Podcast 1: Introduction
Introduction to Current Perspectives of Medical Aid in Dying, written by Marie MacWhyte and narrated by Sarah Ellis. 5 minutes. Go back to list of podcasts.
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[Autotranscript; may contain errors]
[00:00:13] Sarah Ellis “Medical aid and dying,” you ask, “what is that?” You may know it as death with dignity or physician-assisted dying, and some just call it MAID for short. It’s when a mentally competent adult with a terminal illness and just six months to live decides they’d like to have the option of ingesting medication to end their life at a time and place of their choosing. It’s currently legal in California, Oregon, and Washington, and seven other states. New Mexico just passed it last winter. Sometimes we refer to it as MAID, an acronym for medical aid in dying. Having the option to use such a medication doesn’t mean a person is required to use it, though. So many people who are eligible in those states where it is legal never actually use it. But having the medication on hand, they say, brings them great comfort at the end of their lives when the actual process of dying can be a frightening prospect.
[00:01:08] Sarah Ellis Our organization, Arizona End of Life Options, or AZELO for short, is an all-volunteer, grassroots coalition dedicated to legalizing medical aid in dying in Arizona. We partner with Death with Dignity and Compassion and Choices, both national organizations. If you live in Arizona, then Arizona End of life Options is your local resource for everything MAID. You can find our website at AZEndOfLifeOptions.org. On our website, you can sign up for our monthly webinars, which are live presentations via Zoom about medical aid in dying and how to advocate for it. There are buttons to click to volunteer, receive our monthly newsletter, and donate. Click on the Proposed Law tab and you’ll find the actual text of the bill we submitted to the Arizona Legislature last January. We’re currently working on the wording of the 2023 bill, and once that’s finalized, we’ll upload that as well.
[00:02:02] Sarah Ellis Now, before we get started with our podcast series, let me talk for just a minute about volunteering. We have two fundamental goals at AZELO; to educate the Arizona public about medical aid in dying, and to pass the law so that terminally ill Arizonans can have the medical aid in dying option like 72 million other Americans have in those ten states where it’s legal. A poll of Arizona residents last year showed that 60% of Arizonans support medical aid in dying and only 13% oppose it. That leaves a whopping 27% who either do not know about the law or where they stand on the issue. It’s this 27% we want to reach with our education campaign. Sadly, many of our lawmakers are also in this group. As we reach out to these undecided people, we find that many of them have bought into the trove of misinformation and negative propaganda that’s circulating about this law. Our goal with this segment of the population is to offer them the facts. We have organized the state into 30 action teams, one team per legislative district. These teams are sent an action alert by email each month. The emails detail exactly what each member can do that month to help pass a medical aid in dying bill in our state. In October, for example, we thanked the legislative candidates supportive of the bill and offered factual information about medical aid in dying to the others. This is where we could use your help. Imagine thousands of Arizona residents emailing and calling their local representatives, encouraging them to learn the facts about medical aid in dying and supporting the bill when it is submitted in January 2023. So please join us. Go to AZEndOfLifeOptions.org and click the volunteer button. We will add you to your legislative district action team and then you’ll start getting our monthly action alerts.
[00:03:52] Sarah Ellis Now for our podcast series, as we’ve been talking to so many people about medical aid in dying, we have discovered that many people are uncomfortable talking about death in general and even more uncomfortable when you bring up medical aid and dying. But among those who will talk about it, we’ve found wildly different perspectives. So we’ve decided to feature some of these people in this podcast series. Current Perspectives of Medical Aid and Dying is hosted by Dr. Dwight Moore, who is an industrial psychologist. Our first podcast features the Reverend Jim Hines, who will give us his Christian perspective. And our second podcast will feature Reverend Robin Zucker with her Unitarian perspective. Check back as we interview other prominent people about their perspectives of MAID.
[00:04:36] Sarah Ellis A little more about Dr. Dwight Moore, who lives in Washington State and snowbirds in Arizona. During the summers, Dwight volunteers with End of Life Washington, where he helps patients in his region access medical aid in dying and, if requested, is with them at the end when they take the medication. In 2015, Dwight spent a winter working with compassion and choices and getting made legalized in California. He is the current chair of Arizona End of Life Options and leads Legislative District 13’s action team.
[00:05:06] Sarah Ellis I’m excited to present for you Dr. Dwight Moore and his podcast series, Current Perspectives of Medical Aid in Dying.