April 1, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Sign the Petition!
Kudos to New Mexico! (Part one)

Volunteer Corner

A Call to Action: Help Bring Awareness to End-Of-Life Options
Upcoming Events: "If Medical Aid in Dying were Legal, Would You Say Yes?"
Honoring Choices: The Play - Live on Zoom with Q&A
                                  Whaddya Know - The Game Show

Video: The Facts on Medical Aid in Dying in New Mexico

Help establish a compassionate end-of-life option for the terminally-ill in Arizona

As of today, we have 492 e-petition signatures from advocates in Arizona. If you haven't already, please add your name to the growing list of supporters in favor of legalizing Medical Aid in Dying in our state. It will be presented to the legislature before next year's bill.
Click here to Sign our Petition!
Kudos to New Mexico!  (Part One) 
by Mary Ganapol, AZELO Volunteer

And Then There Were Ten

We are happy to announce, after passing in the State Senate (24-17) and State House (46-20), with an expected signature by Gov. Michele Luhan Grisham pending, New Mexico will become the tenth state to pass a medical aid in dying law.  Officially called The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act, it was named for a beloved, well-known Albuquerque judge.  Whitefield testified for MAID in previous years and passed away in August 2018 after an 11-year battle with cancer. 

New Mexico End of Life Options has worked for years with a cadre of volunteers and a coalition of advisors and endorsements.  They have worked tirelessly to educate voters statewide to raise public awareness and garner the support of the New Mexico lawmakers.  Kudos to them for this victory!

The Bill Sponsors
The bill sponsor, Rep. Debbie Armstrong, has had 45 years of experience in the healthcare industry and received a law degree focusing on health policy and advocacy.  She sponsored MAID bills in 2017 and 2019 (the NM legislature only meets every two years).  Her 39-year-old daughter, Erin Armstrong, has battled cancer for 20+ years and provided an emotional, heart-wrenching testimony. 

One of the co-sponsors in the Senate, Liz Stefanics, is a professor at the University of New Mexico with extensive public policy experience and led the final Senate floor debate.  Stefanics had first introduced a MAID bill in 1995.

I mention these details of the sponsor and co-sponsor because watching these two impressive women during the committee debates was inspiring.  They were very knowledgeable about the nuances of the bill and handled the opponent’s comments with competence, patience, and grace.

The Expert Witnesses
Armstrong relied on two very strong expert witnesses:  1)  Steven Kanig, MD, a retired nephrologist, and 2)  Prof. Robert Schwartz of UNM Law School.  Professor Schwartz stressed that MAID has a strong presence in the Western states (HI, CA, OR, WA and CO) and gave a nod to the work being done in Arizona.  The testimony from volunteers was powerful.

Prof. Schwartz emphasized the two reasons this bill fits with other New Mexico healthcare legislation:  1)  NM takes pride in its cultural and religious diversity and 2)  NM has a strong libertarian streak defending individual autonomy and choice.  He also preempted the issue of confusing MAID with ‘suicide’, which he defined as an irrational act that solves a temporary problem with a permanent solution. 

Part Two – see our next newsletter to read about how New Mexico's bill differs from the Oregon Model, the amendments, the opposition, and the role played by our national partners.

Volunteer Corner

Join us at Kem's next Open Office!

Kem is our Volunteer Coordinator. He is the first person new volunteers talk to after clicking the volunteer button on our website. You can see Kem in person during his open office hours, each month, via zoom. Drop by to meet him and other AZELO volunteers for a chat about whatever you are interested in. Brew your cup of coffee, sit in your favorite chair, and join us!

The next Open Office is April 8, 2021, from 9:00 - 11:00 am. (You don't have to be a volunteer to attend!)

Use this zoom link to drop in:

Screenshot of a previous Open Office

To find out more about volunteering with AZELO, begin here: Volunteer Info

A Call to Action: Help Bring Awareness to End-Of-Life Options
We are looking for some help
in bringing awareness of end-of-life options, including Medical Aid In Dying, to Arizonans through television, radio, and online media.  Volunteer Mark Savan has been reaching out to stations throughout Arizona with the goal of getting our AZELO experts booked as guests on local talk shows and panels.  Do you have a personal relationship with someone within the media industry? If so, please help by introducing us to people in the following types of roles and organizations:
  • Employees of Arizona-based radio or television stations; including Arizona Public Broadcasting and Arizona Public Media
  • Individuals or organizations who are purchasing advertisements on commercial stations
  • Individuals or organizations who are significant donors to public stations
  • Faculty, staff, or students in the Journalism programs of ASU, U of A, or NAU
If you know any relevant individuals, please contact AZELO volunteer Mark Savan at

Upcoming Events
Are you a Physician, Nurse, Social Worker, or Pharmacist?
"If Medical aid in Dying were Legal, would You Say Yes?"

A free zoom town hall event for medical professionals
April 21, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 pm Arizona time
Pre-registration required, register below.

 Medical Aid in Dying is not yet law in Arizona, but we estimate it could be in 2-3 years. Therefore, we need to begin preparing now. We will need doctors who will be willing to be attending and consulting physicians, compounding pharmacies to prepare the medicine, and nurses and social workers well versed in the facts of how the law works.
If Medical Aid in Dying were Legal, would You Say Yes? is a webinar for healthcare professionals and refers to the following three important questions:
  1. If you were faced with a six-month terminal illness, relentless pain and a poor quality of life and MAID was legal, would you consider using the law?
  2. If one of your friends or family members were eligible for the law, would you support their decision?
  3. If one of your patients or clients asked you to assist them in utilizing the law, would you say yes?
Register Here

Honoring Choices: The Play - Live on Zoom with Q&A 

Honoring Choices Celebrates National Health Care Decision Day – April 16 

In late 2019, Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest (HCPNW) commissioned a play about advance care planning. Written by Elizabeth Coplan, Honoring Choices examines what happens when an elderly father receives a terminal cancer diagnosis and resists any health care planning. Find out more with this link: Register Here to see the Play

Honoring Choices and the Death Deck Present: 
Whaddya Know - The Game Show 

Friday, April 16th - 7 pm

Phone a friend, come on down and get ready to match the stars of your life. No whammies, just lively conversations based on questions from The Death Deck.

Have you really been paying attention in life? Leaning on past conversations, interactions, and just what you imagine might be, you'll answer what you think your partner or team member will say. The questions will be relevant to future healthcare decision-making. 

Register Here for the Game Show
The Facts on Medical Aid in Dying in New Mexico
"The Facts on Medical Aid in Dying in New Mexico" a 2-minute video by Compassion & Choices.
Arizona End-of-Life Options
Copyright © 2021 Arizona End-of-Life Options, All rights reserved.