April 15, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Sign the Petition!
Letter from our Chair
Kudos to New Mexico! (Part two)

Volunteer Corner
News Around the US
News in Arizona

Upcoming Events

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

As of today, we have 572 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!
Letter from our Chair
by Dwight Moore, PhD
Chair, Arizona End of Life Options
We have a success to report to you! For all of our history, we have been operating as a grassroots organization with no budget. A few months ago, we formed a “fiscal sponsorship” with Death with Dignity National Center. The purpose is to raise donations to meet our $6,800 budget needs for 2021. Death with Dignity contributed and the Steering Committee has given us a jump start with personal donations and asking their contacts to donate also. We have raised $4000 of the $6,800 we need.

Now we are asking you to donate. We need to fund printed materials, mailing costs, software for our social media platforms, newspaper ads, etc. This is the first time we are asking our supporters for donations.

Other states trying to pass MAID have much bigger budgets than we. One of the growing pains of a non-profit, grassroots effort is knowing when to reach out for financial assistance. As we get closer to passing the law, we will need additional funding for establishing ourselves as a 501(c)(3) organization so that donations are tax-deductible. Unfortunately, they are not at this time because political action to change a law does not qualify for that.

The goal of Arizona End of Life Options is to pass Medical Aid in Dying by 2023. We are working hard on a number of projects to achieve that goal. Our social media presence is increasing, we are getting more endorsements, our Docs with Dignity group is strengthening, our legislative strategy is taking form, and we continue to sign on volunteers. We reach out to all of you with the twice-monthly newsletter and are greatly encouraged by the passage of the law in New Mexico last week.

We ask that you donate what you can to passing this law. On our website is a “Donate” button which allows you to give by credit card. Think about how important this law might be to you and your loved ones. Ask your friends who believe in this cause to donate. Give as little or as much as you can. We appreciate your gift.

Kudos to New Mexico!  (Part Two) 
by Mary Ganapol, AZELO Volunteer

And Then There Were Ten

In the last newsletter, we talked about New Mexico becoming the 10th state to pass a MAID law, the bill sponsors, and the expert witnesses.  It’s official:  on April 8, 2021, Gov. Lujan Grisham signed the bill into law during an emotional one-hour Zoom with fellow lawmakers and key advocates and 170+ enthusiastic witnesses.  Now for Part Two and "the rest of the story".

How the Bill Differs from the Oregon Model
The New Mexico law reflects the Oregon model with some distinct differences based on amendments in other states and many years of experience/data with MAID:

1)  There is a 48-hr waiting period between the time an individual qualifies and the time the prescription can be filled (vs. up to 17 days in some states).  Waivers are also applicable in certain circumstances.

2)  Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are recognized as providers authorized to prescribe the medication.  This is particularly helpful in rural communities; 32 of 33 counties in New Mexico experience shortages of healthcare professionals.

3)  When the patient is already enrolled in hospice, that counts as the first clinician since admittance to a certified Medicare hospice program already requires an examination and terminal prognosis of six months or less to live. 

4)  Reporting requirements have been streamlined.  After meeting the criteria for MAID, the patient fills out one simple form with two witnesses.

The National Partners
Representatives from both Death with Dignity and Compassion and Choices worked tirelessly behind the scenes with New Mexico End of Life Options to carry this over the finish line.    New Mexico experts and storytellers made a lasting impression on the lawmakers. 

We can learn a lot from watching the process as it unfolds in other states.  There is a great deal of work to be done in Arizona as we prepare for hearings.  We will continue to tap the expertise of our national partners, while also lining up Arizona expert witnesses and storytellers.  We celebrate this enormous victory and it can serve to energize us also.  Well done New Mexico!

Volunteer Corner
With Kem Ellis, Volunteer Coordinator

Do you avoid joining in via Zoom because you hate "Zoom fails?" Don't worry, we all have experienced them, caused them, or felt awkward because of them. So what's a Zoom fail?

Here is a list of the most frequent ones:

  • forgetting to check your background before joining
  • joining the meeting with your teen's creative username
  • experiencing audio or video difficulties
  • addressing the group while muted
  • speaking to someone off-camera while not muted
  • being asked to share your screen!!
  • eating or drinking while everyone watches
  • people or pets joining you unexpectedly
  • that lag time between saying goodbye and then actually leaving while you find where to click

Don't let Zoom fails keep you from joining Kem Open Office. Come talk to us! You don't need to be a volunteer to drop in.

Here's your invitation:

Kem's Open Office Drop in between 1 -3 pm on April 20  

Screenshot of a previous Open Office

To find out more about volunteering with AZELO, click on this link: Volunteer Info

News Around the US

How the West was Won
In Fall 2020 Death with Dignity introduced the “Southwest Strategy” to coordinate efforts to pass MAID in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, focusing on legislators, lobbyists, and volunteer advocates.  Nevada, like Arizona, has introduced bills in the past (2015, 2017, and 2019) and this year is no different.

Although the previous enthusiastic sponsor, State Sen. David Parks, is now retired, junior Senator Dallas Harris has taken up the cause with SB105.  Dallas has an ally in the other side of the legislature with Assemblyman Edgar Flores (Majority Whip) sponsoring a similar bill AB351.  Flores has been in the State Assembly since 2014 and is an attorney.

The first hearing on 4/7/21 in the Assembly Health & Human Services Committee led to a lively debate.  Key proponents present for the bill were no less than the heavy hitters from the national partners:  Kim Callinan (President & CEO) and Dr. David Grube (National Medical Director) of Compassion & Choices and Peg Sandeen (Executive Director) of Death with Dignity.  Of course, all the opposition questions for these experts were routine and easily handled. 

On 4/9/21 the HHS Committee voted along party lines 7 – 5 in favor of moving the bill to the Assembly floor without amendments and without a recommendation.  Stay tuned to our next newsletter to follow Nevada’s progress.  Let’s root for Sen. Harris and Assemblyman Flores as they advocate to bring MAID to Nevadans and their bills make their way through committee.
...and in Arizona
National Healthcare Decisions Day is Friday, April 16. Starting the advance care planning conversation with your family and loved ones ensures your healthcare wishes will be met. Visit for resources on how to get the conversation started.

Upcoming Events

When My Time Comes (Diane Rehm)
Arizona PBS (Phoenix)
Thursday, April 15, 8:00 pm – World
Monday, April 26, 11:00 pm on Arizona PBS HD

 AZPM (Southern AZ)
Saturday, April 17,  2:00 pm
 Sunday, April 18, 10:00 am on PBS 6 PLUS

Q&A on PBS documentary When My Time Comes
Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 11:00  -  12:00 pm (Arizona Time).

Q&A on PBS documentary When My Times Comes. Join Diane Rehm and the film's director Joe Fabiszewski for a Q&A about the film and the movement to expand and protect end-of-life options. Longtime host of NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, Diane Rehm, is a decorated journalist and broadcaster. Diane joined the movement for end-of-life autonomy after her husband John, suffering from Parkinson's disease, chose to end his life in June 2014. This experience culminated with a book and now a documentary exploring the complexities of the end-of-life options movement. You can register for the event here.

Arizona Horizon
Arizona PBS (Phoenix)
Monday, April 26, 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm (aired twice) Host: Ted Simons interviews Dr Tom Fitch


Arizona End-of-Life Options
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