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Death with Dignity in Massachusetts

Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach, psychotherapist, and author of the international bestseller Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life.

Watching a loved one die without dignity is devastating. Sadly, both of my parents experienced prolonged, painful, and what I considered to be, unnecessarily inhumane deaths.

Twelve years ago, I attempted to discuss end-of-life planning with my mother and father. Because I believe that death is simply a transition to another plane of existence, I tend to approach the topic in a rather direct and practical way, as was the case with my parents back in 2000. I suggested that they do end-of-life planning in advance, to ensure clarity about their wishes and to avoid any potential family conflict. But because neither of my parents were able to discuss or plan for death, at the end they were each kept alive by artificial means and suffered heart-wrenching deaths.

Read more: Death with Dignity in Massachusetts

Our Mom Deserved More Choices

Liz Parker Gagne and Jeff Parker live in Massachusetts, and recently shared why they support the Massachusetts Death with Dignity initiative on Dignity 2012's website.

Our mother passed away this summer at the age of 63 after suffering through a long battle with brain cancer. By the end of her life, after many treatments and attempts to cure her, it became clear that there would be no improvement. She desperately wanted to live but her illness was causing her unimaginable pain.

She required 24 hour care, could barely communicate, could no longer feed herself, and forgot how to swallow. We eventually moved her into a hospice residence, where she continued to suffer painfully until her body finally gave out.

Our mom did not want to endure constant suffering and did not want her two-and-a-half-year old grandson to see her in so much pain. We believe that our mom deserved more choices than what she was given, that she deserved to have the option to live her final days with dignity, surrounded by her family and enjoying her time with them; not wasting away before them.

Read more: Our Mom Deserved More Choices

This Week in the Movement

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

Radical Hate Group Joins Opponents of Death with Dignity

In 20 years of advocating for Death with Dignity laws, we've never seen anything like this in our movement: opponents taking money from a hate group in an attempt to stop Death with Dignity policy reform. Traditionally, our opponents receive money from Catholic institutions all over the country to restrict policy reform, but in Massachusetts, everything is different about the opponent's fundraising.

Read more: Radical Hate Group Joins Opponents of Death with Dignity

This Week in the Movement

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

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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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