AZELO Newsletter


March, 2024



Legislative Update

In last month’s newsletter we described our approach to the 2024 legislative session and the resistance that our Health Care Decisions: Living Wills bill was meeting.


Unfortunately, that resistance turned out to be fatal and the Living Wills bill was never even assigned to committee.  The bill’s Republican sponsor, Justin Wilmeth, came under intense pressure from a group called the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) for his involvement with it.  CAP cited an article in the National Review that grossly misrepresented the intent and impact of the bill and threatened to fund a primary election challenger to Rep. Wilmeth if he continued to support it.


I won’t take time here to list all of the article’s inaccuracies and misstatements as you can see those for yourself by clicking on the link above.  I do find it interesting that there are a fair number of comments in the article that are in support of VSED and our bill; further evidence that support for expanded end-of-life options transcends all demographics and includes National Review readers.


Our “traditional” Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) bill was assigned to the Health and Human Services committee but was not brought up for a vote or discussion.


The fate of the MAID bill was not a surprise; the lack of progress on the Living Wills bill was.  The latter simply sought to clarify what is already a legal right for Arizonans; had bi-partisan sponsorship and support; and was very limited in its scope.  We had every expectation that it would receive a hearing and be voted into law.


Given the lack of legislative progress on the Living Wills issue, we are pursuing it directly with the Arizona Attorney General’s (AG) office.  The AG currently has a sample living will available on their website.  We have drafted proposed changes to this document that will better define and illuminate citizens’ rights regarding VSED.  We are working with several of our previous bill sponsors to present these changes to the AG and, hopefully, have them incorporated into a revised sample living will.


We all know that this journey has not been an easy one.  The results of the 2024 legislative session are clearly a disappointment but we continue to learn and explore alternative ways to improve end-of-life options for Arizonans.  The results of the November 2024 election may or may not change the political landscape in our state, but we will continue to explore routes forward regardless of election cycle or outcome.


Note: - all lobbying and direct political work is funded by the Choices Arizona political fund which is a 501(c)(4) organization


My Take

by Mark Savan - Executive Director

I want to offer my personal opinion regarding the outcome of our efforts in the 2024 legislative session.  Please note that I am a registered Independent (i.e. “No Party” from a voter registration standpoint), and what follows does not represent any official position by either Arizona End of Life Options or Choices Arizona.


Take Aways-

  • A broad group of Arizonans support expanded EOL options and MAID.  This insight, which was first illustrated with our public opinion polling in 2022, and has been my experience as well during conversations with citizens and lawmakers across both political parties.
  • A significant number of people do not understand what EOL options are - and are not.  Again, this was first quantified in our 2022 polling where 27% of respondents were classified as “unknown” or “unsure”.
    • Our education/outreach efforts can continue to provide value here because of the huge amount of misconceptions and misstatements that warp the public's opinions. 
  • Republican lawmakers appear to be unable to support expanded EOL options and MAID
    • Even though our public polling tells us that both Democrats AND Republicans support MAID, the Republican party's platform influencers are not allowing their members to support these types of issues without severe repercussions.
  • AZELO and Choices Arizona should emphasize the following in their ongoing work.  
    • We should increase our outreach/education efforts and find better ways to reach more people. 
    • We need to expand our on-line and social media presence.
    • Our legislative efforts need to include options beyond traditional introduction of bills. 
  • AZELO and Choices Arizona are all-volunteer organizations.  We have definite needs for expertise in several areas that are relevant to the strategies mentioned above.  Please click here to review our current volunteer needs and reply if you have interest and capabilities in any of these areas.

Click on the blue box above to be taken to our donation form. However, if you would prefer to mail a check, please make it out to "Arizona End of Life Options" and mail it to:

Arizona End of Life Options
2810 W. Briarwood Ter.
Phoenix, AZ 85045

If you are making a donation from a donor advised fund, please contact us directly at m.savan@azendoflifeoptions.org.

EIN 93-2230398

Arizona End of Life Options is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, your contribution may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine the exact tax implications of your donation.

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