End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Volunteer Spotlight: Revathi A-Davidsonby Sonja

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“When you grow up in India, people just die. They die! It’s okay to die. Here, it seems like such a taboo subject,” says Albuquerque volunteer Revathi A-Davidson. Revathi moved to the United States in 1969 and worked in healthcare for 34 years before taking on an active role with Compassion & Choices New Mexico last January. “I feel very strongly about this issue having seen the ICU, having seen adult medical patients – who are mostly elderly, you know, with multi-system involvement – where I wish families could let go and that patients knew more.”

Now as co-chair of the Compassion & Choices New Mexico executive council, Revathi facilitates local meetings, responds to questions from the media, writes as many articles as she can and does even more reading: “I want to make sure I’m fully conversant with the issue, and really on top of the information and literature and all the many aspects of it. One thing I would like to help people understand is that Compassion & Choices is not just about aid in dying. It’s about end-of-life consultation and issues, hospice, palliative care, advance directives, and also aid in dying as one way they can exercise choice. It’s an entire gamut of services; aid in dying is one more that we would like to bring to New Mexico.”

Revathi attended the recent trial in Albuquerque for our Morris v. New Mexico case, which would establish legal aid in dying in the state, and feels optimistic about the outcome: “We have some absolutely progressive healthcare legislation here, so I’m very hopeful. And if I can lend some effort toward making this legal in the state of New Mexico, where I’ve lived since 1979 and where I know I will be until I die, that would be just wonderful. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity. People do want this choice.”