Tag Archives: Ohio

Senator Charleta Tavares plans Medical Aid-in-Dying legislation in 2017

Ohio Senator Charleta Tavares (D – District 15, Assistant Minority Leader) plans to introduce legislation in 2017.

Lisa Vigil Schattinger, Liz Nuechterlein and Rev. Patricia Shelden met with her senior aide in April 2015 to bring education about Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and share Vigil Schattinger’s experience.

This article in today’s Columbus Dispatch, “Chronic pain’s emotional toll can lead to suicide,” focuses on chronic pain and its relationship to suicide because September is the extremely important Suicide Prevention Awareness month. The articles continues on to explore medical aid-in-dying.

“A debate on the controversial law could begin in Ohio as early as next year, when state Sen. Charleta Tavares, D-Columbus, plans to introduce a version of the Death with Dignity Act. She met this year with advocates for the law and is convinced people with terminal illness or those with irreversible conditions that cause them to suffer should have the option to end their life.

“It’s time to have this discussion in our state, and we shouldn’t be afraid of that,” Tavares said. “I don’t want to see people suffer. I want people to have an expiration that meets their physical needs, their spiritual needs and their families’ needs.

“If they don’t want to continue life, because of their pain, that should be their decision and their right to make it. It would help stop a lot of these horrible deaths we see where people end life with violent means, and that’s so hard on families.”

Write to Senator Tavares and your own state legislators expressing your support for a Death with Dignity style law in Ohio. Representative Nickie Antonio (D – District 13, Minority Whip) also expressed willingness to move forward with legislation.

Discussions on legislative activity in Ohio

Lisa Vigil Schattinger and her mother, Janet Rowe, presented to two fantastic groups while Janet visited from Oregon in July. In addition to Janet’s experience with her husband, Dr. Jack Rowe, using Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act in 2014, Janet is a retired RN. She currently volunteers with Compassion & Choices and has been a Hospice volunteer for 20 years, following her sister’s death from complications of breast cancer.

Janet_Rowe

First came the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church’s Elder Support Group, hosted by Paul Foster and Sally Follett. Then came the LGBT Cleveland Community Center’s SAGE Group, hosted by Mary Beth Bartholomew.

Both of these opportunities came about after introductions by Judith Allen and the Rev. Mary Grigolia. These meetings led to full and comprehensive discussions about the current state of death with dignity style laws as well as activity happening in Ohio.  Additionally, end-of-life planning topics such as advance directives, appointing healthcare proxies and the option of VSED (Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking) were explored.  The importance of open communication with loved ones, support systems and medical communities is always paramount in these discussion.