Positive Aging SourceBook
Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 03/10/2022

Ethical and Practical Considerations Regarding End of Life Decisions


A live discussion that explores the ethical and practical considerations regarding the right to end our lives on our own terms. Special focus will be given to understanding what is a “Good Death” and how to achieve one within the US end-of-life care system.

Gary Wederspahn has been an active supporter of the Death-with-Dignity movement since the 1980s with the Hemlock Society. He is a board member of Final Exit Network (FEN), a leading national right-to-die organization that grewout of the Hemlock Society, and he is also a member of Compassion & Choices and Exit International.

Questions Asked

  • Are you familiar with the new Bill C-7 in Canada which apparently no longer requires a 6-month death sentence and allows doctors the option of providing a prescription for pentobarbitol OR do a direct injection. If this is not correct, please clarify, if you can.
  • Just wondering what happened and what was outcome of law suit filed against the organization we think you called the organization Final Exit?
  • I live in a state that does not provide death with dignity (PA). Other than moving to one of the 10 states that offers this, what can I do to ensure I die on my own terms?
  • So do your supporting people come to person’s location when advance directive wishes are not being honored and respected? EXIT Guide Counselors how are they available? Oh, you say there is an application  process?
  • Can he provide an update on the lawsuit in California in which unfortunately they did not loosen the qualifications for Medical Aid in Dying
  • Can you speak more about the requirements that prevent people from medical aid in dying?
  • ONe of the challenges with DC right to die is finding a pharamcy that will provide the drugs. Any suggestions.
  • What would you recommend as a starting resource for family members who are unsupportive?
  • MOLST Medical Orders Life Sustaining Treatment … Pink Form on Refrigerator posted any resources help with keeping emergency responders from taking you to hospital if MOLST form expresses your wishes not to be taken to hospital or receive interventions and heroic treatment measures…thank you so much

Chat Transcript

12:04:18     From  Patricia Dubroof : Patricia Dubroof,  Director of Community Relations at Assisting Hands Home Care, 301-363-2587 pdubroof@assistinghands.com   We provide excellent certified nursing aids for our clients at home or in a community. We help educate our community in home care and aging well with online learning programs. We have years of resources to share and love working with families to improve their quality of life.  Call me to learn more. 301-363-2587. Looking forward to meeting with you 1:1

12:04:52     From  Adele Logan-Galen : Good afternoon everyone!  Really looking forward to this discussion.  Adele from Smooth Move Managers; 571-230-5702

12:06:05     From  Niel Rosen : Hi I’m Niel Rosen.  I’m an ethicist, attorney and former medical school professor with a specialty in advance care planning.  Feel free to reach out. I’d be glad to hear from you, and learn what’s on your mind.  NielRosenEsq@outlook.com

12:06:06     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Gary Wederspahn <gary@intercultural-help.com>

12:07:24     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Sheila Bassoppo-Moyo to Everyone 12:02 PM

Sheila Bassoppo-Moyo, Healthcare Coordinator, St. Louis Area Agency on Aging

12:08:42     From  Susan Albert : Good afternoon, I'm a retired physician, spouse to a Parkinson's patient, daughter of an 87 year old mother and supporter of Compassion and Choices.

12:10:30     From  mary busse : An acquaintance of mine sums it up very well....we are not extending life but prolonging death.

12:10:37     From  Patricia Dubroof : I have been facilitating Death Café for over two years. We talk about practical death and dying issues, advanced directives, wills, legacy and more. Death doula's, cleansing death, etc.

12:11:45     From  Valoria Walker   to   Hosts and panelists : Valoria Walker Doula by Destiny End of life doula. www.doulabydestiny.com. Glad we are comfortable with talking about death and dying today.

12:11:49     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Final Exit Book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Exit

12:12:57     From  Elva Roy : I recommend subscribing to The Good Death Society Blog. Excellent updates on this topic monthly.

12:12:58     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : On amazon https://www.amazon.com/s?k=final+exit+book&gclid=CjwKCAiA4KaRBhBdEiwAZi1zzlzNPCYiGJ8HG8fo3ITEK7i2wZ5-Jz6f89tNsEgcIqWZ2qUf-YWi7xoCtBkQAvD_BwE&hvadid=241905113701&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9008156&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=14068630422891440775&hvtargid=kwd-1565523381&hydadcr=22534_10344589&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_931dve19th_e

12:13:02     From  Patricia Dubroof : A good story that makes for great conversations about death by choice/diginity. The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

12:13:37     From  Valoria Walker : Valoria Walker End of life doula. www.doulabydestiny.com. Glad to be here today.

12:15:32     From  Barbara Green   to   Hosts and panelists : Barbara Green, volunteer legislative outreach worker for Compassion & Choices.  Glad to see you publicizing this topic.

12:16:13     From  Elva Roy : I also recommend Amy Bloom's new book "InLove: A Memoir of Love and Loss." She describes her journey to Zurich to take advantage of the Dignitas service for her husband (architect) who was diagnosed with dementia.

