Our relationships with death, dying and the end-of-life are very personal and unique to use all. We will all meet death differently and because of this it is vital that our collective perspectives allow for countless vantage points. For many who have received or been living with terminal diagnosis, the thought of taking autonomy over “our meeting death” is vitally important yet impossible because of limited legislation, misconceptions, and taboo around Medical Aid in Dying.
In this installment of The Death and Grief Talk Podcast with The Grave Woman, I had the honor of speaking with President and CEO of Compassion and Choices Kim Callinan. Compassion and Choices improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey. Compassion and Choices also provides resources that educate and empower those diagnosed with dementia, seeking or receiving palliative care support, and initiating end-of-life conversations with health care providers and much more.
According to the Compassion and Choices website Medical Aid in Dying is a trusted and time-tested medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep. Medical aid in dying is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “assisted physician suicide,” “physician aid in dying,” “death with dignity,” and “euthanasia.” Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide, suicide, or euthanasia. These terms are misleading and factually incorrect.
To be eligible for aid-in-dying medication, an individual must meet all four criteria:
In addition to the strict eligibility criteria these laws establish the following core safeguards:
These core safeguards ensure that individual patient preferences, needs and values are honored, and guide all clinical decisions, including the decision to use medical aid in dying. Society benefits when medical aid in dying laws are implemented -- benefits that help everybody -- regardless of whether one decides to access the law:
The work that Compassion and Choices is able to do for others depends on the support from our supporters and donors. To learn more, click here. To give your support click here.
Ways to listen on the go:
Anchor FM https://anchor.fm/deathandgrieftalk
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our contact page.