By Chairman Ron Fischler, MD
In accordance with our established succession process, effective
September 1, I will be passing the baton of leadership to Dr. Dwight
Moore. Dwight has served as chair of the highly active education
committee and recently guided our Advisory Council and Steering
Committee through a very successful strategic planning process.
It has been my distinct honor to
serve as Chairman for the past year. As a grassroots all-volunteer team,
we have made significant progress and I want to thank all the unselfish
and talented men and women who, through sheer devotion to our cause,
have grown from a loosely affiliated gathering of like-minded
individuals into a cohesive and sophisticated advocacy organization with
a new name and website. And let’s never forget that we (you) did
it under the dark cloud of a deadly worldwide pandemic.
Of special note, in January we applied
for and received a $5,000 grant from Death with Dignity, in February
TV-12’s Mark Curtis did a news story and livestream town hall about
MAID, and in May Dr. Tom Fitch, our Medical Director, published a
powerful op-ed in the Arizona Republic.
Going forward, I
will be focusing on a number of projects including managing our
transition to an official 501 (c) (4) nonprofit status, leading a team
to develop ties with allied organizations, soliciting meaningful
endorsements from professional associations and societies, conducting
webinars, and interacting with legislators.
terminally ill Arizonans do not yet have the legal right to Medical Aid
in Dying, we remain more committed than ever to that end. It is a slow,
uphill battle, but our statewide Seven Touches initiative is laying the
groundwork that will soon persuade state legislators to heed the voice
of the people and pass a law permitting MAID in Arizona. We are
conducting weekly webinars via Zoom, and we are providing all 90
legislators a continuing stream of information to educate them about the
need for this law. We are hopeful that the November election will
result in more legislators who support MAID so that our bills in the
Senate and House can finally get the fair public hearings they deserve.
Together, we have
established an effective and adaptable organizational structure with
regional representation, leadership expertise in key functional areas,
and a volunteer base that is now 400 strong. If you have friends or
colleagues who might want to get involved, please encourage them to our
visit our website www.azendoflifeoptions.org or refer them to Dwight or me.
capable leadership, and the wise and steadfast support of our national
partners, Compassion & Choices and Death with Dignity, our modest
grassroots organization will continue to mature into a force to be
reckoned with in advocating for thusands of Arizonans who desire the
option of medical aid in dying.
Personally, I look forward to taking
on new challenges in support of our cause and intend to be on hand when
we toast our collective victory at the state capitol. Ron Fischler, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Radcliffe, a longtime lobbyist, union official and advocate for medical
aid in dying, passed away Aug. 11 at his home in Honolulu. Informed in
2014 that his colon cancer diagnosis was terminal, he became an
advocate for legalizing MAID in Hawaii. A one-time teacher, he moved to
Hawaii in 1975 from Virginia to be head of the Hawaii State Teachers
Union, a position he held for 13 years. He later became a registered
lobbyist, establishing Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. He passed
away peacefully in the presence of his family and close friends after
ingesting fatal medication to end his life. His ability to do so legally
was the result of medical aid-in-dying legislation he spent years
pushing for, using himself as an example of someone who expected to use
it one day. It became law on January 1, 2019.
As the U.S. commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
a doctor living with cancer and multiple sclerosis explains why she
supports death with dignity. The purpose of the Act, she says,“is to
make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and
opportunities as everyone else,” according to the American Disabilities
Act National Network. Medical aid-in-dying legislation honors this
historic law’s mission, by providing people with disabilities the same
autonomy and freedom as everyone else to make our own healthcare
decisions at life’s inevitable end.”
New Yorkers with terminal cancer urge their state lawmakers to pass the
Medical Aid in Dying Act, which was tabled when legislators voted to
suspend the legislative session back in March. “The sad truth is New
Yorkers with incurable, terminal diseases are dying no matter what,”
they write. “And we are at even greater risk because of our weakened
immune systems of dying in agony if we get infected with Covid-19.
Ensuring that terminally ill New Yorkers have the option to die
peacefully is as important now more than ever. ”
Read about our work to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Acthere.