By Ann Jackson, former CEO of the Oregon Hospice Association
December 3, 2020
I have not always supported the option of medical aid in dying. As CEO of the Oregon Hospice Association, I opposed the original ballot measure to pass the Oregon Death with Dignity Act in 1994. At the time, I truly believed that hospice could manage every symptom and need of a dying person.
Over time, however, I realized for some people with terminal illness, having the option of death with dignity provides not only a means to end suffering, but a way to maintain autonomy and control at the end of life.
One of those people was my fiancé, Bill.
Bill died last November, and I am still bereft. But I take comfort in the fact that he was able to receive excellent hospice care and to access the Oregon law when he decided it was his time to go.
All of us deserve the right to die on our own terms, as Bill did. That is why I support Death with Dignity National Center’s efforts to ensure everyone has access to humane end-of-life options.
Death with Dignity National Center has led this movement for more than a quarter century.
Please join me in making a contribution to help sustain this critical work for years to come.