visiting Professor of Law at UC Hastings and Advisory Board Member for the ELLP. “She is, in addition, a particularly well-respected and beloved teacher.  Tucker’s move to UC Hastings and to the Consortium will be a great contribution to our work in development and implementation of sound, research-based end of life policy.”

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