October 1, 2021
This Issue's Contents

Reflections from our (past) Chair
How YOU can Pass our Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill in Arizona

Calling Out for NextDoor Posters
Upcoming Events
Reflections from our (past) Chair 
by Dr. Dwight Moore, PhD

As my year as Chair draws to a close, I look back at the progress our organization has accomplished in the past 12 months. Despite restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, this has been a year of great activity, strong planning, and purposeful preparation for the future. Here are our many successes and highlights:

We completed an updated Strategic Plan in September 2021 with 31 projects underway. We broadened our mandate to include VSED and Palliative care as end-of-life choices. We revised our mission: “All eligible Arizona citizens have easy access to Medical Aid in Dying as an end-of-life option.” We are drafting by-laws and are exploring a 501(c)(3) status. Our Advisory Council’s mandate has been revised to become more of an advisory, critical, broader-based influence for the Steering Committee.

The Arizona Psychological Association, The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, Secular AZ, Choice & Dignity, Tucson End of Life Doulas, and the AZ ACLU have all given us their endorsement, with the AZ Center for Disability Law giving a neutral stance. We have solidified a strong relationship with our national partners, Death with Dignity National and Compassion&Choices. Our fundraising efforts have brought in over $8,000. A special fundraising event is planned for January at the Wrigley Mansion.

Our Seven Touches Campaign resulted in 669 touches to legislators which exceeded our goal of seven touches each. They consisted of 577 emails, 84 telephone calls, four meetings, and 4 town halls with information about AZELO and MAID. In spite of the unfortunate fact that 68% of the legislators did not respond at all to any of our inquires, we were still able to identify eight champions among them who are dedicated to supporting our efforts and have a good grasp on where all the 90 legislators stand on MAID. We have integrated the bill language into one solid bill.

Educationally, we have produced 26 Webinars on Medical Aid-in-Dying and have a robust collection of our webinars and notable clips on our YouTube channel. Our AZELO newsletter is keeping our readership apprised of our activity with its twice-monthly E-issues and a subscriber list of over 1,200. A “rack card” for a tangible handout at presentations and conferences has been produced. We are developing Docs for Dignity and Nurses for Dignity groups.

We have established over 20 legislative district action teams (of a possible 30) with 11 committed leaders and 13 NextDoor posters. These teams will be our “constituents on the ground” for legislative action. The growing phase of this project is currently underway. We contacted well over 1000 Arizona healthcare professionals on Linked-In to solicit support and have close to 700 connections among them, all supporters of MAID for Arizona.

We are exploring doing a poll of eligible voters across the state to determine the level of support for MAID.

There are two critical challenges on our plate going forward. First, we have not made inroads to the Republican legislators. They continue to block our bill each year. This is a non-partisan human rights issue and we need to build personal relationships with these legislators.

Second, we are discovering that although the majority of Arizona residents want MAID in AZ, they are reluctant to volunteer their time. As a result, we have four projects without project leads and a number of unfilled legislative district action team lead positions, and ten legislative districts without any action team representation.

Personally, I have valued the relationships we have built. I admire and care about each of our committed volunteers. Attending to death and dying is tough work emotionally, and I thank each of you for your passion and willingness to advocate for this cause.

How YOU can Pass our Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill in Arizona!
By Kem Ellis, Volunteer Coordinator

As you know, AZELO is establishing Action Teams in each of the 30 legislative districts in Arizona. These teams will be responsible for the following functions:

1) Educating the public in one’s own district
2) Influencing their legislators to vote for MAID
3) Building a strong constituent base which legislators will need to listen to

During September and October, Kem Ellis, Volunteer Coordinator, and Marie MacWhyte, Digital Marketing Lead are working on growing the action teams. As of this writing, we have 136 members and leaders in 23 legislative district teams. Seven districts still have no representation. Simultaneously, Marie has recruited 14 action team members to post educational and recruitment ads in their neighborhoods using the social media app NextDoor. The NextDoor campaign has already been fruitful with neighbors attending our webinar and others also signing up to join an action team from the posting they saw on NextDoor.

Leesa Stevens, Legislative Advocacy Lead, and her team are also hard at work during these two months. They are calling the 47 Republican legislators in Arizona with a list of eight questions to familiarize themselves with their stance on MAID. This information will be essential when we start the next phase of the campaign in November.

What happens then? Starting in November, each action team member will be asked if they would like to participate in education, legislative, or both. The activities that follow will be on a calendar for the remainder of the year. Activities will include (but are not limited to) writing letters to, calling, or meeting with their district legislators, writing op-eds, staffing booths at farmers markets, etc (Covid permitting), and continuing to educate, educate, educate!

