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Compassion Choices

Why Diane Rehm's New Book Is A Must-Read

Trish Vradenburg | Posted 05.13.2016 | Fifty
Trish Vradenburg

Diane Rehm, the treasured NPR host of The Diane Rehm Show and friend to UsAgainstAlzheimer's, has written a deeply personal, profoundly moving, incredibly honest book about her life before and after her husband's death.

Cancer Is My Prison, and Intolerable Suffering Is My Sentence

Miguel Carrasquillo | Posted 05.11.2016 | Latino Voices
Miguel Carrasquillo

I have lived with the reality of a premature death for more than four years. Today, I live with blackouts, blindness, convulsions and more. Aside from these horrific symptoms, I live in constant fear of even worse days that lie ahead. What crime did I commit to be forced to die this way?

What A Person In Pain Really Needs

O, The Oprah Magazine | Pam Masin | Posted 04.25.2016 | OWN

You can't assume you know what's going on. Find a compassionate way to ask. Don't start sentences with "you" -- it will put her on the defensive. So r...

Death With Dignity Advocates Say Most Catholic Voters Support The Right To Die

The Huffington Post | Kira Brekke | Posted 07.13.2015 | Religion

A proposed bill in California that would have allowed terminally ill patients the right to die failed to advance last week, and its failure has been l...

Physician-Assisted Dying: Honest Choices

Steve Heilig | Posted 07.06.2016 | Politics
Steve Heilig

Physician-assisted dying is a complex and emotional issue. Here is a new perspective done with a leading physician with much direct experience - and who has quit one of his professional medical associations due to their lack of integrity on the topic.

Choosing a Better Death

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 05.12.2016 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

The movement toward "good" death - legalized medical aid in dying - has been growing for decades in the U.S., but has been gaining momentum and attention in recent months.

Dying in the Fix-It Society

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 06.08.2015 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Co-founder, in 1987, of the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in the U.S., Ostaseski currently heads the Metta Institute, created to provide education and training on spirituality in dying.

Death, Dying & the Grey Zone

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 04.10.2015 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Death-and-dying usually goes with I-don't-want-to-talk about-it. Katy Butler wants us to talk about it. She worries, though, about the culture of death-denial, and about the lack of language when we do try to talk.

The Right to Die

Jennifer Wolfe | Posted 03.29.2015 | Politics
Jennifer Wolfe

Why can't we offer dignity to those that know they are dying, that know that they will die in excruciating pain and will spend their last days suffering? Why can't we respect the wishes of those who want to exit gracefully, respectfully, surrounded by those they love?

Saying Goodbye, and Hello to 2015

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 03.01.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Fran Moreland Johns

My friend M has died, just shy of the old year's end and significantly decreasing the joy of the new. But her dying was full of life lessons about saying goodbye, being grateful and trying to ring in a better planet for the days ahead.

Good Death vs. Doctor Knows Best

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 12.16.2014 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Perhaps doctors will eventually all be adequately trained in pain management and palliative care. But even then -- and "then" is a very long way off -- must the doctor always know best? Why can't I, the patient, the person facing my own dying, be the one in control?

The Moral Imperative in End-of-Life Choice Looks Different Now

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 09.17.2014 | Good News
Barbara Coombs Lee

For those of us grounded in end-of-life care and choice, the earth shook this week. Did you feel it? The shaking hasn't stopped, but the religious foundation from which aid-in-dying opponents build their strength cracked.

We Listen. We Care.

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 01.16.2012 | Impact
Barbara Coombs Lee

Leaders in the care of patients who face serious and life-limiting illness have designated November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, pro...

Let's Stop Paying For Unwanted Treatment At Life's End

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 08.09.2011 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

It is well documented that although advance directives are offered and included in the medical chart -- as the law requires -- in the end they are usually ignored.

Sierra Vista Chooses Community Over Catholicism

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 06.04.2011 | Religion
Barbara Coombs Lee

An increasingly conservative hierarchy is flexing its muscle and leaving hospitals with a stark choice: buckle under pressure from Catholic authority or break the shackles of Vatican oversight.

Medical Society of New York Fights Palliative Care Information Act Despite Mounting Evidence

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Barbara Coombs Lee

A new bill instructs physicians to discuss a prognosis with seriously ill patients and ask if they would like information on hospice, palliative care and appropriate end-of-life options.

The Crime of Assisting a Suicide

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

Let's be clear. Our movement for end-of-life choice does not condone assisted suicide, and it never has.

Hobson's Choice

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Barbara Coombs Lee

Today family, friends and neighbors who loved Joan and Thomas Vanacore are grieving their tragic deaths and wondering how it might have been different...

Bishops vs. Patients' Rights

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

I have written how recent changes to Ethical and Religious Directive (ERD) Number 58 compel Catholic hospitals and nursing homes to either disregard y...

Ruth Proskauer Smith's Death Honors the Life she Led

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Barbara Coombs Lee

Ruth Proskauer Smith, a friend and an activist for individual autonomy, died last night, closing her life in the manner she had wished for, planned fo...

The Conversation

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

Patients who had talked with their doctors experienced a more peaceful, pain-free end of life than those tethered to the tubes and machines meant to extend their lives.

New HHS "Conscience" Rule Jeopardizes End-of-Life Pain Care

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Barbara Coombs Lee

This ill-conceived rule will surely obstruct and delay good care in many instances, increasing the suffering of dying patients and their loved ones.