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August Blog Recap
Posted by Melissa Barber on August 30, 2010
August has been a month of awakening for the Death with Dignity movement and end-of-life discussions. Here are some of the highlights:
Two well-timed articles about the importance of end-of-life discussions are creating quite the buzz. Atul Gawande’s New Yorker article from the beginning of the month kicked off the discussion, and was soon followed by an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine about how palliative care extends life in patients with terminal lung cancer. These two articles set off a firestorm of responses on blogs, news sites as well as radio and television programs.
The Vermont Democratic gubernatorial race is still too close to call. The voting results will be official tomorrow, and there will likely be a recount. The two leading candidates, separated by 192 votes, are committed to passing Death with Dignity legislation modeled on the Oregon law.
New York recently passed their Patient Right to Palliative Care Information Act which is modeled on California’s 2008 Terminal Patients’ Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act. New York’s new law sparked a bit of conversation about the legal aspects of the law and the next steps for quality end-of-life care.
The Journal of Medical Ethics published a London study about a how doctor's religion relates to discussing end-of-life care options with their patients. The study found doctors who identify as "strongly" or "very strongly non-religious" were twice as likely to discuss end-of-life options which include palliative sedation than their "strongly" religious counterparts.
Pew Research Center found older adults are adopting social media at an accelerated rate, and we joined the discussion too! Please find the Death with Dignity National Center on Twitter and Facebook, and effortlessly keep up on daily information and musings.
Update 8/31/10: The Vermont gubernatorial primary results were certified today with Peter Shumlin winning the race by 197 votes. His closest challenger, Doug Racine, has requested a recount.
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You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization, has been the leading advocate in the death with dignity movement. Member contributions helped us pass a new Death with Dignity law in Washington, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the death with dignity movement.