Guest Blogger

The Death with Dignity movement appeals to people from all walks of life, and we'd like your help in expanding our community. Are you interested in adding your voice to the Death with Dignity movement? Consider publishing a guest post on our Living with Dying blog.

To have your piece considered for Living with Dying:

  • You must be a Death with Dignity National Center supporter (if you aren't, we'll sign you up).
  • Email us to discuss ideas and topics for your 600-900 word post. Include a brief bio.
  • Once your post is up, invite your friends and family to read it.

Please note that by submitting your guest blog post to us you

  1. grant Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC) permission to use your guest blog post, or any portions of it, on our blog and elsewhere in our communications or to not use it for any reason;
  2. certify that you have all the rights, power, and authority necessary to make the submission;
  3. agree to not hold DDNC responsible or liable for any use of your guest blog post;
  4. agree that any uses by DDNC of your guest blog post are made with no compensation to you;
  5. certify that the language and contents of your guest blog post are not plagiarized from any other source and do not libel or slander any other party and that you assume full responsibility for any damages resulting from any claims to the contrary; and
  6. understand that your email address will be added to our list to receive occasional updates.

We look forward to reading your work.

A Report from Maine Death with Dignity Bill Hearing

This is a report from last Friday's Maine House Committee Hearing on LD1270 - An Act Regarding Patient Self-Directed Care at End-of-Life by our long-time supporter, Valerie Lovelace.

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Val is the executive director of the nonprofit It's My Death, which she founded to honor a promise to her sister Dee, dying of cancer, "to teach others how to be with dying, how to speak and listen to one another the way we had learned to speak and listen, and how to go on even when afraid." She is an inter-faith minister, ordained by calling, studying and practicing in the traditions of her elders and teachers, who are Native American, Christian, and Buddhist. She is a hospice volunteer, artist, and the parent of three adult children. She is also a homeopathic practitioner and a Reiki Master, retired from the U.S. Navy, and a trained EMT. She lives in Maine.

Maine’s Motto is "Dirigo" or "I Direct" or "I Lead" and its tagline "The Way Life Should Be." I'm proud of how hard my legislators work to ensure our laws are fair, straightforward, and seek to ensure as much freedom as possible. It’s a balancing act, for sure. What I love about the process is that at the end of the day, when a piece of legislation is enacted, it’s been hammered over to produce the best and safest possible piece of legislation.

Read more: A Report from Maine Death with Dignity Bill Hearing

What hospice volunteering has taught me

In response to our open call for guest posts we received a submission all the way from Hungary.

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Dóra Csikós is a hospice volunteer for Magyar Hospice Alapítvány (Hungarian Hospice Foundation), Hungary’s first hospice house, in Budapest. In 2013 she left the field of marketing communications and turned to end-of-life planning. She is the co-founder of the Életvégi Tervezés Alapítvány (End of Life Planning Foundation), which provides information about end-of-life issues from legacy planning and healthcare decisions to psychological and financial issues to burial services and digital legacy, and holds lectures for the public with experts in the above fields.

I started to volunteer in Budapest’s only hospice house more than a year ago because I wanted to give my time and attention to those who are living behind the walls of the taboo of dying and death. This hospice house is a small, ten-bed institution that is based completely on the classic hospice approach. Volunteers serve in pairs, in two 4-hour shifts daily in addition to nurses, doctors, psychologists, physical therapists, and other professional team-members.

Read more: What hospice volunteering has taught me

Faith and the End of Life

This guest post is from Barbara Karnes, award-winning end-of-life educator and nurse who has been instrumental in creating the patient/family educational booklet for hospice. A former hospice nurse, director, and consultant, Barbara is the author of the booklets A Time to Live: Living with a Life Threatening Illness; Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience; The Eleventh Hour: A Caring Guideline for the Hours to Minutes before Death; My Friend I Care: The Grief Experience; the book The Final Act of Living: Reflections of a Long Time Hospice Nurse and a family-oriented DVD/booklet kit New Rules For End of Life Care. She blogs at Something to Think About where a version of this post originally appeared.

The definition of the word faith from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

Read more: Faith and the End of Life

Life with Dignity

This guest post is from Karen Kaplan, who in 1992 became one of the the first 200 female rabbis in the world. In 2007 she became a board-certified chaplain and served in hospices on the East Coast for 7 years. She is the author of the book Encountering The Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died which consists of true quirky stories about her hospice patients and what they most cared about and believed in (the book is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold, as a softcover or as an ebook; excerpts and reviews are available at the website of Pen-L Publishing.). Karen also blogs at Offbeat Compassion.*

Read more: Life with Dignity

Your Questions about Supreme Court of Canada's Ruling Answered

This guest post has been contributed by Dying with Dignity Canada.


Supporters of Death with Dignity laws in the U.S., including Death with Dignity National Center, point to the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling decriminalizing physician-assisted death as a catalyst for their work. The ruling decriminalized physician assisted death for a broader range of people than the laws being promoted in the U.S.: competent Canadians with a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual. The court did not define “grievous and irremediable” but it is clear it is not limited to terminal illness. In addition, someone who has dementia but is still competent to provide informed consent would qualify, provided their suffering is, at the time of the request, intolerable to them. The remedy from the courts includes both the prescription and administration of medication, so that individuals will not be compelled to end their lives too early out of fear they will lose the capacity to do so later on.

Read more: Your Questions about Supreme Court of Canada's Ruling Answered

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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, 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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