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This Week in the Movement

PTI News Stand by Mark Miller 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

Death with Dignity Hot Topic in Northeast

VT Gov. Shumlin, photo care of the New England Governors' Conference

Earlier this month, Peg Sandeen mentioned how the recent high-profile work in Massachusetts has elevated and amplified the national conversation about assisted death. And in just in the last week, I've noticed a marked increase in articles about Death with Dignity laws throughout the northeast region. Coverage continued in Massachusetts, and opinion pieces in favor of Death with Dignity popped up multiple times in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont.

Some highlights:

  • VTDigger and other media outlets picked up Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin's strong statements about what he'd like to see as legislative priorities in the upcoming session. Regarding Death with Dignity:

    It's the right thing to do, and the Legislature will do what's right for Vermonters.

    Shumlin said he supports the Death with Dignity bill because he doesn't understand why the state should interfere in a private decision made by an individual who has a terminal illness and wants to avoid suffering through the last 10 to 14 days of life.

Read more: Death with Dignity Hot Topic in Northeast

This Week in the Movement

Editorial Cartoon by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe

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

Giving Thanks

Thank Heather and Jim on Change.org

To bring Death with Dignity to Massachusetts, a tremendous network of supporters provided financial and vocal support, and many volunteers made a commitment to share their stories in public speaking venues all over the state. Two individuals in particular, Heather Clish and Jim Carberry, shared intimate personal stories about their loved ones' experiences with death, poignantly illustrating the need for Death with Dignity. We'd like to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. Please join us in thanking them.

Heather Clish shared her father's experience early in the state's effort to pass Death with Dignity. Back in May, their viewpoint on the initiative was featured in a Sunday Boston Globe Magazine story. During a visit in Boston, Heather's father learned he had terminal brain cancer. Being an Oregon resident, he had the option to request medication to decide the timing and manner of his death as allowed under the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

When his pain and suffering became too great for the doctors to relieve, he decided to take the medication. As reported in the Boston Globe feature, Heather and her sisters were able to travel to Oregon to be with their dad in his final moments:

Read more: Giving Thanks

Engage Friends and Family with Grace

The One Slide Project

"Darrin, long time no see! What's new in your advance directive these days?"

"Man, home is where the heart is. If I had my druthers, I'd want to die here."

"Aunt Freda's gravy recipe! She had everything documented, didn't she? It's no wonder our cousins knew exactly what she wanted for her end-of-life care."

It's easy to avoid talking about subjects which make us uncomfortable, and few are more uncomfortable than thinking about our own deaths. Unless someone you know died recently, the subject of death isn't likely to come up in casual conversation. That's why this time of year, blogs dedicated to end-of-life care rally together to encourage people to Engage with Grace this weekend when family and friends are gathered to give thanks.

Read more: Engage Friends and Family with Grace

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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, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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