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The battle against TRUTH DECAY
In 2018, two years after President Trump was inaugurated, the Rand Corporation published the results of a detailed study on the difficulties Americans face in determining what is true and what isn’t, and how that affects our trust in institutions and in each other. They labeled the results of the study "Truth Decay." The report examines the blurring of facts and opinions, cognitive bias, misinformation, and dramatic changes in our shared information systems.
       Truth decay is nothing new. There have always been differences of opinion among Americans. Loud, passionate town-square debate is a hallmark of the American persona. But something has changed. Blatant disregard of verifiable facts coupled with a tsunami of falsehoods and disinformation is a disturbing manifestation of the internet age.
        Arizona End-of-Life Options, along with our national partners and pro-MAID organizations in other states, are striving to set the record straight by making sure that residents have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their end-of-life care. Here in Arizona, there is an especially pernicious and influential organization that condemns everything our organization stands for regarding medical aid in dying.They contend that so-called “physician-assisted suicide” laws “devalue human life, turn medical care upside down, endanger the weak and vulnerable, and are ripe for abuse.”
          Our opponents sidestep time-tested facts about MAID by generating misinformation and false narratives and misinformation. AZELO's communications rely solely on data provided by independent research companies, professional medical associations, and government-mandated annual reporting from states where MAID is already available to some 70 million Americans. In that spirit, immediately below you will find an informational summary called "Data, Not Dogma," It is aimed at setting the record straight, citing verifiable facts, and ignoring threadbare opinions and truth-blind doctrine propagated by those organizations and individuals who believe that they, not you, know how to live your best life.
Here are the facts:
MAID improves end-of-life care.

Studies show palliative (“comfort”) care actually improves for both patients and families in states with medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying helps far more people than those who ultimately choose to use it. 
MAID gives patients complete autonomy.
The patient is always in charge. They apply for the process. They request the medication. They take it. And they can change their mind at any time.
Doctors support MAID.
A December 2018 Medscape survey reported that more than half (58%) of U.S. physicians support the practice — up from 46% in 2010. Medscape is the leading online global authority for physicians and healthcare professionals. 
The American public wants MAID.
About 7 in 10 Americans favor laws making MAID legal. That is the consensus of three highly respected national surveys: May 2018 Gallup poll, September 2016 LifeWay Research poll. and November 2014 Harris poll. The practice also claims majority support among people who attend church, people of all ideological views (conservatives, moderates and liberals), people from both political parties and all races and ethnicities.
Arizonans support MAID.
In the most recent survey conducted by the Behavior Research Center of Arizona, residents favor right-to-die legislation by 56% to 31%.
MAID laws include more than a dozen safeguards.
Two doctors must confirm that the patient has six months or less to live — due to terminal illness, not because of age or disability. Two doctors and two independent witnesses must attest that no coercion exists. MAID has been safely practiced in authorized jurisdictions for a combined 40 years. Not a single case of abuse or coercion nor any criminal or disciplinary charges have ever been filed. Not one.
MAID includes strict eligibility requirements.
A patient must be an adult, have six months or less to live, be able to make an informed health care decision and be able to take the prescription medication themselves.
MAID does not place any demographic at risk.
The Journal of Medical Ethics reports that, “Rates of assisted dying in Oregon...showed no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured...people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations.” MAID does not endanger the weak or the vulnerable.
 
