Tell Us Your Story
We are always looking for personal stories focused on end-of-life experiences and we would like to hear from you, your family or your friends. Experts agree that storytelling activates a function in the brain called ‘neural coupling’ which enables a listener or reader to convert the ideas in the story into his/her own ideas and experiences. This makes the content more personal and relatable. Stories from Arizonans are critical, because when we have gathered enough original stories, we will produce an "anthology" for use in demonstrating to lawmakers and news media the importance their constituents place on end-of-life choices. So, if you have a story (or even an idea for one) please send Marsha McIntosh an email at and let her know. She can even help you craft your submission. Carla Wykoff's from-the-heart story below is a wonderful example. 
My name is Carla Wykoff.  I am a long-time resident of Arizona, a retired engineer, scientist, teacher, and advocate for the desert biological diversity.  I have been fighting lung and liver cancer for six years.  I have endured surgeries, radiation, and the side effects of treatment.
I do not know how much longer I have to live.  I am fighting the best I can but I am tired of being sick and I am exhausted by medical interventions.  I do not want to die nor do I want to live in a weakened state, unable to do the things that have always given my life meaning. I want to live as long as I am able to get out into the wild places that are my source of spiritual energy.
But when my body signals me that my time is close, I want the option of ending my own life with dignity, enjoying the company of those I love  - when, where and how I choose.
It troubles me that I will likely not have this option in my home state of Arizona  -- that others, whose beliefs I do not share, can and will force me to suffer pain and indignation in my last moments on the planet.  I find that wrong, even barbaric. 
I would like to thank my family and friends, and my doctors and other caregivers for their long support.  I would like to ask you, my fellow Arizonans, to implement the option of medical aid in dying for all terminally-ill Arizonans who would prefer, like me, to end their lives on their own terms.

AT THE CAPITOL -- Leesa Stevens of Sedona (left) and Mary Ganapol of Tucson review the busy lineup of legislative meetings, guest speakers, and floor debates at the 2020 Secular Day at the Capitol Feb. 24 in Phoenix. The Secular Coalition for Arizona works to ensure a clear separation of church and state and supports AZELO's efforts to bring medical aid-in-dying legislation to Arizona.

'The people of Maryland have spoken'

Advocates, lawmakers, and leaders of national organizations were gathered last month at the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis to urge legislators to pass the state’s End-of-Life Option Act.
          Peg Sandeen, Executive Director of Death with Dignity National Center, delivered remarks at a press conference where she released the results of a new poll showing that 66 percent of Marylanders support medical aid in dying (MAID). 
          “It’s an honor to be here today as we begin our fifth session of work on the Maryland End-of-Life Option Act," she said. "We hope it is the final phase of our long effort to let the people of Maryland have the option to die with dignity. This is our year.
          “I’m pleased to confirm what those of us here already know. The Oregon law – and all the other state laws that are modeled on it – have performed flawlessly for an entire generation, without any of the horror stories that its opponents like to promote. That’s right: we have a generation’s worth of data demonstrating the law works as it should—granting the right to medical aid in dying to a small number of qualified terminally ill individuals while protecting all others against coercion and abuse.         
          “Recently, Death with Dignity commissioned a poll of Marylanders from every corner of the state. As you can see from the results we have provided here, every single demographic in this state supports death with dignity. Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Rural, urban and suburban. Old, young and middle aged. African American, white.
          “Every single group of people supports this law, according to this January 2020 poll from respected Maryland pollster, Gonzales Research & Media Services.

Study shows 53% of AZ doctors
favor medical aid-in-dying law


A recent survey of 800 Arizona doctors reveals that the majority of practicing physicians support options that allow terminally ill adult patients to have much more involvement in how their final days and ultimate passing should be handled. In addition, the study reported there are two primary reasons
medical aid in dying still isn’t legal nationwide. First, the general public lacks a good understanding of the entire death and dying experience. Second, end-of-life (EOL) care is sorely lacking in most medical schools across the country. Most survey respondents reported having no EOL training in medical school.
                One survey respondent said, “Even though I am a Catholic, and a physician, I think that if death is inevitable, there is little benefit in prolonging it with medical technology, in order to gain a few more days or weeks of life that will be mostly miserable. As a person, I would like to have the option to die at home, with a physician's help, legally, if I am terminally ill and I am suffering, should I choose to do so. I should not have to travel to another state. The option should apply to all of us."
See the full study results
Arizona End-of-Life Options

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