Compassion & Choices hosted a “Discussion with the Author” featuring Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, author of the new book Finish Strong: Putting YOUR Priorities First at Life’s End, on April 16, 2019. To view the video - click here: Putting YOUR Priorities First at Life's End
We have big news to report. New Jersey became the eighth state to legalize medical aid in dying on April 12, 2019, when Governor Phil Murphy signed the Medical Aid In Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. The new law goes into effect on August 1. New Jersey now joins California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Vermont, and Washington DC as U.S. jurisdictions with aid in dying. As Governor Murphy wrote when [...]
Here's a wonderful way to contribute to the good of humanity as well as eliminate the cost of burial or cremation. Donate your body to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. The only cost to your heirs is for an Illinois-licensed funeral director to have your body transported to their facility at 1540 South Ashland Avenue in Chicago, and for related paperwork. Your generous gift will provide an opportunity for future health [...]
The fascinating story of Mary Klein, suffering with ovarian cancer, who worked ferociously for more than two years to pass Washington DC’s new aid in dying law, and became the first known person to use the new law. Providing a clear illustration that nobody chooses aid in dying for frivolous reasons, the article quotes Klein in an email to her representative in the DC City Council: "I have advanced ovarian cancer that [...]
Fascinating article from the Washington Post by Dr. Samuel Harrington on November 18, 2018. He supports the right to medical aid in dying but worries that the requirement for self-administration forces some people to choose to die sooner than they might otherwise prefer. Read the full article at the Washington Post... He is the author of the book, "At Peace: Choosing A Good Death After A Long Life."
The website Daily Kos has a great piece by Kay Dub, published on October 13. Here's the link: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/10/13/1804199/-I-aim-to-die-like-a-dog It's quite profound, describing the realities of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, of suffering from prostate cancer. He knows his doctors are good. "Now, I like my current doctors. Hearts seem to be in the right place. They've offered up what they think to be the best treatment, given the extent and intensity [...]
American Academy of Family Physicians adopts new position of “engaged neutrality” on medical aid-in-dying
Big and tremendously positive news: The extremely influential American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has adopted a new position, called "engaged neutrality," on the question of medical aid in dying. To make it clearer: they have DROPPED their position opposing it, by a vote of more than two-thirds of the doctors in their governing body. "Changing our position to engaged neutrality shows that our members can respectfully disagree about medical aid in [...]
An important piece in the Washington Post on October 5, 2018, subtitled "Doctors are surprisingly bad at reading lab results. It's putting us all at risk," by Daniel Morgan, associate professor of epidemiology, public health and infectious diseases at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of hospital epidemiology at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. Points out the important fact, often not understood by either patients or doctors, that when a [...]
A fascinating opinion piece by Pamela Druckerman in the New York Times on August 19, 2018. It's about her Parisian friend Helene, in her 70's and terminally ill with metastatic cancer, who is planning to end her life -- to "disappear", as she puts it. Helene is suffering ... she struggles to walk. And she's not afraid of dying. "No, not at all," she replies when the question is put to her. [...]
Accepting Professional Accountability: A Call for Uniform National Data Collection on Medical Aid in Dying
A call for universal data collection on the practice of medical aid in dying, with a uniform national standard adopted by medical professionals, by Jean T. Abbott, Jacqueline J. Glover and Matthew K. Wynia, in the journal Health Affairs, published November 20, 2017. The authors recognize that medical aid in dying is now available for about 20% of the US population, with more states likely to legalize it, and call for health [...]
A powerful guest commentary by Michael Martignetti, suffering from Friedrich's ataxia, a horrible neuromuscular degenerative disease. Mr. Martignetti writes: "I co-founded the Ataxia Support Group in Boston in 2000, so I know the ravages of this disease, what awaits me at the end of my life, and it will not be pretty. Friedreich’s ataxia causes: 1) the spinal cord and peripheral nerves degenerate, 2) diabetes in some people, and 3) various forms [...]
A fascinating article about the profound ethical dilemmas associated with caring for people suffering from dementia, and in particular on the ethics of being truthful. By Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker, October 8, 2018. The article describes how medical ethicist Maartje Schermer believes that "To reject happy delusion on principle seems to her too puritanical, too rigid. Besides, she believes, once a person with dementia has lost the capacity to tell [...]
The realities of dying of lung cancer, by Sarah Lyall, describing the horrors of her mother's final days, in the New York Times on August 31, 2018. "Gradually, the illness took hold, the inevitable became less abstract and the jokes stopped. Mom had vivid dreams of death so awful that she could not bring herself to describe them. She became too weak to leave her bed, more of her independence seeping out [...]
A fascinating blog post by medical ethicist and philosopher Jerry Dworkin, published June 1, 2015, at the height of of the campaign to pass California's aid in dying law. Mr. Dworkin, a Chicagoan, is the author of the 1998 book "Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide." Here's the link...
"The Sick Among Us Are Not Burdens To Be Tossed Aside" is the headline on Final Options Illinois 2018 newsletter, making the case that aid in dying does not exist in a vacuum, that health care must become a human right so that everybody can have access to the full spectrum of end of life care, and that disabled people must have the resources they need to lead productive and dignified lives. [...]
Here's an important, informative and fascinating new book, "Advice for Future Corpses (And Those Who Love Them): A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying", by Sallie Tisdale Read all about it at the New York Times on June 27, 2018
Heaven help us, folks, this is serious. There have been breakdowns in the production system for many essential drugs especially morphine. The one thing we can't do without as we're dying. This is an important story in the July 1, 2018 New York Times...
"Ain't The Way To Die", a great three-minute music video by Doctor Zubin Damania, also known as ZDogg MD. A take-off on the song, "Love The Way You Lie" by Rihanna and Eminem, this is both musically catchy and very profound. It's a heartfelt denunciation of the barbarism of unwanted and futile medical care at end of life ... of dying people not able to have the peaceful end they want. And [...]