End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

RIP Gus Reichbach, a true champion for justiceby Barbara

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Our friend Gus Reichbach died this week. We at Compassion & Choices met him about a year ago, when he was eager to tell the story of his battle with pancreatic cancer. He had already survived more years of brutal cancer treatment than one would think possible. In spite of weakness and pain he still dressed smartly and took his place on the New York judicial bench each day. Dedicated to the justice system, he preferred to tackle the pressing matters at court than succumb to the malignancy attacking his abdomen.

Gus was a campaigner for social justice in many arenas, and as his life waned he adopted two new passions for his advocacy voice. One was medical marijuana, to which he attributed his appetite, strength and longevity. The other was end-of-life choice, which he hoped to exercise if death became imminent and suffering intense. He visited the Dr. Oz show with us, expressed his view on aid in dying and displayed his characteristic dignity and intellect. Who could argue with such a clear, compelling and compassionate mind?

Goodbye Gus. You were a gift to humankind, a force for justice and an uncommonly courageous man.