June 1, 2022
This Issue's Contents

Gearing up for a New Legislature
Action Team Alert for June!

MAID News Around the US
Palliative Care: Not What You Think
Upcoming Events
Obituary ~ Diane Uhl

Donate for Dignity & Your Gift will be Matched!

Gearing up for a New Legislature
by Leesa Stevens. AZELO, Legislative Advocacy Lead

As the 2022 midterm election season starts to heat up here in Arizona, we now have about 250 state legislative candidates that have survived the challenge process and have started campaigning in earnest. Our goal at AZELO is to 1) determine if each candidate is supportive of MAID, and if not, why, 2) provide factual information on medical aid in dying and answer any questions they might have, and 3) ask them for their support. We also cannot forget the governor's race, the winner of which would be signing our bill into law should it pass through the Arizona legislature next January.

I have put together a small task force to help me with the above goals and our first project has been to attend the Clean Elections debates which are open to the public via the internet as they are held remotely. This series of debates started in mid-May and will continue until early July. The Citizens Clean  Elections Commission is a non-partisan commission created by voters, which provides campaign funding, and enforces campaign finance rules and laws. Clean Elections was founded in 1998 after Arizona voters passed the Citizens Clean Elections Act to root out corruption and promote confidence in our political process. We have the opportunity to submit questions to be asked during the debate and each AZELO team member has been tasked with submitting different MAID questions to their assigned districts. We hope to submit questions to most of the 30 legislative districts participating. 

Inexplicably, not all candidates were invited to participate in the Clean Elections debates, and of those invited, about one-third actually attend. It is a great opportunity for those new to campaigning for state government offices to gain some name recognition and get their ideas out there. Most incumbents (those already in office and running for reelection) do not participate unless their district race is a hotly contested one. Due to the recent redistricting, there are a few incumbent races that should prove to be interesting.

The debates are available to listen to in real-time most evenings starting at 6:00 p.m. or by tape replay a few days later. If you are interested in submitting a question or listening to the debates here is the link:

I look forward to sharing some results with you and our next steps in the July newsletter.

Action Team Alert for June, 2022
Arizona End of Life Options

Goal: For June’s Action Alert we want to encourage our Action Teams to write Letters to the Editor and submit them to their local newspaper.  

One of the goals of AZELO is to educate the Arizona public about medical aid in dying. We want to get people more comfortable about talking about death, thinking about their options at the end of life, and getting their affairs in order. People’s stories are a great way to do this. Sharing what you have experienced, describing a good death or a bad death, allows others to begin thinking about this stage of life.

Therefore, we are asking Action Team Members and you, our readership, to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, telling your story about a good death or bad death. Guidelines for writing this story can be found in this Guide to Writing Letters to the Editor.

We are also providing you with
AZELO'S Newspaper Directory which includes contact information for many of the newspapers in Arizona. (Note: to change pages in the directory, click on the arrow on the very right, in the vertical center of each page.)
 Most of the newspapers in the directory are daily or weekly publications that can arrive on your driveway or in your mailbox. Editors are interested in what their readers think. If you do submit a letter, drop a note to letting Dwight know to whom you wrote!

MAID News Around the US
by Dwight Moore, Mary Ganapol, and Marie MacWhyte, AZELO Volunteers

Currently, it is estimated that 14 states have active campaigns in place to pass medical aid in dying bills. Here are a few of the most active and where they stand as of today, June 1, 2022:

A year ago on June 10, 2021, the New York Legislature adjourned without advancing the Medical Aid in Dying Act that was under consideration and was carried over into the 2022 legislative session. This year, on April 25, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) released an updated statement of support for the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act, and two days later, supporters gathered in Albany for a rally and candle lighting tribute urging 
lawmakers to pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.4321A/ S.6471).

The Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act (H6600 and S211), were reintroduced in the Rhode Island State House and Senate, respectively, in January 2022. H6600 was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, April 7, 2022, and recommended to be held for further study, so once again, no action was taken.

On March 14, 2022, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (H.2381/S.1384), which would authorize medical aid in dying, was reported upon favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health. Ten days later the Senate bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Then, last month In May, new polling was released from Suffolk University/The Boston Globe showing a record 77% support among Massachusetts residents for medical aid-in-dying legislation, including majorities across the Commonwealth's regional, political and racial spectrum.

