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This Week in the Movement

Linus care of Peanuts comic strip

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Below are highlights from the last week.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Discussions about death, dying, and grieving:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Ask DDNC: Advance Care Planning

We frequently get asked questions about Death with Dignity or advance care planning for situations where dementia might be involved. Many individuals have concerns about confronting Alzheimer's disease or other dementias in the future; others are in the midst of difficult and frightening situations when their family members are struggling with the disease.

The uncomfortable reality is there are no easy or clear cut answers. None of the three states with Death with Dignity laws allow individuals to participate who have dementia or Alzheimer's disease advanced to the degree where judgment or decision-making is impaired. Those with early stage dementia without cognitive impairment do not qualify because they do not have a terminal diagnosis.

In the absence of expanded end-of-life care choices, advance care planning is essential. Two documents to consider: Health Care Directive (also called a Living Will) and a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (most states allow you to combine these into one document). There are online versions available (MyDirectives), but the most prudent advance planning approach involves working with an attorney who is familiar with your state's rules and regulations.

Read more: Ask DDNC: Advance Care Planning

This Week in the Movement

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Below are highlights from the last couple weeks.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Staff Spotlight: Cindy Silveira

Cindy Silveira, MPA

Today we'd like to introduce you to a new member of our team, Cindy Silveira, MPA.

As part of the strategic planning process at the National Center, we've added capacity by hiring new staff members. It's exciting to have fresh energy and new enthusiasm in our offices, and we're eager to share their stories with you.

One new staff person who you may encounter in your interactions with our organization is Cindy Silveira, Director of Leadership Giving.

Cindy grew up in rural Oregon, but started her career in Boston, MA, where she attended the University of Massachusetts. Since moving back to Oregon in 1989, she earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration and has built a career as a leader in fundraising and philanthropy.

She has served as Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington and has successfully led major fundraising programs at Providence Cancer Center, Lewis and Clark Law School and Peace Health Foundation, Vancouver.

In her role at the National Center, Cindy will be building a major gifts program and planned giving program for our organization. Her first task has been to meet with long term National Center supporters throughout the nation and to build a fundraising plan that will support expansion of our activities.

Read more: Staff Spotlight: Cindy Silveira

Washington's 2013 Death with Dignity Report

Death with Dignity by the numbers 2013

Death with Dignity laws take what's happening in the shadows everyday, in every state, and create an open, safeguarded process to allow terminally ill people to decide their own fate. These laws protect everyone involved—patients, their families, doctors and pharmacists—and provide a transparent process which leaves no doubt the decision rests solely in the hands of people who are dying and no one else.

As part of this transparency, the Washington State Department of Health is required by law to report information collected during the medication request and dispensing process. The 5th annual report was recently issued. As Robb Miller, Executive Director of Compassion & Choices of Washington, explained, "there are no surprises, and the law remains remarkably unremarkable."

After five years, more Washingtonians have come to understand Washington's Death with Dignity Act, and not surprisingly, more people requested the prescribed medication.

Some quick facts about the usage of Washington's law in 2013:

Read more: Washington's 2013 Death with Dignity Report

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Defend dignity. Take action.

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.

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