July 1, 2022
This Issue's Contents

Legislative Update
Action Team Alert for July!

AZELO Volunteers Publish LTE and a Cartoon
AARP / Nat Geo 2022 Survey
Upcoming Events

Donate for Dignity & Your Gift will be Matched!

Legislative Update
by Leesa Stevens. AZELO Legislative Advocacy Lead

Our legislative candidate campaign continues with a focus on the Clean Election debates and submitting our question for debate participants to answer. We are watching the debates and making notes because those unsure or misinformed need to be educated. In those districts where our question was not asked or where the candidates did not participate, we have sent emails asking our question.

Here is our question for the legislative candidates, followed by a few of the responses we have received:

I do support your question presented to me. I would never want to see someone suffer, if they are of sound mind to make that request.  Every life is precious and end of life is painful for the ones left behind. I know I would not like to to see my love ones suffer. 

 Donna McCoy LD 30

Thank you for your email. My answer to this question is as follows: The primary responsibility of your State Legislator is to uphold the constitution of the United States, to protect life, liberty, and your freedom. In addition, doctors are to preserve life, not take it. Each human being is made in the image of God and worthy of life, protection, and dignity. I would not support legislation that would assist in the taking of life, even that of a terminally ill patient.

Don Maes LD13

In general, I support, where I may get caught up is with the specific language of the law.  Life is precious and I would hate to end life prematurely when there is still value to the person and their loved ones.  However, one of my fears is that at the end of my life I have no quality of life, cannot care for myself, and am just surviving not living.  I would want options.  I would like more information on the subject.

James (Jim) Chaston LD12

Yes, I would support the bill for terminally ill and patients in hospice. I have personal experience with watching my mom wither and pass slowly and painfully. No one deserves that kind of passing. 

Scott Podeyn LD 29

I do not support medical intervention that seeks to hasten death. Having been a nurse for 36 years, I have assisted many in their end-of-life care. There are alternatives to physician-assisted dying. My belief is in alignment with the nursing code of ethics in the care of patients in the process of dying. You can also see the opinion of my professional association at -
Dr. Selina Bliss LD 1

Thank you for your question regarding terminally ill adults. I can assure you that If elected I will work hard to fairly consider and seek input regarding a bill addressing this issue. 

Terry Roe LD 12

I support a law of this type. If someone finds themselves in this position,
they should be able to "die with dignity". I believe 2 doctors should be
required to certify that they are terminally ill and mentally competent.
I believe in your cause and wish you the best of luck in your efforts as
Michael Morris  LD17

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

Goal: For July’s Action Alert we want to encourage our Action Teams members to master the talking points needed to effectively and educationally inform the Arizona public about medical aid in dying.   

AZELO has two goals: 1. Educate the Arizona public (including our AZ legislature) about end-of-life choices, and 2. Pass a medical aid in dying bill in the state. 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. 

How do we talk to the public about medical aid in dying? What are the right ways to phrase our messages? For example, should we use the term "choice" to describe medical aid in dying?

Our Action Team Alert for July has two parts.

First, we ask that you read our brief manual on how to respond to our critics and how to phrase our message. You can access this guide at 

Second, we will be offering an hour-long interactive webinar on communicating with the public about MAID. This webinar will delve into topics such as "What is my elevator speech?", "What are the pitfalls we should avoid?", " What are trigger words?", and "How best to describe medical aid in dying." Honing our communication skills in order to help people learn the facts about MAID will be the focus of this zoom session.

Register for Messaging Webinar here:
Messaging Webinar July 13th, 2022 at 7:00 pm

We believe you'll find the communication guide helpful, and we look forward to working with you on messaging on the 13th!

AZELO Volunteers Publish Letters to the Editor

Kudos to AZELO volunteers who responded to last month's action alert to send letters to their local newspaper! Editors typically receive many more letters than they can possibly publish, so getting one into the paper is quite an accomplishment. But at least two of our volunteers managed to do just that. Below are the letters we know about; if you were successful as well but your letter is not shown below, please let us know!

Daily Independent June 8th
Lane: I support bill for end-of-life decision rights

If you have ever had to sit beside a loved one in the final end stages of life and struggle with watching them try to breathe, swallow, talk, etc., you know how gut-wrenching this is. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer with metastasis to the bone in late March 2021. He was not sick at all and only had some slight pain in his right hip when we received the “C” diagnosis.

We were told he had 4 months to live if he didn’t receive any treatment; 24-plus months with treatment. Turned out he was not able to tolerate the chemotherapy and ended up dying on Aug. 8, 2021 — a mere 136 days from diagnosis. Hospice took care of him from June 27 until his death. Had the MAID option been available to him, he would have taken it. I cannot tell you how many times he asked God to take him.

It was pure torture watching my husband of 54 years suffer in this manner.