Thanks to the tireless work of dedicated Compassion & Choices supporters and volunteers, on January 24, 2022, HB 1823 was filed in Hawaii’s State House of Representatives. This bill would make crucial amendments to the Our Care, Our Choice Act to improve access – allowing advanced practice nurse practitioners and physician assistants to serve as prescribing or consulting providers, and reducing the waiting period as Hawaii’s is the longest in the nation at 20 days. Unfortunately, despite passing the entire House, the entire Senate, and six major committees, the bill failed in the conference committee on April 28. 

What do these states have in common with Arizona's efforts to pass Medical Aid in Dying legislation? Although public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of it, legislators across the US are reluctant to even consider legislation that would give terminally ill patients the right to decide when and how they will die. We all must make our voices heard by talking to our family members, our friends, and our legislators about death and dying. Each time we witness a bad death, we should view it in terms of how it might have been different in a healthy society. A society that values a terminally ill person's right to call it quits when they (not their doctor, their clergy, nor their government) decide they have had enough. 

Palliative Care: Not What You Think
by Eileen McCulloch, AZELO Advisory Board member and Marie MacWhyte, Retired Hospice RN

Palliative care and hospice are not the same. So, what's the difference, and what does that mean for you? Take this quiz to test your knowledge about these two valuable services. Directions: On a piece of paper, write the numbers from 1 to 8. Next, read each statement, placing a P next to those which are applicable to palliative care and an H by those that are true for hospice. Then, read the article and watch the video to learn more about these two important services.

Which is it, Palliative Care or Hospice? Test your Knowledge!

1. Allows for curative as well as symptomatic relief for patients. 
2. Provides round-the-clock support for the home care of a patient.
3. A specialty service designed to work in conjunction with a patient's primary care team. 
4. Attention is focused on symptomatic relief for terminally-ill patients.
5. Specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, focusing on the quality of life for them and their families.
6. Patients qualify when they have a life expectancy of months, not years.

Is available for people of any age and in any stage of an illness regardless of prognosis. 
8. Becomes the primary care provider for a terminally-ill person who elects this course of care.

 Click here to read The Conversation's What is palliative care? How is it different from hospice?

Then watch this short YouTube video: Palliative Care vs. Hospice: How Are They Different? - Dr. Amy Newton

See the bottom of this newsletter for the answers to the quiz!
Upcoming Events
Two Dates in June!

Six Choices at the End of Life: Real Patients, Real Stories

Presented by Dr Dwight Moore, this zoom presentation describes the six choices people have about how they will exit this life and makes a case for considering Medical Aid in Dying as one of the choices. Register by clicking this link:

Dying in America: Care Options Near the End of Life

Presented by Dr Tom Fitch, this zoom presentation describes the six choices people have about how they will exit this life and makes a case for considering Medical Aid in Dying as one of the choices. 
Register by clicking this link:
Diane Uhl 1938 - 2022
We feel sad today. Diane Uhl ended her life in April, using the Final Exit process. Before she died, she stated that “due to constant physical pain in my back, legs and feet, as well as headaches and now blindness, I wish to die. My quality of life has deteriorated in the last several weeks (on a scale of 1 to 10) from an eight or nine to a one.”

Diane and her husband Steve were married 53 years.  Steve, a former Catholic priest who became an atheist, wrote many books including “Out of God's Closet: This Priest Psychologist Chooses Friendly Atheism”. In 2011 Diane and her husband Steve, were part of an “Out of the Closet” campaign with Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) that included nine billboards in Phoenix and Tucson supporting freedom from religion.  
Steve died at home of prostate cancer in February of 2021 after five days of VSED.  Together they had been major donors to secular groups including Free Thought Arizona, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), Secular Coalition of Arizona, as well as mini-grants to public school teachers in support of STEM projects and our national partner Compassion & Choices. Earlier this year, Diane donated $10,000 to AZELO and challenged us to match that amount.

Born in Milwaukee and raised in Evansville, Wisconsin, Diane received her BA from Ripon College and an MA from Northwestern University in special education. She taught for 33 years in public schools. Diane was 84 years old this year. We will miss her wisdom and generosity.  Let’s be inspired by the Uhl’s advocacy and generosity!
Answers to the Palliative Care Quiz: All the odd numbered statements are about palliative care. The even numbers are true of hospice.
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