12:16:42     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Barbara Green to All Panelists 12:15 PM

Barbara Green, volunteer legislative outreach worker for Compassion & Choices.  Glad to see you publicizing this topic.

12:17:07     From  Susan Albert : I recommend Barbara Coombs Lee's book: Finish Strong.

12:17:25     From  Shirley Paul : Shirley Paul, Grief Counselor, Hospice

12:17:32     From  Patricia Dubroof : Death Café is on zoom. 3/23/22 at 7pm. RSVP by emailing me: pdubroof@assistinghands.com

12:23:08     From  Cedar Dvorin : If docs think that way they can join together & make demands of the hospital CEO's (or whoever is in charge) - "Not my fault" is not a good excuse unless they've made a very strong effort. If the polls are correct, they ought to be able to push for changes with the AMA & other doctors' orgs.

12:24:58     From  Dixcy Bosley   to   Hosts and panelists : The Ukrainians are teaching the world how hard it is to fight for freedoms and rights of self determination.   We can not give up on the fight in this country to defend choices with birth and death. Keep the conversation alive . Soon EOL choices will be legal across the land. Excellent program, Gary !!!

12:25:40     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Website for Final Exit Network https://finalexitnetwork.org/

12:26:04     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Gary Wederspahn <gary@intercultural-help.com>

12:26:31     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Compassion & Choices Website https://www.compassionandchoices.org/

12:27:27     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : International End of Life Doula Association https://inelda.org/

12:28:17     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : National Association for Home Care & Hospice https://www.nahc.org/

12:28:52     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Hospice Foundation https://hospicefoundation.org/

12:29:40     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization https://www.nhpco.org/

12:30:10     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : info@finalexitnetwork.org for a free annual membership

12:30:18     From  Althea Halchuck : Hi Everyone, I am Althea Halchuck, Final Exit's Surrogate Consultant. I help FEN members enforce advance directives for the patient. My services are free to all members!! Check out the website for more info: . https://finalexitnetwork.org/surrogate-consultant/

12:31:53     From  Elva Roy : I referred a friend to Final Exit Network. He successfully used their services, including having 2 Guides to who flew in to be with him during his process. Everything went smoothly. Very sad to lose him but it's what I would want for myself under the same conditions.

12:32:12     From  Patricia Dubroof : Voice My Choicehttps://voicemychoice.org

12:32:30     From  Patricia Dubroof : Great prompts for creating a digital advanced directive.

12:32:58     From  Althea Halchuck : https://finalexitnetwork.org/supplemental-advance-directive-for-dementia-care/  SADD dementia addendum

12:34:50     From  Patricia Dubroof : Thanks Gary! Great history and resource.

12:38:10     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : How to Get the Death You Want: A Practical and Moral Guide https://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Death-You-Want/dp/0942679407

12:38:53     From  Laura Heinrich   to   Hosts and panelists : How can I save all the info in the chat?

12:39:47     From  Susan Albert : I live in a state that does not provide death with dignity (PA). Other than moving to one of the 10 states that offers this, what can I do to ensure I die on my own terms?

12:40:08     From  Dixcy Bosley   to   Hosts and panelists : Extreme Measures : Finding a Better Path to End of Life. By Dr Jessica Zitter..  The book is a confession of physician who evolved  from ICU to Palliative care director  after witnessing so much senseless  and expensive suffering.   Many of my patients  still hold the physicians opinion as gospel.. Find a doctor who represents your choices  about not prolonging death and respect patient -directed care to prolong “living” even at end of life.

12:41:16     From  Patricia Dubroof : love that phrase! Talking about death won't make you dead.

12:41:28     From  Sue Maddox : Excellent presentation I have always advocated for peaceful end of life issues. Thank You

12:41:41     From  Arlene Polangin : My adult son, aged 54, says I'm being morbid by talking about how to prepare for my death. I just turned 82.

12:42:39     From  Arlene Polangin : I have Advance Directives, Medical Power of Attorney and a Will.

12:44:14     From  Valoria Walker : We are dying every day rather we talk about it or not. Why plan at the end of life when we can plan now to have a better end of life.

12:45:22     From  hoff   to   Hosts and panelists : recent studies have shown that advance directives are often not effective- some are using video recordings of advance directives

12:49:17     From  hoff   to   Hosts and panelists : Compassion andChoices can help with pharmacy recommendations and doctor recommendations

12:49:20     From  Dixcy Bosley : FORS and GRUBBS in DC .

12:49:47     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Dixcy Bosley to All Panelists 12:40 PM

Extreme Measures : Finding a Better Path to End of Life. By Dr Jessica Zitter..  The book is a confession of physician who evolved  from ICU to Palliative care director  after witnessing so much senseless  and expensive suffering.   Many of my patients  still hold the physicians opinion as gospel.. Find a doctor who represents your choices  about not prolonging death and respect patient -directed care to prolong “living” even at end of life.

12:50:35     From  Patricia Dubroof : Invite your family to challenge each other to get these done! - everyone over 18 yrs should have an advanced directive.

