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State Branding with the Death with Dignity Act
By: Cindy Wendland
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A 29-year-old Portland woman has chosen November 1, 2014 as the day she will die. She has the deadliest form of brain cancer that cannot be treated and will take her painfully and terribly. She moved to Oregon, where their Death and Dignity Act will allow her to die with medication from her doctor on the day of her choosing — two days after her husband’s birthday. Why did Oregon pass this act?

“On October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.”  Washington, Vermont, Montana, and New Mexico are the other states that have enacted such measures. The purpose of the act is to improve end-of-life care and to provide choices. It is difficult to talk about marketing and branding when it deals with death, but these states have chosen to be progressive and allow for more choices. It is a way to illustrate how the state cares for its residents.

The acts and laws passed by each state make up the personality of that state. These five states have chosen to allow residents to choose death with dignity in the case of terminal illness. The states are not hoping for a huge influx of people to move to their state to take advantage of the act. They will accept those that do, but they are instead trying to be compassionate, and that is a subtle form of branding.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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