Access current laws and information here:
Oregon’s Law – A summary:
- Ohio End of Life Options: Summary of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act & 2016 Report:
2 page summary – Since 1997 – It’s important to learn about the details of the law. There are parameters for who qualifies to use the law. People who have diagnosis that include the possibility of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease do not qualify because people need to be mentally capable adults with 6 months or less to live because of a terminal diagnosis that is corroborated by their primary physician and another physician.
Links to government websites for the laws:
- Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act & Report – Since 1997
- Washington Death with Dignity Act & Report – Since 2008
- Vermont’s Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act – Since 2013
- California’s End of Life Option Act & Report – Since 2015, implementation started June 2016
- Colorado’s End-of-Life Options Act – Voted on in 2016, implementation started Jan. 2017
- Washington D.C. Death with Dignity Act – Since 2016, implementation started July 2017
- California Academy of Family Physicians, End-of-Life Option Act, CME Activity
- Death with Dignity: A Study by the League of Women Voters of Utah (pdf):
Summary of Death with Dignity laws, including Historical Summary, Arguments for and Against legislation, Key Medical Organization Positions, Religious Positions, etc.
- How to Die in Oregon – Documentary – Winner of the 2011 Grand Jury award at the Sundance Film Festival. Incredibly powerful exploration of all sides of people using Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. Available through Netflix and libraries.
National Organizations (Please join these organizations to remain up to date and show support in Ohio):
Death with Dignity National Center – is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that:
- expands the freedom of all qualified terminally ill Americans to make their own end-of-life decisions, including how they die;
- promotes Death with Dignity laws around the United States based on the groundbreaking Oregon model;
- provides information, education, and support about Death with Dignity as an end-of-life option to patients, family members, legislators, advocates, healthcare and end-of-life care professionals, media, and the interested public.
Compassion & Choices – “nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding choice at the end of life.”
Advance Directive information:
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Hospice of the Western Reserve, Advance Directives Booklet (pdf)
LeadingAge Ohio – “Advancing Solutions for exceptional care and successful living”
Ohio Hospital Association Ohio, Advance Directive Planning Packet (pdf)
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Hospice Interview Questions – Please take the time to interview Hospice services before enrolling yourself or a loved one.
Tools for starting the conversation about end-of-life wishes:
Dr. Atul Gawande:
The Conversation Project – “dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.”
Hello – A Conversation Game for Living and Dying – “May, 2015: In a study, 74% of people who played My Gift of Grace [now Hello] went on to perform an advance care planning activity following the game”
- Roz Chast, Can’t we talk about something more Pleasant?
- Byron Chell, Aid in Dying The Ultimate Argument
- Sharona Hoffman, JD, LLM; Aging with a Plan: How a Little Thought Today Can Vastly Improve Your Tomorrow – Financial and Practical Planning, complete with check lists.
- Diane Rehm – NPR talk show host, On My Own – following the death of her husband, John, from Parkinson’s disease and her path to advocacy for medical aid-in-dying.
- Deborah Ziegler, Wild and Precious Life – A poignant memoir about Deborah’s daughter, Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 29 and moved from California to Oregon to use the Death with Dignity Act.
Yourstory Catcher, Sarah Kappus Peck – “My name is Sarah Kappus Peck. I created Yourstory Catcher because I am passionate about capturing family stories and saving them by creating custom heirloom books.”
Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED):
- Dying Wish with Dr. Michael Miller (video) – “Dying Wish is a documentary about hospice patient, Dr. Michael Miller, an eighty-year old, retired surgeon with end-stage cancer who chooses to stop eating and drinking in order not to prolong his dying process, to ease his suffering and to die with grace.”
- Phyllis Shacter, Choosing to Die A Personal Story – “Phyllis Shacter courageously shares the first personal story ever written about Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED). This memoir and guidebook follows the journey she took with her husband, Alan, once he decided to VSED so he didn’t have to live into the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”
- The VSED Exit: A Way to Speed Up Dying, Without Asking Permission, by Paula Span, The New York Times, October 21, 2016.
- VSED page on Death with Dignity’s website with some additional videos and resources.
Estate and Funeral Planning:
Family Love Letter: Information in a time of confusion
Cleveland Memorial Society: “The brief time it takes now for thoughtful planning and making a record of your wishes will become a lasting gift of your love to your family and survivors.”