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.
Not every doctor gets an extended view of what his or her patients experience, and some who do fail to get the message. But one who did -- and has shared both the experience and its message(s) is a recently recovered friend and end-of-life issues colleague .
While at face value these issues may seem hard to talk about, once you get started, you'll likely find yourself engaged in an intimate conversation with people you really care about, something precious in of itself that is not too common in today's world.
Will a few states rule the United States? Or fundamentally change it? And if so, who are the winners and losers? Depending on your point of view, this "laboratory-of-the-states" business is good news today... or not.
Aggressive plans to legalize death with dignity are underway in several other states. Most supporters -- this writer included -- believe it will only take a few more until the movement for compassion, autonomy and justice at life's end becomes a right to everyone in the U.S.
Last Wednesday, March 20, the Connecticut Assembly's Public Health Committee began its consideration of a bill modeled after Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. My heart swelled as I sat with them and heard the witness of these decent, altruistic, dedicated people.
If you are disgusted at the sorry condition of our political contests and tempted to let this Election Day pass without registering a vote, please don't. Think on your sacred freedoms and know how fragile they are.
People of conscience weigh key moral issues. They study and struggle with the questions at hand. They engage in a lifetime effort to develop the fine-tuned moral sensitivity needed to understand deeply Church teaching on critical issues.
In spite of decades working with the dying and bereaved families, my familiarity with end-of-life choices, death and grief was now staring me in the face, reflecting the image of the woman who gave birth to me.
Curtis Johnson, a 55-year-old business man and educator who suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis otherwise known as ALS, finds that even though he lives in Washington he cannot get the assistance he needs to end his suffering when the time comes.
Eighteen years ago, Dr. Peter Goodwin led the fight to grant Oregonians the right to end-of-life choice. Terminally ill with a rare, fatal brain disease with no known cure, Peter exercised the right to a peaceful death he helped secure.