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Debra Brockel knows her days are numbered. But her mind is at ease because she’s the one doing the counting. Brockel, 60, has suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, since 2006. She has endured severe exacerbations of the disease, which irreversibly damages the lungs, and all manner of medical treatment and hospitalizations. She [...]

2020-03-14T19:39:13-05:00March 14th, 2020|

Activists seek ‘medical aid in dying’ law for Illinois

The weekend sun has melted the snow and is encouraging the green grass. Fish are swimming lazily around the large backyard koi pond at his Elgin home. And Ralph McFadden looks good and feels good. None of which is ideal for a serious column about the suburban Compassion & Choices group he's working with to pass a [...]

2020-03-11T16:18:07-05:00March 11th, 2020|

New Book Releases regarding the growing awareness of an unacceptable status quo for dying in America.

New Book Releases In January 2019, Compassion & Choices released Finish Strong: Putting Your Priorities First at Life’s End. Since then, Finish Strong has become a rallying call to the public to lead with their values concerning end-of-life healthcare decisions. In response to the many supporters who have asked for an audiobook version of Finish Strong, we have completed [...]

2020-03-10T14:38:42-05:00March 10th, 2020|

Opening Hearts and Minds to Make Room for Change

Note from the CEO: Opening Hearts and Minds to Make Room for Change The great historian Carter G. Woodson believed understanding the past opens doors to the future. He created what is now Black History Month in 1926 to highlight the contributions his community was making to this country’s development and success. During a time [...]

2020-03-10T14:28:07-05:00March 10th, 2020|

When assisted dying means you have to go before you’re ready

Leila Bell, an 85-year-old great grandmother in Vancouver, decided the circumstances of her death warranted one last act of advocacy. She told a handful of close friends, her psychologist and her doctor about her plan. Her long-time confidante Sarah Townsend made the arrangements. On 22 August 2019, six days before the day Bell was scheduled [...]

2020-03-04T19:01:04-06:00March 4th, 2020|

The Rev. Joseph Kitchen is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. How do you want to die? Studies show that about 80 percent of people would prefer to die at home. But only about half of Americans die while receiving home hospice services. History shows that one way to increase the odds of [...]

2020-02-25T16:00:21-06:00February 25th, 2020|

10 Years of Baxter v. Montana: Access and Protection Efforts Continue

10 Years of Baxter v. Montana: Access and Protection Efforts Continue   December 31, 2019, marked 10 years since the landmark Baxter v. Montana ruling, which authorized medical aid in dying in Montana. Compassion & Choices continues efforts on the ground in Montana to educate and empower residents to learn about their end-of-life options and to protect [...]

2020-01-29T12:39:58-06:00January 29th, 2020|

Storyteller Spotlight: Debbie Stern

Storyteller Spotlight: Debbie Stern Debbie Stern, a retired psychiatric social worker, has had end-of-life issues on her mind since caring for her father after his lung cancer diagnosis. “We were very close, and it was a horrible death,” she recalls. “He ended up going down to 75 pounds from being a big man, and he [...]

2020-01-29T12:35:48-06:00January 29th, 2020|
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