This brings us to how YOU can pass our MAID bill in Arizona. The answer is simple:
Sign up here to join your district's action team.

Your voice is important! Our collective voice is imperative!!!


Calling Out for NextDoor Posters!
by Marie MacWhyte, AZELO Digital Marketing Lead

Remember when a neighborhood poster was something you stapled to a telephone pole at your nearest intersection? Well, have times changed! Now we have the social media NextDoor, which lets us communicate via the internet with all participating households in our general vicinity. NextDoor is by invitation only and proof is required verifying that you live at the address you are claiming. Your street address isn't publicized so there is a degree of anonymity. I have found handymen and house cleaners, all vetted by neighbors, have seen neighbors find missing pets, and have been alerted to potential vandals in our area, all on NextDoor.

One year I was so fed up with moles in our yard and I posted my frustration on NextDoor. A neighbor from a few streets down offered to help and came over to show me his tried and true method of mole extermination! When I bought a new lawnmower, I offered the old one on NextDoor and another neighbor drove over and took it off my hands, most appreciative since his had just broken down that week.

At Kem's last Open Office on Sept 17th, I gave a presentation on how to post AZELO's upcoming webinar on NextDoor and two of the participants agreed to post it. At the webinar, just three days later, two of the attendees said they came because of the posting! This gave me the idea to post our Action Team ads, so on Sept 21st, I emailed the ad and message to our two posters. Now, just a week later, we have 15 NextDoor Posters! Imagine the impact of NextDoor Posters publicizing MAID educational material in neighborhoods all across the state!

The assignment is easy. Sign up to join your action team if you haven't already. When your Action Team leader reaches out, tell them you would like to be a NextDoor Poster and you will be taught everything you'll need to know. Once a week an ad and message will be emailed to you. Just copy and paste into NextDoor and upload the image. There's nothing more to it than that!

Here's a map of Arizona with our 15 Posters today; each one designated by a blue pin. I'll update this map in each edition of the newsletter for the next month or so. Let's watch this map populate with posters showing in real-time the education that is happening about MAID!

Sign up to join your Action Team here and when your Action Team leader reaches out, let them know you want to be a NextDoor Poster!


Upcoming Events

Dr. Tom Fitch will discuss the options we 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:

Free Webinar on October 8th

Join Compassion & Choices (Arizona End of Life Options national partner) for an evening of celebratory milestones, inspirational stories, and fun entertainment on Wednesday, October 6th.  This inspirational fundraising event will provide the financial support Compassion & Choices (C&C) needs to continue their vital work to transform the delivery of care at life’s end.

WHAT: Power, Purpose, and Promise: A Fundraiser to Benefit Compassion & Choices

WHEN: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 5 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. PT 

WHERE: Wherever you are! This is a virtual online event. 

COST: The event is complimentary, with a $50 suggested minimum donation.

October 6th is the second annual event for Compassion & Choices and will feature insights from influential storytellers, shared in their own words, updates and observations by C&C President and CEO, Kim Callinan, and much more!

Click here to register for the event

If you have any questions about the event, please contact AJ Hetzler at or 406-552-2916. 

Some call it the “death positivity” movement or “mortality-friendly.” There is definitely a cultural shift about talking about death and dying in America. Did the door crack open with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ ground-breaking 1969 book On Death and Dying?  Was it the Terri Schiavo case that went all the way to the Supreme Court while the world watched a family torn by a very private decision? Have you been intimately involved in the end-of-life decisions made by a family member or friend?

Whatever piqued your interest in advocating for a medical aid-in-dying option in Arizona, it is always encouraging to interact with like-minded people to keep motivated and educated about the right-to-die movement. 

New Mexico is celebrating its 5th Annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival from Oct. 30th through Nov. 2nd.  Events will be both in-person in Albuquerque but also virtual with folks joining in from around the globe. Admission is just a donation in any amount you’re comfortable with.

Particularly of interest to us at Arizona End-of-Life Options, will be the virtual panel of New Mexico's End-of-Life Options group who will answer questions about their new medical aid in dying law that just passed this year. Other interesting events will be the Death Cafes, sessions on writing obituaries, online memorial services, and medical surrogacy. Finally, who will be able to resist a session on grief entitled “Grumpy, Cranky, Fussy: The Unspoken Symptoms of Grief”?
If this interests you, or you want to watch videos of past speakers, check out the website for this annual event:
Click Here to Donate to Arizona End-of-Life Options
Arizona End-of-Life Options
Copyright © 2021 Arizona End-of-Life Options, All rights reserved.