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This Week in the Movement

"News Anchor" by ed100, on Flickr

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

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Automatic Giving–A Win-Win Situation!

Duane Lueders

Duane Leuders contributes to the Death with Dignity National Center every month. He lives in Simsberry, Connecticut with his wife of 29 years. Duane's been a practicing attorney for 26 years, and his wife is a licensed clinical social worker.

If there were an organization whose cause you cared deeply about which had an easy, automatic, and affordable way to support them on a regular basis, wouldn't you be interested in signing up?

Well, there is! Under the Death with Dignity National Center Sustaining Partner Program, you can set up automatic, tax-deductible gifts to be charged to your debit or credit card once a month, each quarter, or annually. I've been participating in this program for the past two years.

By signing up to be a Sustaining Partner, you'll save yourself time and money (remember, donations are tax-deductible), and save the Death with Dignity National Center's resources as well. More of your donation will go to directly support their mission rather than to administrative costs. That's right, no more solicitations filling up your mail box, no more checks to write, envelopes to address, or stamps to mess with. That's what I call a win-win situation!

Read more: Automatic Giving–A Win-Win Situation!

This Week in the Movement

News by Harald Link, on Flickr

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

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

  • The media is all abuzz about the recently certified Massachusetts Death with Dignity initiative (it'll be Question 2 on the November ballot). Just for you, I conveniently rounded-up many of the major stories on our blog.
  • Last week, The Lancet published a new study about assisted death before and after it was legal in the Netherlands. Truly, assisted death happens every day, and by creating clear laws regulating the practice, everyone is safer and more informed.
  • Want the latest info about the Massachusetts campaign direct from the horse's mouth? Check out Dignity 2012 on Facebook or on Twitter.
  • This op-ed from Canada points out how the myth of the "slippery slope" is unfounded. Years of peer reviewed research points to quite the opposite.
  • In this Canadian letter to the editor John Warren, VP of Dying with Dignity, states, "Opinion polls have consistently shown between two-thirds and three-quarters of Canadians want the right to choose a medically assisted death if their suffering is unbearable. By appealing this case, Nicholson is saying the government should decide how Canadians die. That's not justice, it's arrogance."

Read more: This Week in the Movement

The Need for Carefully Crafted Death with Dignity Laws

The Lancet journal

Physician-assisted death happens every day in every state. This reality is often avoided by patients and the medical community in discussions about end-of-life care, and it's time we started talking about it. A new study published last week in The Lancet looked at this situation in the Netherlands.

The researchers analyzed the prevalence of assisted death before and after the Dutch law went into effect in 2002. The results of this study showed two important trends regarding assisted death:

  • The practice was already happening before the law was in place: The same percentage of deaths were attributed to physician-assisted death before and after the law was in place.
  • Presence of a law doesn't result in increased use: The law didn't lead to a common myth spouted by opponents that legally regulating assisted death will lead to people clamoring to access the law. Or as it was known in Oregon, "People would flock to our beaches to die."

Read more: The Need for Carefully Crafted Death with Dignity Laws

Massachusetts Media Round-Up

The Atlantic magazine featured a discussion about MA Death with Dignity

With the exciting announcement that Death with Dignity is now officially certified for the November Massachusetts ballot, there's been a flurry of excitement about the measure in the news. Something refreshing I've noticed in these reports is the reliance on facts about these important laws which have been in effect in Oregon and Washington for years. All too often, people get distracted by misinformation and scare tactics put forward by opponents of additional end-of-life options.

A consistent theme throughout these articles about the proposed law is to outline what would and would not be allowed under the Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act. An example from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bioethics Blog:

Read more: Massachusetts Media Round-Up

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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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