Advisory Board Member

Thaddeus M. Pope, JD, PhD, HEC-C

Thaddeus Mason Pope is a key adviser to the Completed Life Initiative, adding expert insight and counsel on voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) and medical aid-in-dying (MAID). Mr. Pope is a foremost expert on medical law and clinical ethics. He maintains a special focus on patient rights and healthcare decision-making. While he serves in a range of consulting capacities, Mr. Pope has been particularly influential through his extensive, high-impact scholarship.


Ranked among the Top 20 most cited health law scholars in the United States, Mr. Pope has over 220 publications in leading medical journals, bioethics journals, and law reviews. He coauthors the definitive treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, and he runs the Medical Futility Blog (with over four million page-views).


“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”  

— John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

“For decades, I have worked to protect and expand individual autonomy and self-determination at the end of life. The Completed Life Initiative advances my mission both by empowering people to exercise options they already have and by increasing the available options.”