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Weeks 51 & 52/2019 in the Death with Dignity Movement

December 30, 2019

In the final two weeks of 2019:

  • Advocates in Florida and New York urged lawmakers to pass a death with dignity law in their state.
  • The Vermont Department of Health released its latest report on utilization of the state’s death with dignity law.
  • A trio of friends drove hundreds of miles across Wisconsin to deliver Christmas cards to a man dying of terminal cancer.

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Florida: “Death with dignity statute sorely needed,” Citrus County Chronicle, 12/16/2019

“Florida is the state with the largest population older than 65, at 20%, and yet we have no death with dignity statutes, as do 10 states with fewer older-aged citizens,” notes Florida resident Ellen B. Miller. “We need to pressure our state legislators to bring this to our state.”

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New York: “Letter: Urge lawmakers to vote for Medical Aid in Dying Act,” Buffalo News, 12/17/2019

Our friend David C. Leven, End of Life Choices New York’s director emeritus, makes the case for lawmakers to pass the proposed Medical Aid in Dying Act, noting “The New York State Academy of Family Physicians supports the Medical Aid in Dying Act, as do doctors across the state by a 3 to 1 margin according to a 2018 poll.”

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Vermont: “Report outlines number of Vermonters using state’s aid-in-dying law,” 12/26/2019

The report shows from July 2017 to June 2019, a total of 28 people used the Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act. As in every state that has adopted an assisted dying statute, Vermont’s law has been used sparingly and has provided qualified dying individuals with an option that allows them to have a peaceful death. Read the full report here.

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Wisconsin: “Friends Deliver Christmas Cards to Dying Stranger,” People.com, 12/16/2019

Wisconsin resident Gene Weitenhiller was running out of time. Dying of terminal cancer, he shared his final wish with a local TV station: to receive as many Christmas cards as possible from loved ones and people he’d never met. A trio of friends who read Gene’s story online took it upon themselves to drive hours to his house to deliver their holiday cheer in person. Read the heartwarming story here.

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