12:50:36     From  Arlene Polangin : Dixcy what pharmacy in MD.  I'm with Kaiser.  Will the Kaiser pharmacy give me the drugs if I want them?

12:51:59     From  Dixcy Bosley : Law has not passed in MD.  YET!!!  But  finding providers  and pharmacists and supportive hospices in MDafter the law is passed will the the next challenge.

12:52:13     From  Arlene Polangin : My PCP is Greek Orthodist.  I have to ask her.  She has my advance directives.

12:52:23     From  Cedar Dvorin : That's the problem with religion- people pushing their beliefs on others.

12:53:25     From  Dixcy Bosley : Recommend selecting a POA who does not want you to live forever…  Love means letting you die on YOUR terms

12:53:36     From  Patricia Dubroof : We got close to passing the law with 50/50 split in the senate. It would be great to push this into law!!!

12:53:41     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : chat will be posted with the recording this afternoon at this link https://www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com/digital-discussions

12:54:11     From  Arlene Polangin : That should have said Greek Orthodox. I have to talk to her....I just saw her Monday this week.

12:54:19     From  Niel Rosen : An advance directive and the appointment of agent for health care decision are important steps.  There is no substitute for thinking and talking about what makes your life worth living.  When I taught ethics to medical students, I talked about a tipping  point. I told them to learn from their patients about their good days and bad days.  When someone doesn’t have enough good days to endure the bad days, then the relief of suffering should be the primary goal of medical care, not the prolongation of life.

12:54:28     From  Karen Dotson : A short documentary by Dr. Jessica Zitter can be found on Netflix, it is called Extremis.

12:54:39     From  Barbara Green : Contact your legislator in Virginia and tell him or her that you want Medical Aid in Dying to pass!  We need one more vote in the Senate!

12:55:09     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Refrigerator posted any resources help with keeping emergency responders from taking you to hospital if MOLST form expresses your wishes not to be taken to hospital or receive interventions and heroic treatment measures…thank you so much

12:55:22     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : MOLST Medical Orders Life Sustaining Treatment … Pink Form on Refrigerator posted any resources help with keeping emergency responders from taking you to hospital if MOLST form expresses your wishes not to be taken to hospital or receive interventions and heroic treatment measures…thank you so much

12:55:23     From  hoff   to   Hosts and panelists : recent studies have shown that advance directives are often not effective- some are using video recordings of advance directives

12:55:38     From  Niel Rosen : POST is the form in DC. They are very important and can work as do not hospitalise orders.

12:55:43     From  Elva Roy : THANK YOU, STEVE, FOR THESE EXCELLENT SESSIONS THAT YOU HOST ON ALL KINDS OF ISSUES IMPORTANT TO US "OLDER ADULTS." SO APPRECIATE YOU FOR ARRANGING THESE!!

12:55:47     From  Dixcy Bosley : Contact Compassion and Choices to get involved  with MD and VA law.  We need  end of life activists!!!  Rights just don’t happen, we have to fight for them and then fight to keep them.   VA Governor  will set the cause way back.   RESIST

12:56:39     From  mary busse : Fairfax County provides a File of Life with all the medical directive info to be on the frig.  I understand that is the first place first responders will look for that info.

12:56:50     From  Natalee Oliver : Oh, no. I am in Texas and thought it just started at noon my time. Can I get this recording?

12:57:00     From  Karen Dotson : It is also POST in Virginia  www.virginiapost.org

12:57:32     From  Susan Albert : How can I find MOLST in PA?

12:57:45     From  Barbara Green : I agree with Dixcy.  Compassion & Choices is actively looking for more volunteers in Virginia to try to get this legislation passed.

12:57:46     From  Niel Rosen   to   Hosts and panelists : https://dchealth.dc.gov/most

12:57:51     From  Niel Rosen   to   Hosts and panelists : polst.org

12:58:05     From  Elva Roy : I booked the General Counsel of Final Exit Network to fly from FL to TX to speak to my Ambassadors For Aging Well group + 2 other venues. Excellent presentation. No cost to my non-profit.

12:58:05     From  Niel Rosen : https://dchealth.dc.gov/most.

12:58:09     From  Niel Rosen : Polst.org

12:58:21     From  Karen Dotson : Pennsylvania POLST https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/EMS/DOH%20POLST%20Form%20English.pdf

12:58:27     From  Dixcy Bosley   to   Hosts and panelists : Amazing job today Steve and Gary… This is my favorite topic.  As you know. !

12:58:38     From  Barbara Marple   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you, Gary and Steve, for this informative session.

12:58:44     From  Susan Albert : Thanks Karen!

12:59:02     From  Laurie Ferreri   to   Hosts and panelists : Wonderful thank you!

12:59:06     From  Lois Rosado   to   Hosts and panelists : Excellent information.  Glad I tuned in

12:59:14     From  Niel Rosen : The New Jersey POLST form is the best.  It is person-entered.

12:59:16     From  Niel Rosen : https://www.state.nj.us/health/advancedirective/polst/

12:59:33     From  Karen Reever : Thank you so much.  My biggest fear is helplessly watching my husband struggle at the end of dementia.


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