Every day, we hear from people whose lives have been forever changed by a terminal illness and how their often heartbreaking experiences have motivated them to advocate for death with dignity. Their stories inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die.
Read on to learn more about advocates from California, Ohio, and Texas and how you can share your death with dignity story.
Linda Davis-Reed of California advocates for death with dignity to honor her late father, George Reed, who did not have the dignified death he sought.
“What death with dignity can offer is compassion and control,” Linda says. “So many people would be so much more at peace knowing that if things got unbearable, they would have an option that could ease their suffering, even if they chose not to exercise it.”
Ohio resident Steve Doyle has Stage IV prostate cancer; there is no cure. He knows he will not live long enough to see his state pass an assisted dying law, but he has chosen to devote the time he has left to speak in support of death with dignity.
“I want to lend my voice to the death with dignity movement and dispel the specious arguments against the practice that arise every time the issue gains public attention,” Steve says.
In late 2016, Chris Cooper of Texas lost his wife, Jenn, aka “Coopdizzle,” to Stage IV cancer. She was just 34 years old. (Before her death, Jenn recorded a video for us in which she described her end-of-life wishes and articulated her unwavering support for death with dignity; watch it here.)
Chris is writing a book, From Hell to Happiness: How to Heal When Your Loved One is Terminal, chronicling Jenn’s illness, his struggle to heal after her death, and how he found happiness in the face of loss.
What’s Your Story?
We want to hear from you: Do you have a death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause? What does death with dignity mean to you? Get in touch and share your story here.