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Volunteer Highlight: Shana Sadoski, MSW, LSW

Shana Sadoski has joined us as a Community Coordinator in the Toledo area. She has just completed her Masters of Social Work program and will complete her Masters of Public Health program in December. She is a Licensed Social Worker experienced in the hospital setting and is a hospice volunteer as well.

While completing her Masters degrees, Shana worked as an intern with a local nonprofit organization on a grant-funded program created to meet the growing need for end-of-life conversations. This program is the Respecting Choices project. Respecting Choicesis an internationally recognized, evidence-based model of advance care planning (ACP) that creates a healthcare culture of person-centered care; care that honors an individual’s goals and values for current and future healthcare.”

Shana says, “My passion for end-of-life care comes through personal experiences and volunteering with local hospices. These experiences have motivated me to educate people on the importance of conversations about end-of-life wishes. Whether a healthy adult or a terminally ill person, we all have a choice in how our health care is coordinated. Those decisions should not be hindered but be respected in every state in our great country. I am so thankful my Google search for Ohio End of Life Options brought me to Lisa and the whole team that works incredibly hard to spread the word about end-of-life options for Ohioans. I am proud to work with such passionate people, and look forward to moving this conversation along!”

Ohio End of Life Options is excited that Shana is joining us to help start the conversation about medical aid-in-dying in the Toledo area. Shana has already spoken to legislators about a Death with Dignity law and will bring great experience and knowledge to the discussion.


Sign up now to join Ohio End of LIfe Options

I am remembering Dr. Jack Rowe, or Grandpa Jack as he was known in our family. By sharing our experience on, I wanted to start the conversation about a Death with Dignity law in Ohio. Our group is working toward that. Sign up on our website, to join us in our efforts.

A loved one ends his life with the help of the Death with Dignity law: Lisa Vigil Schattinger (opinion), cleveland. com, December 9, 2014

Focus Group – We want your Opinion!

Register by June 7. One lucky winner per session will win a $50 Amazon gift card

We are recruiting individuals from all walks of life for two focus groups in the Cleveland area. You will be providing your opinion on a series of images and messaging statements related to medical aid in dying and the mission and goals of Ohio End of Life Options.

Cleveland East-June 13th at 7:00pm
Cleveland West-June 14th at 7:00pm

Each group will last approximately two hours.

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW for more information and to apply as a participant.

“I would like a compassionate death.” But what does that mean?

Last week, board member Molly McMahon Graziano and I traveled to the Youngstown area to meet retired Rev. Jim Ray and his wife, Sue Anzelotti. We had corresponded quite a bit and Jim and Sue have said that they would like to help bring attention to Ohio End of Life Options’ cause. However, when we all sat down to talk, I quickly realized that we needed to define the terms we were using. Since the terminology surrounding end-of-life wishes can be quite euphemistic, I needed to make sure that we were all discussing the same things.

So when Sue said, “I would like a compassionate death”. I said, “Please tell me what that means to you”. Sue had a broad definition of what “compassionate death” meant. She referred to their experience with friends at the end of life who took control by not eating or drinking while suffering from debilitating illnesses (formally called Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking, VSED). Continue reading

Volunteer Highlight: Jessica Edelstein

Jessica contacted Ohio End of Life Options a few months ago asking how she could get involved. As president of Case Western Reserve University’s Student Health Law Group, she’s already helped start the discussion about medical aid in dying among her colleagues. Ohio End of Life Options is excited about the skills and talents Jessica brings to our organization.

I asked Jessica to share what’s brought her to this cause and she says,

“I am a Cleveland native currently in my second year of law school at Case Western Reserve University, focusing in healthcare law. I became a supporter of Death with Dignity about three years ago when I learned about Brittany Maynard’s experience. Brittany’s story especially resonated with me because I had recently lost my grandfather to a long battle with throat cancer. Learning about something that I know would have made my grandfather’s experience easier made me want to work to educate more people about Death with Dignity laws and hopefully help to bring similar legislation to Ohio one day. When I found Ohio End of Life Options online a few months ago I immediately jumped at the opportunity to work with an organization whose values so closely aligned with mine.”

Advanced Planning with Mom

By Lisa Vigil Schattinger, MSN, RN
December 14, 2016

The day before Thanksgiving, my mother and I were in the small room that serves as her office. Vibrant reminders of friends and family who’ve died surrounded us. There were also mementos from her trips afar, as well as things that she loves for her own special reasons. It’s a distilled sample of all that makes my mother who she is.

In my mind, we were there for a couple of reasons. One was because, since starting Ohio End of Life Options, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we have been talking to a lot of people about filling out their advance directives and appointing a healthcare power of attorney. We had realized that we needed to make sure we were walking the talk and have all of our own paperwork in order.

The other reason was to honor my mother, Janet Rowe. Continue reading

Ohio Senator Seitz wants to make assisting suicide a felony

HB 470 sponsored by Senator Seitz of Cincinnati passed in the Ohio Senate on 12/8. (see article below)

However, Death with Dignity laws that legalize medical aid in dying are not considered suicide. Under these laws, a mentally competent, terminally ill adult requests and then ingests a lethal dose of medication made available through a doctor’s prescription. Their terminal illness must be confirmed by another doctor and any concern about mental illness must be evaluated by a mental health specialist. A person does not qualify solely because of age or disability. They may change their mind at any time. Please take the time to research death with dignity laws to understand this option: Death with Dignity National Center.

  • In Oregon, less than 1,000 people have chosen this option since it went into effect in 1997. Of the people who’ve received the prescription, 1/3 never used it. It seems to provide comfort in having a sense of control.
  • The greatest number of people who have used it had a terminal form of cancer. The second biggest user group had ALS.
  • 90% of the people were enrolled in hospice care (compared to 46% of medicare users nation wide) and 94% died at home.

Take a moment to learn the facts about the laws in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California and soon in Colorado.

Ohio lawmakers consider making assisted suicide a felony
by Jeremy Pelzer,, December 9, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers are considering legislation that would for the first time impose criminal penalties for assisted suicide in the state.

House Bill 470, which may face a final Senate vote on Thursday, would make knowingly assisting in a suicide a third-degree felony in Ohio, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Currently, Ohio law only permits a court to issue an injunction against anyone helping other people to kill themselves.

If the Senate passes the bill on Thursday – expected to be the last day of the  legislative session – it would head to Gov. John Kasich for his signature. The measure passed the Ohio House 92-5 last May.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, the Cincinnati Republican who authored HB 470, said the legislation mirrors Michigan’s 1998 ban on assisted suicide, which was passed in response to Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s well-publicized campaign to help more than 130 terminally ill patients end their own lives.

Seitz said he wasn’t aware of anyone in Ohio who has or intends to assist in suicides. But he said HB 470 was introduced partially in response to concerns over a different bill on end-of-life care that some abortion opponents worried would be the first step toward legalizing assisted suicide in Ohio.

“We do believe in the MOLST bill,” Seitz said, referring to the other bill, which seeks to create the Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. “But we also are firmly against assisted suicide. And how can we prove it to you? We’re going to make it a felony of the third degree if you do it.”

News Report helps explain Death with Dignity law: featuring the Rowe family and founder of Ohio End of Life Options

Nov. 7, 2016: Reporter Megan Allison of CBS affiliate station, KTVL News 10, in Medford, Oregon interviewed Ohio End of Life Options’ founder, Lisa Vigil Schattinger, and her family about their experience with Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. The video is in 2 parts. Vigil Schattinger appears briefly in part 2.
Death with Dignity: The Rowe Family (4.5 min.)
Death with Dignity, part 2: the roots of physician-assisted dying in Oregon (3 min)