Welcome, Democrats of Greater Tucson

Arizona End-of-Life Option (AZELO) extends a warm welcome to
members of Democrats of Greater Tucson who, effective with this edition, join our ever-expanding statewide newsletter network. The group was invited to share in communications related to medical aid in dying following a recent Zoom webinar presented by AZELO President Dr. Dwight Moore and moderated by Larry Bodine, President of Democrats of Greater Tucson.
          For those who have not seen Dr. Moore's straightforward,
fact-packed presentation, it is now available here.
          In addition, a schedule of upcoming webinars, plus a wealth
of information about the concept of medical aid in dying (MAID)
is available on our website.
Facebook stops French man
from streaming his dying days
Paris (CNN) Sept. 6 -- Facebook has prevented a French man with an incurable illness from streaming his own death on the social media site, according to a company statement.
          Alain Cocq, 57, from Dijon in eastern France, has a rare incurable medical condition that causes his arteries to stick together. He estimates he will only have days to live after stopping all medication, food and drink, which he planned to do on Friday evening, Sept. 4.
          Cocq had intended to broadcast his dying days on Facebook to raise awareness about France's laws on assisted dying. In a statement, Facebook said the live stream was prevented to avoid promoting self-harm.
          "Our hearts go out to Alain Cocq for what he's going through in this sad situation and everyone who is personally affected by it," the company said in the statement.
          "While we respect Alain's decision to draw attention to this important issue, we are preventing live broadcasts on his account based on the advice of experts that the depiction of suicide attempts could be triggering and promote more self-harm."
           Cocq previously lobbied French President Emmanuel Macron to allow him to die by "active medical assistance" but was unsuccessful.
          Euthanasia is illegal in France. French law also dictates that deep and continuous sedation, which can hasten a person's death and render them unconscious until they die, is not legal unless under specific circumstances set out by the 2016 Claeys-Leonetti Law, which also requires a person's death to be imminent. But French citizens do have the right to stop medical care, and under French law there is no prosecution for suicide.
           Cocq, who is confined to a wheelchair and founded an organization to improve the lives of disabled people, wrote a letter to Macron dated July 20 asking the President to allow him to die "with dignity," describing his "extremely violent suffering."

          "I would like to make it clear to you that on this day I find myself in a situation of having on sound mind, confined in a dysfunctional body, crippled by suffering," he wrote in the letter, which has been seen by CNN.
          "Would you withstand, Mr President, having your intestines emptied into a pouch, having your bladder emptied into a pouch and that you are fed by a pouch, that a third party must bathe you, to be crippled by unbearable pain?" Cocq wrote in the letter.
          Cocq urged Macron to review French laws that prevent health care professionals from hastening the deaths of their dying patients with medicine.
          "I simply ask to leave with dignity, with active medical assistance, because my dysfunctional body prevents me from doing so surrounded by my family and my friends," he wrote.
          "Some use the term 'active euthanasia' or 'assisted suicide,' but for me the term most suitable is 'end of life with dignity with active medical assistance,'" he wrote.
          Writing in response, President Macron said he was "moved" by Cocq's letter and admired the "remarkable willpower" he had shown in fighting "incessant battles" with the illness. However, he said he could not comply with the request because he is "not situated above the law" and could not ask someone "to overstep our present legal framework."
          In an interview with CNN, Cocq said that he expected Macron would not be able to comply with his request but that he appreciated the "compassion" he had shown him in his letter.
          "Today, I am full of plenitude. I took the decision to end my life on June 26, which is when I asked my medical assistant to type the letter I later sent to the President. It was a brutal decision, but I can tell you I haven't felt that good in a long time," he told CNN.
          "I know I am about to endure pain for about five to seven days," he said.
          Of the attempt to live-stream his death via video he said on Friday: "I am not doing this for voyeurism. I want to inform people about something we all know but refuse to talk about. Pain."
          "I chose to show this pain," he said. "The basis of a democracy is that citizens have a free choice. Death should be democratic."
          Cocq also said that, as a Christian, he did not believe what he was doing was anti-religious. "God is love, and God will not let his people suffer unnecessarily," he said.
          It's unclear whether anyone assisting him would be prosecuted or whether authorities are planning to intervene. CNN has reached out to the Elysee and the health ministry for comment.
          Sophie Medjeberg, vice president of "Handi mais pas que!" (More than just disabled), is a friend of Cocq.
          She told CNN she believed French people were "ready" for a debate about assisted dying.
          "He started talking about it about two years ago. It took me time to understand it, to accept it. I am also ill, as I am myself suffering from multiple sclerosis," she said.
          "I cried yesterday, but Alain is the one who cheered me up. He is very serene in his initiative," Medjeberg said.
          Speaking to CNN, Philippe Lohéac, executive director of the French association for the right to die with dignity (ADMD), criticized France's assisting dying laws, claiming they do not "take into consideration sick people whose life has become a nightmare, whose life has become nothing but survival."
          He said the law needed to be changed so people could choose how they died.

 
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