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Newsletter

December 15, 2020
This Issue's Contents

Holiday message from the Editor
T
ake the Quiz!
What is MAID’s Status Around the Country, ie., Where are we Now?
Volunteer Call to Action
Volunteer Spotlight: Tory Roberg
Upcoming Events
This Holiday Season...

So long with its essence of love and appreciation,
with family members present, representing each generation,
(all my life I’ve enjoyed this connection),
is now, this year, one instead of social sequestration.  

Any group gathering just causes consternation!
So what do we do when our sacred celebration,
involves being together, despite no vaccination?  
This juxtaposition just equates with infection!  

But as humans, you know, we’re keen on innovation,
and we know we can change our ageless tradition
and joyfully make this difficult accommodation,
for we have cell phones, Zoom and email communication!  

Because most importantly, is the love we all share.
It’s more durable than this year-long affair.
My wish for you all is that you stay strong,
And know that our gatherings will resume before long!

Happy Holidays!
By Marie MacWhyte, Editor




Take the Quiz! 

Do you know...In our last quiz you were asked to name the Arizona city councils which have passed resolutions in support of Medical Aid in Dying and you guessed correctly: Bisbee, Tucson, and Sedona. Your question today is, which other city council passed a proclamation of support and what did they proclaim?
(Answer is at the bottom of the newsletter.)



 
 

What is MAID’s Status Around the Country, ie., Where are we Now?

by Dwight Moore, Chair, Arizona End-of-Life Options (dmoore@endoflifeoptions.org)

Are you curious about legalization of Medical Aid in Dying in other states? We know from our past history here in Arizona that legalizing MAID isn’t necessarily an easy task but rather a long-haul push to change the status quo. So this last article in 2020 is going to fill you in about where Medical Aid in Dying stands around the country. The big picture is that 9 states and the District of Columbia have MAID now, the legislature in 17 states are currently considering it, and 23 states have little or no activity. Let’s delve in further:

New Mexico is ready for success in 2021 with deeply committed and experienced legislative champions, strong grassroots advocacy, an increasingly supportive legislature, a well-vetted, progressive bill, and a compassionate governor who will sign it” according to Barak Wolff, of the New Mexico End-of-Life Options Coalition.

In Utah, a December 2015 UtahPolicy.com poll found that 58 percent of Utahns support physician-assisted dying legislation. While Republicans are divided on the issue with 41 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed, Democrats and independents overwhelmingly prefer the idea with 90 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents supporting.

A February 2016 Des Moines Register poll has found that 59 percent of Iowans are in favor of right to die, with greater support among people 35 and younger (64 percent support, versus 51 percent for those 65 and older).

Wisconsin may get the prize for the most resilient state. They have introduced bills every year since 1995.

The following states have introduced bills in the past but have not gotten through a committee: Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. But progress in Connecticut; In February 2019, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) changed its position on aid-in-dying legislation from opposed to that of engaged neutrality.

HB 1649, the Virginia Medical Aid in Dying Act, was heard in the House of Delegates Committee for the Courts of Justice. The bill was continued to 2021 by a voice vote in February 2020.

Sponsored by a total of 67 State Senators (20) and Representatives (47), S.1208/H.1926, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act, advanced from the Joint Committee on Public Health on May 29, 2020, in an amended version, S.2745 / H.4782. The bill now awaits a vote in the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing. The Massachusetts legislative session has been extended to December 31, 2020.

The New York Medical Aid in Dying Act was under consideration in Assembly and Senate committees, co-sponsored by 40 Assembly members and 13 Senators. Due to the 
coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the New York State Legislature suspended its 2020 session and the bill did not advance.

And here in here in Arizona, we will submit a bill next month to the legislature. Our first Medical Aid in Dying bill was introduced in 2005.


Volunteer Call to Action
                                Dr Alexander Vale, a very busy psychiatrist, volunteers to be in the newsletter.

...but Believe in the Cause?

Here’s an easy task for an already too-busy volunteer!  Forward this newsletter to a friend.  If everyone will do this, we double our readership!  Thanks for helping us get the word out!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tory Roberg
 
Tory, as a 10 year-old aspiring lawyer, would bring her latest “cases” to the family dinner table, ready with her briefs prepared, to defend the latest transgressions in the family. She reports that she didn’t win many of those cases, but it started her on her life long quest to “do the right thing.”

Born in Kansas but relocating to Arizona, Tory attended an all-girls parochial school in Phoenix, serving on the student council as “Senator Roberg.” After graduating from the U of A in social work in 2000, she worked in child protective services working to keep kids safe. “It was tough and stressful” Tory reports, trying to manage arcane laws and yet do the right thing for the kids and families. In this job she discovered that the legislature didn’t always make the best decisions and didn't seem to know how off-base they were and she wanted to change those policies.

After completing her MPA (Management of Public Administration) from ASU in 2004, Tory joined Governor Napolitano’s office as a budget analyst. She spent some time with the Department of Real Estate, managing the budget, lobbying, and working with IT. It was here she learned fully about how government functions. After a time as a union organizer, she joined Secular AZ in 2013.

Continuing the theme of her childhood aspirations, Tory continued to do what she believed is right by supporting the teaching of evolution in the schools, providing for reproductive rights, protecting transgender youth, and keeping clear boundaries between church and state. Over her career she built strong relationships and learned how to be an excellent lobbyist.

Tory has been an effective volunteer lobbyist for Arizona End of Life Options, helping us strategize, linking us with supportive legislators, guiding us in how to navigate through the systems in our Capitol, and teaching us what to avoid. She is taking a sabbatical currently, although she has maintained her consulting firm, Fortitude AZ (
www.fortitudeaz.org). We give Tory a deep, heartfelt thanks for her contributions.
Upcoming Events



If you haven't already, register for our live webinar on zoom about the Six Choices at the End of Life. Other recorded webinars are also available on the webinar page of the AZELO website at https://AZEndofLifeOptions.org 
 
Answer to the Quiz:

WHEREAS, a 2014 Gallup Poll found sixty-nine percent of Americans agree with the statement: “When a person has a disease than cannot be cured, doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life by some painless means if the patient and his or her family request it”; and

WHEREAS, “aid in dying”...
WHEREAS, absent the...
WHEREAS, many people find...
WHEREAS, at least four (4)...
WHEREAS, well respected health...
WHEREAS, Arizona recognizes that "it is the public policy of this...


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. Satish I. Hiremath, Mayor of the Town of Oro Valley, do hereby proclaim Monday, February 8, 2016 to be DEATH WITH DIGNITY DAY in the Town of Oro Valley, and urge all citizens to show their support for the aid in dying legislation that is currently pending in the Arizona State Legislature.

Dated this 3rd day of February, 2016

 
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