July 1, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Sign the Petition!
Call to Action: Join an AZELO Action Team!
Medical Aid in Dying Organizations

News Around the US: Updates on Pending Legislation
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 804 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!
Call to Action: Join an AZELO Action Team!
The primary goal of Arizona End-of-Life Options is to work with the Arizona State Legislature to pass a Medical Aid in Dying law for Arizona residents. Integral to our success is building a strong network of MAID advocates across the state who will work with us to achieve this goal.
To build this network AZELO is organizing action teams in each of Arizona’s thirty legislative districts. Each action team will have a local leader or co-leaders who will call on their team members to “take action” within their legislative district such as:
  • Maintaining contact with their three members of the State Legislature
  • Learning about candidates for the State Legislature from their district
  • Representing AZELO at community events within their district
  • Organizing MAID educational events within their district
Action Team Leader recruitment is underway now and training for Action Team leaders is beginning to take place. Our goal is to recruit 20 members for each action team. That’s 600 MAID advocates across Arizona who are organized and ready to take action in 2022!

So, here is your call to action:

We need you!
Join your action team now!
Many other opportunities, too numerous to list here, are also available. For example, currently, AZELO has not identified any MAID advocates or volunteers in several of Arizona's legislative districts and only a very few in several others. In each of these districts, the local Democratic and Republican groups have Facebook pages. Would you be willing to join some of these FB groups to promote AZELO? Posting about AZELO and Medical Aid in Dying on these pages will build awareness and interest in these districts.  Now that the legislative session is winding down, some of these people may have some free time to help AZELO and Facebook is one way to reach them.
If you can help with this project please contact AZELO Volunteer Coordinator Kem Ellis at Kem will tell you more about the legislative districts where we need to find more MAID advocates. You do not have to live in one of these districts to help with this project.

Photo by Santiago Lacarta on Unsplash
Medical Aid in Dying Organizations
by Dwight Moore, PhD
Chair, Arizona End-of-Life Options

A common question asked at our monthly webinars is about Compassion and Choices and Death with Dignity. People seem somewhat unsure of the roles those organizations play and their relationship with AZELO, so today I am offering a brief overview of the organizations which support medical aid in dying. While not exhaustive, this list cites the national organizations involved in planning a death with dignity. Many of the states in the US have their own organizations such as Arizona End of Life Options which I have omitted from this list as these organizations are generally focused on passing MAID legislation in their prospective states. I have included some international organizations which have different models of how to achieve death with dignity.

Compassion & Choices

This US organization has been very instrumental in supporting states to wage and win campaigns for medical aid in dying and is one of AZELO’s valuable national partners. “We envision a society that affirms life and accepts the inevitability of death, embraces expanded options for compassionate dying and empowers everyone to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs.” Compassion and Choices offer a broad array of services and information.

Death with Dignity National Center
Serving the United States, this organization gives hands-on (and occasional financial) support for states trying to pass MAID laws. “The mission of the Death with Dignity National Center is to promote death with dignity laws based on our model legislation, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in end-of-life care.” They support a political fund to help state organizations (including AZELO) and are also one of our trusted national partners.

A Swiss non-profit members' society, Dignitas provides assisted/accompanied death to those members of the organization who suffer from a terminal illness and/or severe physical and/or mental illnesses, supported by qualified Swiss doctors independent of the organization. Additionally, they do advisory work on palliative care, health care advance directive, and suicide-attempt prevention, and they have been leading and supporting numerous court cases and legislation projects for right-to-die laws around the world.

Hemlock Society
Formed in 1980 and existing to 2003, the original Hemlock Society started in Santa Monica, CA as an American right-to-die and assisted suicide advocacy organization. The name Hemlock was so chosen as it is a highly poisonous plant that Socrates used to end his life in 399 BC as described in Plato’s Phaedo. Their primary mission included providing information to the dying and supporting legislation permitting physician-assisted dying and their motto was “Good Life, Good Death.” In 2003, the national organization renamed itself End of Life Choices and in 2004, some of its members branched off to form the Final Exit Network. That same year, End-of-Life Choices merged with Compassion in Dying and is now known as Compassion and Choices. Several local and state organizations, including the Hemlock Society of Florida and the Hemlock Society of San Diego, have retained the Hemlock Society name. Others, such as the Hemlock Society of Illinois (now Final Options Illinois) have changed their names.
Final Exit Network
A national organization that advocates for a model of dignified death different from the traditional “Oregon” model. They have a network of “exit guides” to help patients understand the steps involved in their model and to maintain legal parameters.

Right to Die Society of Canada
Canada’s MAID law is more liberal than those in the US. Medication can be administered by a physician (euthanasia) for terminal illnesses as well as quality of life issues which has fallen below acceptable limits including severe mental health concerns. As with all others jurisdictions, physicians do not have to participate but should refer patients to doctors that will.

News Around the US

Updates on pending legislation

California:  SB 130 amendment (see Newsletter of May 15th for details). This amendment passed the Senate by a vote of 26-8 and was sent to the Assembly.  On June 22nd it passed the Heath Committee (10-3) and is set for hearing July 6th in the Judiciary Committee.
This amendment is sponsored by Sen. Susan Eggman with nine co-sponsors.  Eggman is a former professor of social work.  Social workers make excellent proponents of MAID.  We hope the National Association of Social Workers will someday endorse MAID at the national level. 

New York:  This is the 6th year in a row they have tried to pass MAID in New York and S6471/A4321 has the support of an astounding 56 bill sponsors.  The bill has an impressive list of endorsements and is also supported by Gov. Cuomo.  Now it’s been sitting in the Heath Committee for several weeks.  Compassion & Choices has a great ad campaign to carry the message.  Will the fact that New Jersey passed a MAID law in 2019 help pass the law in neighboring New York?  Do you know any New Yorkers you could contact and ask them to nudge their representatives?


Volunteer Corner

Kem's next open office will be on July 15th from 10:00 -12:00, so put it on your calendar. This is your time to meet with AZELO leaders, and other AZELO volunteers and advocates. We always have the latest AZELO news and information, and our brainstorming discussions are a great place to generate and share ideas. Finally, in need of a supportive ear? We are like-minded folk who share a common concern: we all want to live well into old age, but also see wisdom in planning a good death when that time comes. Talk with us, this is a necessary conversation to have!

Click here on July 15th between 10:00-12:00 to join Kem's Open Office

Want to learn about volunteering with AZELO? Click here:  Volunteer

Upcoming Events


Dr Dwight Moore 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 July 9th

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