By Dave Wolf
The State of Arizona is filled with
people who are passionate about their beliefs. Some have found their way
to the Arizona End-of-Life Options coalition. But many others are not
familiar with the need to enact a medical aid in dying law to establish
compassionate end-of-life options for terminally ill Arizonans.
"We asked ourselves, in light of the
restrictions imposed by COVID-19, how can we engage the community,
educate constituents in the cause and open the doors to those willing
and interested in helping to see a bill passed in Arizona by 2022," says
Dave Wolf. The answer: The Webinar Project.
Dave, along with Marie MacWhyte and
Whit Johnson applied their respective talents to planning and
implementing the innovative public education initiative.
AZELO is fortunate to have attracted
leaders with deep knowledge and experience to share with the community.
These individuals will be serving as our webinar speakers, ready to
recruit, educate and motivate new volunteers, and reach out to Arizona
senators and representatives to promote passage of a medical
The webinar project began in early
July with its first topic: "Six Choices We All Have at the End of Our
Lives." This webinar is currently being offered most Fridays at 1 p.m.
Arizona Time. The Webinar Project is being featured in a promotional ad
campaign on social media and in local newspapers around the state.
Additional related topics and titles for future webinars are in
development, including end-of-life stories. Check the AZELO website for upcoming webinar dates and topics.
Finally, we invite you to help us get the word out. Please consider posting this link on your personal Facebook page and and on your free local Nextdoor app: https://azendoflifeoptions.org/free-webinars-on-end-of-life-options/ Also, if
you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of Nextdoor, detailed
instructions can be found at this Nextdoor website which explains how to reach out to residents in your neighborhood, as well as in other nearby neighborhoods.
you haven't had a chance to see the movie "Here Awhile," you are in for
a treat. Starring Anna Camp, the film offers a rare look at the
heartbreak of a young woman facing a cancer death sentence and her
decision to use Oregon's Death with Dignity law. The film provides a complete
picture of what is involved when you are a human being on this planet:
love, laughter, family, tears, fear, heartbreak, and sadness. Returning
home to Portland, Oregon, Anna (played by Anna Camp) is looking to
repair her relationship with her estranged brother, Michael. Anna has
recently received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She is dying and wants
to do that on her own terms and to do so in Oregon using the
state's Death with Dignity Act. But before that, she wants to reconcile
with her brother. The movie is available on streaming video sources
including Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Anna Campis perhaps best known for her roles in the HBO vampire drama True Blood and the musical comedy film series Pitch Perfect. She also has had recurring roles in the television series Mad Men, The Good Wife and The Mindy Project.
Compassion & Choices
recently recorded an in-depth conversation with the actress, who gives
us a behind-the-scenes look at Here Awhile(theatrical
trailer). She talks about how she prepared for the role and her
feelings about depicting a young woman with terminal cancer who makes
the decision to use Medical Aid in Dying (MAID).
Here is A Conversation with Anna Camp Recorded Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
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. Stories from Arizonans are important because they demonstrate
to lawmakers and others the importance their constituents place on
end-of-life choices. If you are uneasy about your writing ability,
not to worry—we will help you get your story told.
Only 12 NJ Residents opted for MAID in 2019
Twelve New Jersey residents suffering from
terminal illnesses ended their lives in 2019 under the state’s Death
with Dignity law, according to a state report released July 21.
The Medical Aid
in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act was signed into law in April 2019,
and went into effect August 1. The law allows attending physicians to
write prescriptions for medication that would end the life of a
qualified terminally ill adult with a life expectancy of six months or
Six men and six
women, all between the ages of 50 and 93, ended their lives under those
circumstances between August 1 and December 31, 2019, according to a New
Jersey Department of Health annual report.
The report once
again throws cold water on opponents’ claims that MAID laws promote
widespread “devaluing of human life” and is virtually indistinguishable
from suicide. In reality, New Jersey has a population of 8.8 million and
experienced 778 actual suicides in 2018, the last full year of
reporting by the CDC.
Cape Cod Times letter to the editor:
2002, my parents ended their lives together by ingesting a lethal dose
of barbiturates. My father, Chester Nimitz Jr., a decorated WW II
admiral, and my mother, Joan, were a devoted couple in their late 80s.
Both suffered from debilitating and incurable physical ailments. As
Massachusetts residents who had long advocated for end-of-life autonomy,
they found themselves heading into their final months trapped in a
health care system that offered no legal life-ending options for people
with terminal illness.
After lengthy and loving discussions
with family and friends, my parents let it be known that they preferred
to exit together rather than endure the inevitable medical interventions
that extend life — even at the expense of a gentle death.
What if aid in dying had been
available in this this state 18 years ago? I know my parents would have
opted to live longer, confident that their end-of-life choices would be
honored in the face of terminal illness.
Let’s pass the Massachusetts End of
Life Options Act this year and give dying patients and their families
the dignity and comfort of personal autonomy and peace of mind during
their last days.