January 15, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Revised Strategy for AZELO
ake the Survey!
Volunteer Call to Action
Volunteer Spotlight: Kem Ellis
Upcoming Events

Revised Strategy for AZELO

by Dwight Moore, Chair, Arizona End-of-Life Options (

As you may know, there was little change in the composition of the state legislature after the November 3rd election. The Speaker of the House and most of the committee members remain Republican, and we were not able to gain much traction despite efforts with the 7 Touches Campaign and lobbying in the legislature. On January 13th, 2021, Representative Pamela Powers Hannley submitted HB2254, our current medical aid in dying bill for Arizona although we do not think it has a chance to be considered in committee. We thank Leesa and Mandy for all their help getting this bill submitted.
Going forward, we have revised our strategic plan. We now have 13 Educational Projects, 12 Legislative, 5 Endorsement, and 6 Support for a total of 36 projects. We will put emphasis on the following:

Increased educational efforts
From increasing the social media presence, adding to our You Tube collection, increasing the number of virtual house parties, conducting radio interviews, writing letters to the editor, strengthening our Docs for Dignity program to broadening our volunteer orientation and training program, we have a goal of educating the citizens of Arizona about Medical Aid in Dying over the next two years.

Expanding our reach in the legislature
Projects include identifying thirteen Champion legislators who believe in our cause to help influence other legislators, develop relationships with minority leaders, build a constituent base of 10 supporters per legislative district for ongoing lobbying efforts, and develop action plans to influence legislators who are on the fence or non-supportive. We are taking the long view and preparing for the next election to get the bill passed.

Expanding the number of endorsements
We have a specific target of gaining 6 more endorsements from organizations this year. This will include influencing the medical community, the religious leaders, and influential organizations like the Arizona Democratic Party. Relationship building and education are the cornerstones of these projects.

Support Projects
Expanding our pool of volunteers, polling the citizens about MAID support, fundraising, and building our relationships with our national partners are part of this strategy.
We need your help to accomplish these 36 projects. Please contact Kem Ellis (, Volunteer Coordinator, if you want to increase the time and energy you spend on getting this important Medical Aid in Dying bill passed in Arizona.

Dr Dwight Moore, Chairman

Take the Survey! 

What Medical Aid in Dying issues are you most interested in? This newsletter is for you, our supporters, and we want to know what you think!  Tell us what interests you so we can make our newsletter relevant to your needs.

Take the Survey

Volunteer Call to Action
Coach Mark, who is very busy with his Pickleball business, volunteers to be in the newsletter.       

...but Believe in the Cause?

Here’s an easy task for an already too-busy volunteer!  Last month we asked you to forward our newsletter to a friend since if everyone would do this, we'll double our readership!  This month, ask your friend if they've read it, and if so, suggest that they subscribe as well.  They can do that on our website, by clicking on the Arizona End-of-Life Options link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kem Ellis
The floor of the Driver License bureau in Bellingham, Washington is highly polished linoleum. On the day I visited in November, 2018 it was also wet with the water tracked in on a rainy Monday morning. Having moved to Blaine, Washington from Greensboro, North Carolina the month before, obtaining my Washington State driver’s license was just another task on my checklist for becoming a legal Washington state resident.

Although the office was busy, the seasoned examiner who summoned me to his station had been watching me out of the corner of his eye as I walked gingerly about holding my husband’s arm. No sooner had I settled into my seat than he wanted to know what was causing me to walk so cautiously. At this moment I realized getting my driver’s license was not going to be the usual routine chore I had anticipated.

Here’s where I’ll make a long story short. I told the examiner that due to a neurological condition I had driven a car with hand controls but had sold it before moving here. But not to worry, I had portable hand controls for our remaining vehicle. Unfortunately, he said, my plan for driving was not legal in Washington and he could not issue me a license to drive.

Suddenly, after eighteen years of accommodating the losses imposed at the whim of sensory peripheral neuropathy, I was facing another loss. First diagnosed in 2000, I gradually lost feeling in my feet and lower legs, followed by feeling in my hands. Eventually my sense of balance bid me adieu. These earlier losses were gradual, losing my independence was sudden. From now on I will have to depend on someone else to take me anywhere I want to go.

My new neurologists decided my old neurologists were right. I do not have any underlying condition to treat. I am simply the unfortunate victim of a crummy roll of the genetic dice. Since that rainy Monday over two years ago I have waged a pitched battle to keep walking. My arsenal includes a cane, a walker, and my NuStep machine. Right now, things are looking better for me physically, but I am homebound. The addition of Covid restrictions has only added to my sense of isolation.

I have always been active in my community through Rotary as well as serving on, and chairing, numerous local non-profit boards. After moving across the country and losing my ability to go places on my own I was sure my days of civic engagement were behind me. Well, not so fast.

Last July I had the opportunity to begin volunteering with Arizona End of Life Options when I was asked to contact Arizona residents who were interested in volunteering with AZELO. I had never really heard much about Medical Aid in Dying before I started this project. The topic was never top of mind in North Carolina and I was not even aware I had moved to a state where Medical Aid in Dying was legal.

During the past six months I have enjoyed speaking with many supporters of AZELO and its work. For many, Medical Aid In Dying is an important personal issue. As each person shared their story and invited me to share mine, I realized my sense of isolation was disappearing.

In December I agreed to expand on my work with our volunteers as Volunteer Coordinator for AZELO. As usual, I have jumped into this new role with both feet and guess what, I really think I have a “feel” for it. So, if you’re reading this newsletter, it’s most likely we have recently shared our stories or will soon!
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 
Arizona End-of-Life Options
Copyright © 2021 Arizona End-of-Life Options, All rights reserved.