Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Heart-wrenching story shows how patchwork legislation on physician-assisted death affects people

Deb Robertson sits for a portrait at her Lombard, Ill. home, March 21, 2024. She didn’t cry when she learned two months ago that the cancerous tumors in her liver were spreading, portending a tormented death. But later, she cried after receiving a call that a bill moving through the Illinois Legislature to allow certain terminally ill patients to end their own lives with a doctor’s help had made progress. AP PHOTO / CHARLES REX ARBOGAST

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Denver-based reporter Jesse Bedayn’s story illustrates how evolving state legislation on physician-assisted death impacts Americans. Photos by Charlie Arbogast and a video by Melissa Winder of an Illinois woman highlighted AP’s collaborative strength.

A bill introduced in Colorado allowed nonresidents to access physician-assisted death, which was later removed. Bedayn recognized a compelling story as over a dozen states debated legalizing the practice. He connected with advocacy organizations, terminally ill individuals and an Oregon doctor aiding out-of-state patients.

Jesse interviewed four terminally ill people and two family members. These interviews covered the reasons for wanting physician-assisted death and their philosophies on life and death.

The story, a prime example of AP’s state government coverage, focused on how legislation affects lives and connected legislative actions nationally, setting AP apart from other news organizations.

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