posted a letter to the editor today submitted by our founder Lisa Vigil Schattinger.

Show your support today by commenting on the article directly at

Also today, Maine’s Death with Dignity law went into effect. This is a great chance to contact your legislators to let them know that Ohioans also want this option. It will take you less than 2 minutes. Click here. The letter is already written (you may add personal thoughts if you would like) and it will send automatically to your state senator and representative.

This is the letter as it appeared September 18 on

Jon Meacham, in his essay in the Aug. 25 Plain Dealer on the HBO documentary, “Alternate Endings,” (“The new way to die in America”), emphasized how Americans are beginning to assert their own power over the dying process. One of the people featured in the documentary, Dick Shannon, terminally ill and out of treatment options, used California’s medical aid in dying law to control the timing of his death. He knew he had less than six months to live, as certified by two physicians. He said, ”I’ve accepted the fact that I’m dying . . . There’s nothing I can do to stop it. Planning the final days of my life gives me a sense of participation and satisfaction.” He later ingested a prescription drug in his own home, told his family members he loved them all, fell asleep and died peacefully. My stepfather, after enrolling in hospice, had a very similar experience when he used Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.

Twenty-two percent of Americans live in states where they can obtain medical assistance with dying. But Ohioans cannot, even though a recent poll showed that a majority of Ohioans, regardless of religion or political party, want the option. The General Assembly should act to give Ohioans access to all health care options at the end of life.

Lisa Vigil Schattinger

Shaker Heights

Lisa Vigil Schattinger is founder and executive director of Ohio End of Life Options.

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