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New Death with Dignity Stories: Dr. Michelle Abadir, Margaret Ervin, and Donna Wiegle

July 26, 2018

A doctor from New York, a hospice social worker from California, and an elder care provider in Maine: all three of these women are steadfast advocates for death with dignity. Their personal stories inform their support of medical aid in dying and inspire us to continue working toward the day when all terminally ill Americans have the right to decide how they die.

Do you have a death with dignity story to tell? Please share it with us.

Dr. Michelle Abadir: Leaving the World on Your Own Terms

Dr. Michelle Abadir was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2013. She is managing her illness through a variety of treatments, but she knows that eventually, her cancer will most likely kill her.

Dr. Abadir believes having autonomy at the end of life is of the utmost importance. For her, “death with dignity is about having control over your body. It is about having your final wishes honored. It is about leaving the world on your own terms.”

Dr. Michelle Abadir

Dr. Michelle Abadir of Rye Brook, NY

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Margaret Ervin: The Right to Self-Determination

As a hospice social worker, Margaret Ervin has worked with several patients who used the California End of Life Option Act. She believes giving them the option of a dignified death provided them with great comfort and certainty they could not have achieved otherwise. “For terminally ill patients,” Margaret told us, “death with dignity means having control and the knowledge that if things get unbearable they have the option to end their life as they see fit.”

Margaret Ervin with her dog, Reuben

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Donna Wiegle: One Final Choice

Since her cancer diagnosis, Mainer Donna Wiegle is on an “accelerated living plan,” using what time she has left to do the things she’s always wanted to do—and to advocate for death with dignity. She is working with Maine Death with Dignity on its campaign to place an assisted-dying measure on the November 2019 ballot. “I’ve never collected signatures; I’ve never done anything quite like this before,” Donna says. “But this is something I feel very passionately about. We have the power to pass a measure that ensures all Mainers have the right to die on their own terms.”

Donna Wiegle on New Bike

Donna Wiegle on her Harley

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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 with us.

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