Every day, we receive calls from patients, their loved ones, advocates, and healthcare professionals seeking information about Death with Dignity and other end-of-life options. Elia Inglis, a social worker and the newest member of our team, provides callers with resources and referrals, and offers support for those confronting illness or loss.
Elia, who holds a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University, brings a deep commitment to the cause and to working with people in need in all stages of life. She has worked with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and individuals with cognitive impairments. She supervised an assisted living facility for adults with disabilities, and just started working with the Napa County District Attorney’s Office as a Crime Victim Volunteer Coordinator.
Elia first became aware of the Death with Dignity movement as a teenager. At the time, her uncle was dying of AIDS, and several of his close friends experienced prolonged and painful suffering near the end of their lives.
“Many of them died very painful, slow deaths,” Elia says. “I heard them talking about this law”—the Oregon Death with Dignity Act—that, if they could access it, “would give them some of the dignity back that they were certainly not getting elsewhere.”
I believe the work done by Death with Dignity National Center is amazing and I am honored to be a part of it.
Years later, she closely followed the story of the late Brittany Maynard, whose decision to move from California to Oregon in 2014 to take advantage of that state’s law sparked an international conversation about assisted dying.
“I was completely blown away that she had to relocate and uproot her whole family’s life to have the death she wanted,” Elia says.
She kept up with Death with Dignity news across the country and watched as ever more state legislatures considered assisted-dying laws. Now, she is excited to put her clinical skills to work in service of the movement that inspired her uncle and that has brought comfort and control to qualified citizens in five states and Washington, D.C.
“I believe the work done by Death with Dignity National Center is amazing and I am honored to be a part of it,” she says.