June 1, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Sign the Petition!
Mark Curtis Wins Edward R. Murrow Award
Why I Feel So Passionate about Medical Aid in Dying
Arizona Update

News Around the US: MAID Prevails in MT & Update on CA
Volunteer Corner

Upcoming Events
Donate to Arizona End-of-Life Options


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

As of today, we have 757 e-petition signatures from advocates in Arizona. If you have already signed, thanks!  Click the button below and find the share option where you can email the petition to your friends and family members. This petition will be sent to the Arizona legislature before next year's bill is submitted and we want as many signatures as we can to make the greatest impact so spread the word!
Click here to Sign our Petition!
Mark Curtis Wins Award for Death with Dignity Story
Channel 12 in Phoenix announced that Mark Curtis has won the prestigious 2021 Edward R. Murrow award for “Hard News” for the video story he produced last year, called “Dying with Dignity: A Seattle woman decides to die on her own terms after cancer.”

With videographer Roberto Duarte, Mark flew to Sedro-Woolley, Washington to interview Tempra Jones who was in her last stages of cancer. With her husband at her side, this ebullient young woman shared her decision to use the Washington medical aid in dying law. She was found eligible by two doctors and decided to have a “last Christmas” together with her family.

Mark’s video of her final thoughts and feelings can be found on this link. Mark used a powerful metaphor for cancer, describing it “as a hungry animal, gnawing away at her unless she takes massive doses of drugs.” Sensitive as an interviewer, he and Roberto built a relationship with Tempra and her family and captured the highs and lows of her last days. We at AZELO are proud to have been affiliated with Mark and very pleased he has been recognized with this award.

Click here to read the article and watch Tempra's Story
Why I am so Passionate about Medical Aid in Dying
by Janice Campos, RN
Volunteer, Arizona End-of-Life Options
It was September of 2014 when my husband collapsed in our bedroom. Blood and stool gushed onto the floor beside the bed, and he told me he was dying. I called our cardiologist who promptly ordered hospice care to begin the following day.
As an experienced RN, I felt competent to care for my husband and had retired the year before in preparation for this day. The signs of his decline had been increasing. His cardiac issues had begun 25 years earlier when he had collapsed at work and found to be in a third-degree heart block. A pacemaker had been inserted and since then, he underwent three pacemaker insertions, a quadruple bypass surgery, two knee replacements, and the successful removal of his sigmoid colon due to stage 2 colon cancer. When he became lost in our kitchen after one of these surgeries, his cardiologist diagnosed him with mild cognitive impairment explaining that the filtration of those early heart-lung machines sometimes allowed small clots to get into the circulation, causing damage to the brain.
It was during the last six months of his fourteen months of hospice care that he gradually began to eat and drink smaller amounts and solid foods became a thing of the past. At this point, his primary care physician advised that I stop giving him his meds for arthritis. I knew that this would eventually cause him much pain. I administered the Ativan, morphine, and atropine as the hospice nurse instructed, but they seemed to have less of an effect as time went by and I began to feel more and more helpless and much less effective as a caregiver. His strength dwindled and he became less able to help me pull him up in bed. One day he asked me to give him the whole bottle of Ativan and I informed him painfully that I still had a nursing license, so I could not help him. 
On another day he asked me to find another gun because he could not pull the trigger on his loaded .38 caliber pistol. As an orthopedic physician who had also practiced psychiatry, my husband knew better than most that he would just deteriorate to the point of total helplessness, unable to do anything for himself. While I was glad he could not choose this option, it left both of us knowing that there was really no other recourse than to allow the natural course of events to unfold, however painful they were.
During the last four weeks of his life, his pain became worse, to the point that he could not stand to be touched. His skin broke down, no matter what nursing care measures I took to help it heal. The flotation mattress had no real effect and he suffered in horrible pain and agony. I felt helpless, and I knew I had reached the point of serious exhaustion, both physically and mentally. Two of his four adult children came for only short visits. I felt alone and utterly abandoned except for the caring of the hospice staff and my personal friends.
My wonderful companion whom I had worked and traveled with for 40 years lapsed into a coma and died without having his dignity and self-respect intact. I sincerely hope that my experience will help others realize that we need a way to legally allow those who are not going to survive, the right to die in a way that eases their misery.

Arizona Update

Senator Victoria Steele is from Legislative District 9 in the Tucson area. She has served in the House of Representatives from 2012 – 2016 and in the Senate since 2019. She is on the Senate Minority Caucus Leadership Team as Co-Whip.  She sits on the  Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee, as well as the Transportation Committee.

According to Senator Steele: 
“I am so blessed to have my parents who are in their 80s, but are very frail. Our understanding of end-of-life options is a concern.  We agree that everyone deserves to die with dignity."


News Around the US

"Physician Imprisonment Act” Dies in Montana

In 2009 “Baxter Vs. Montana” the Montana Supreme Court ruled “…we find no indication in Montana law that physician aid in dying provided to terminally ill, mentally competent adult patients is against public policy.”  So Montana became the only state to legalize MAID through their state courts.  It’s also legal in nine other states plus Washington D.C.

Since 2011 the Montana legislature, which meets every two years, has considered bills that would ban the practice.  None have been successful and 2021 was no different.  

In 2021 the challenge to the State Supreme Court ruling came in the form of SB290 sponsored by Senator Carl Glimm (R), who sponsored a similar bill in 2019 when Glimm was a member of the House.  The law states that “physician aid in dying is not a defense to a charge of homicide.”

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-4 but then the full roll call vote of the Senate was a tie at 25-25 with opposition on both sides of the aisle, so the bill did not advance.  

Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion and Choices said:  “This vote is a victory for terminally ill Montanans and the doctors who provide their patients with the option of a peaceful death.  We thank the Senate for recognizing that patients, in consultation with their doctors and loved ones, should make the decision about end-of-life care, and not lawmakers.”

So protections for compassionate physicians in Big Sky Country survives yet another legislative session.  If necessary, advocates will be ready in 2023 to stand up once again for MAID and patient’s rights. 


Amendment to the California End of Life Options Act 

If you’re following California SB380 as closely as we are – see our newsletter of May 15, 2021 – here’s the update on the bill:

5/20/21  Passed Senate Appropriations Committee 5-2

5/28/21 Passed Senate Floor vote 26 – 8

Bill now sent to the Assembly.  Go to or check our newsletter for future updates.

Volunteer Corner
Kem Ellis, Volunteer Coordinator

Has it been a while since you've dropped by Kem's Open Office? If so, then plan to stop by on Tuesday, June 8 between 10:00 and 12:00. 

The purpose of Kem's Open Office is to provide an informal, drop-in venue for MAID advocates to come together, get updates, and meet other folks including some of our steering committee members. Meet with us over a cup of coffee, ask questions, share ideas...

Here's your invitation, we'd love to see you! Just click this link during this timeframe to join:

Kem's Open Office Drop in between 10:00 - 12:00 on June 8th 

Here's a screenshot of a prior Open Office

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


Upcoming Events

Dr. Ron Fischler, a retired pediatrician will present the six choices we all have at the end of our lives including medical aid in dying in those states where it is legal. Come with your questions and comments about end-of-life issues.

Click here to register. Your zoom link will be emailed to you:

Six Choices Webinar on June 11th

Click Here to Donate to Arizona End-of-Life Options
Arizona End-of-Life Options
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