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The boards of Compassion in Dying and End of Life Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, have discussed combining budgets, fundraising, political strategy and other issues. Thus far, the merged organization is calling itself Compassion and Choices.

Pro-life advocates say the combined organization would increase the political clout and strength of the nation’s euthanasia advocates.

“Until recently, Hemlock operated on the margins of the law, stressing pro-death counseling services and instructions,” explains Tom Marzen, a pro-life attorney who monitors end of life issues. “Compassion stressed working through the law, as with the Oregon pro-assisted suicide law and cases it brought trying to legalize the practice.”

Marzen told that the joining of the two groups, “probably means they are retooling and restructuring for an effort to win hearts and minds, especially in the medical professions and state legislatures.”