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 [...]
Our May 2018 newsletter, with news about the wonderful new aid in dying law just passed in Hawaii, and the great news that the Washington D.C. law remains in force. Includes fascinating quotes and details about victory in Hawaii, including an interview with John Radcliffe, prominent citizen of Hawaii and chief lobbyist for the bill. Here's the link...
Some really big news. On April 5, 2018, Hawaii governor David Ige signed the "Our Care, Our Choice Act", making Hawaii the seventh state with medical aid in dying, joining California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana, and Vermont. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2019. It was a long time coming. The first aid in dying bill was introduced in Hawaii in 1998. But this long process resulted in a tremendous depth of knowledge and support for [...]
Our latest flyer for Final Options Illinois, explaining why Illinois needs an aid-in-dying law. Download and print on front and back of one sheet.
The Peaceful Pill Handbook, by Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, is a tremendous resource for understanding ways and means to a peaceful death. Dr. Nitschke is the founder of Exit International. You can buy it and then read it online, for instant access. You can also get more info at [email protected], or call +31-6-309-66992.
An excellent letter in the Chicago Tribune, published February 13, 2018, by Sharon Silverman, about her aunt and uncle, and her aunt's descent into dementia, and how her uncle finally chose not to treat her aunt's infection, so that she could die peacefully. Ms. Silverman concludes, "Alone together, he stroked her head. He held her hands. He laid next to her, embracing her body — the body he had known for over [...]
It's not going anywhere in Ohio's very conservative legislature, but it's an important milestone nevertheless: an Oregon-style aid in dying bill has been introduced by courageous state senator Charleta B. Tavares, a Democrat representing the Columbus area. Aid in dying in Ohio is being promoted by our sister organization Ohio End of Life Options, led by Lisa Vigil Schattinger, a nurse, and the daughter of Oregon physician Dr. Jack Rowe, who, dying [...]