I have been invited to speak to a class at the University of Cincinnati on Thursday, March 7. Molly McMahon Graziano and I look forward to putting together additional speaking opportunities and meetings while we are in town. We would appreciate your introductions to interested groups in the area. So far we have given presentations and led small round-table discussions at major healthcare systems. We’ve talked to Rotary groups and to faith communities. We’ve also been invited by constituents to talk with their legislators and we’ve had coffee with book groups.
By having great conversations about Death with Dignity laws and the lessons learned from the states with these laws, we are creating an informed community of support for legislation in Ohio. Please contact Molly McMahon Graziano, MollyMG@OhioOptions.org, with speaking and fundraising opportunities.
National News and Events
As progress is made nationally, it’s important to keep up to date on current events around the United States. Follow our Facebook page: Ohio End of Life Options for news that is updated regularly.
Hawai’i’s Our Care Our Choice Act went into effect on January 1, 2019. Its state health organization has made efforts to ensure that people and their doctors understand and can access the option. Activist and terminal cancer patient, John Radcliffe has gone on record as the first Hawaiian to request the prescription. Read more in Hawaii Medical Aid In Dying Law Now In Effect, Guidance Issued.
Anne Klein advocated for the District of Columbia’s Death with Dignity Act. On Christmas Eve, she became the first person to use the law. Her story is shared in The Washington Post’s article, She fought cancer and Congress for D.C.’s right-to-die law. Would she be able to use it?. This also tells the story about how “Council member Brandon T. Todd (D-Ward 4) had been a firm “no” on the bill until he met Klein.” Meeting and connecting with Klein helped him understand the importance of having options when terminally ill and he ended up voting yes on the bill.
Psychiatry Today published a good continuing education article entitled, Medical Aid in Dying: Ethical and Practical Issues for Psychiatrists, on December 20. Unfortunately, while it is listed as one of their most clicked upon articles, the information about the status of California’s End of Life Option Act is out of date. As of November 2018, California’s law is in place after a court ruling overturned a previous decision to put it on hold pending a legal challenge. I have written to the editors to ask that the information be updated. Since California is the most populous state in the nation it’s critical that doctors there, and everywhere, are getting the correct information.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year! We are looking forward to connecting with you this year.
Lisa Vigil Schattinger, MSN, RN