Bone cancer is probably one of the most painful forms of cancer that there is. Did he want to end his life like this — no. Did I want him to end his life like this — absolutely not.

There are many safeguards built into this bill so it cannot be abused. Please take the time to read up on this issue at
Lynn Lane

Arizona Daily Star June 24th

Die with dignity

Over the last six years I’ve lost my dad, two aunts and four dear friends.

At my age, you may say that’s common and an average number of losses. Maybe you’re right. The problem is that they all suffered. They endured weeks or months of waiting and wishing for an end to their misery. Even with hospice and “comfort meds,” I watched their suffering.

All of them were completely reliant on others for 100% of their care at the end. Hospice in Arizona does not change diapers, do laundry, get food or let you sleep. Hospice shows up a couple of times per week for half an hour. There is no mercy.

Arizona does not have a medical aid in dying law. We can’t choose to die with dignity as 11 other states can. This needs to change.
Lauri Ziemba
East side

Daily Independent (West Valley)
and Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
June 28th

Mary Ganapol

This paper usually has syndicated cartoons and once a week they publish an amateur cartoonist. Mary submitted hers and it was selected!

AARP / Nat Geo 2022 Survey Results
by Mary Ganapol, Southern AZ Lead

We were happy to see that a
“Second Half of Life” study conducted by AARP and National Geographic in early 2022 included a question about medical aid in dying (MAID).

The poll interviewed 2,536 adults nationwide from various age groups and demographics.  Scrolling through dozens of questions on health, life expectancy, relationships, and retirement, we finally come to the end-of-life section. 

They asked Q. 806:  Thinking about your own death, how important are each of the following to you? Some of the common “extremely/very important” responses included not burdening my family, being comfortable without pain, experiencing dignity in the dying process, having my wishes followed, and having control over the dying process.

Then they introduced the MAID question:  “We are interested in your opinion about the topic of medical aid in dying.  By medical aid in dying we mean when a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, doctors can assist the patient to end their own life, if a patient requests it.”

Q. 808 then asks “Do you agree or disagree that medical aid in dying should be a legal option?” and Q. 809 asks “Why do you say that?”

A strong 65% agree nationwide it should be a legal option.  The two top reasons were choice and to avoid pain/suffering.  Only 18% of respondents disagreed that MAID should be a legal option and their main reason was religious beliefs/values.

Arizona End of Life Options is non-partisan because these end-of-life issues are shared by all demographics.  Here’s the breakdown of how the AARP/National Geographic respondents consider themselves:  liberal 22%, moderate 45%, and conservative 30%.  While many issues divide our nation, at least according to this study, MAID is favored across the board.

If you’re a data geek like me and want to do a deep dive, here’s the link for the details of the survey: 

AARP-National Geographic Second Half of Life Study - Annotated Questionnaire
Upcoming Events
Two Dates in July!

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:
Your zoom link will be emailed to you, so check your spam folder if you don't see it!
Let's Talk About Death with Dwight Moore
 AZELO's newest webinar!  

Are you yourself dying of a terminal illness or have a friend or family member dying now?

Maybe you have been struggling with grief or unresolved feelings associated with a loved one who died a difficult death.

Or have questions about the dying process and are wondering if you have all the necessary preparations in place in advance of your final chapter of life.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then this webinar is for you!

You have probably noticed in your life when you attempt to talk about death, you get some squeamish reactions. A great way to kill the energy at a dinner party is to pipe up and say: “I’m sad my grandmom had to suffer so much at the end.”

As a society we are uncomfortable thinking about our own death, discussing bad deaths with others, and even listening to others' stories. Death evokes feelings of loss (I wish Dad were here to talk about this with me), helplessness (Was there anything else I could have done?), sadness (She so much wanted to be here at Joan’s graduation), and sometimes anger (The hospital could have informed me sooner). Because of these feelings, we feel hesitant about sharing our experiences and emotion.

Arizona End of Life Options is offering a safe, confidential forum for sharing our experiences with death. “Let’s Talk About Death” is a new, monthly Webinar starting in July for anyone who would like to share, learn more, grieve, and spend time with others who also have experience with death and dying. Dwight Moore, Ph.D., counseling psychologist, will facilitate these discussions.  As a snowbird, Dwight volunteers with End of Life Washington where he assists terminally ill Washington residents who choose to use Washington State’s medical aid in dying law. He also is the Chair of Arizona End of Life Options.

While we will be holding this Webinar on ZOOM, it will not be recorded. Not meant to be a “therapy” session but rather an opportunity for regular people to learn and share about this difficult topic.

July 22, 2022 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Click here to register:

Your zoom link will be emailed to you, so check your spam folder if you don't see it!
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Death with Dignity Political Fund
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Portland, OR 97204
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