Press Release Archives | Compassion & Choices

Category Archive: Press Release

  1. End-of-Life Legislation Receives Hearing by Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary

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    Compassion & Choices and its Rhode Island supporters testified before the Senate Committee on Judiciary in support of legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying in the state. Medical aid in dying gives mentally capable, terminally ill individuals with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request, obtain and self-ingest medication to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

    The Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act (SB 320/SB157), is championed by Senator Gayle Goldin (D- District 3, Providence). It was introduced on January 24 by Senators Goldin, Coyne, Euer and Miller. The bill is modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been successfully implemented for more than 20 years with no record of abuse or misuse. Advocates and people living with terminal illnesses from across the state attended the hearing.

    Debbie Flitman, Cranston resident, testified: “My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2004. Exactly 7 months later, one day before my birthday, she passed away – and it wasn’t peacefully. My mother told me months before she passed away that she did not want to live the last days of her life confined to a bed experiencing her organs breaking down one by one. She wanted to be in charge of her exit. But because a compassionate care act was non-existent, she wasn’t afforded this option. I am confident that when people are well informed, and medical providers are permitted to write the necessary prescriptions, the end stages of one’s life will not have to be one filled with pain as my mother’s life was. Similar bills work in other states, it can work here, too.”

    “We thank Senator Goldin and the cosponsors who have brought this legislation forward for their advocacy on behalf of Rhode Island residents who need access to this compassionate option now,” said Tim Appleton, Field Director for Compassion & Choices. “It was an emotionally powerful experience to hear so many terminally ill Rhode Island residents and their families tell their stories and so strongly voice their support for this important legislation.”

    Currently, nine jurisdictions have medical aid-in-dying laws: Oregon, California, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i and New Jersey. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed his state’s medical aid-in-dying legislation into law. Once the New Jersey law takes effect in August, more than one-fifth of the nation’s population (21%) will have access to this end-of-life care option.

    Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-404-2265, [email protected]

  2. Nevada’s Death With Dignity Act Will Not Advance This Legislative Session

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    Nevada Senate Bill 165 ran out of time today and will not move forward during this legislative session. The bill, along with many others, ran against the April 23 deadline for the “first house passage.” The bill was introduced by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas) on February 14 and was heard by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on February 25. Following a work session on March 20, the Committee passed the bill 3 to 2.

    “We are deeply disappointed that the bill did not advance further today,” said Ashley Cardenas, Policy & Programs Director for Compassion & Choices and Las Vegas local. “Courageous people living with terminal illnesses have testified and urged lawmakers to pass the bill so they could have the option of medical aid in dying if and when no other treatment provides relief for their unbearable suffering. Hundreds more have visited their legislators, submitted testimony and made their voices heard in support of medical aid in dying. We remain confident that the will of the people of Nevada, who so strongly support medical aid in dying, will soon prevail.”

    This comes just one day after Hanna Olivas, a 44-year-old mother of four with incurable blood cancer who resides in Las Vegas, recorded bilingual videos to urge legislators to pass medical aid-in-dying laws in Nevada and throughout the country.

    Hanna was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer, multiple myeloma, in August 2017. This incurable illness causes severe bone pain, fractures following minor trauma, anemia, weakness, frequent infections, kidney failure and tumor growth.  

    “We, as patients, fight every single day a battle that people that don’t have cancer could never understand,” Hanna says in the video. “And they might not agree with it [medical aid in dying], but at least give us the option to do it if that’s what we choose.”

    The video is available in English and Spanish.

    Compassion & Choices will continue to work alongside Hanna and the Nevada Coalition for Death with Dignity to educate lawmakers and explore every opportunity to pass this legislation as soon as possible so that terminally ill Nevadans have the option to die a peaceful death in line with their values and beliefs.

  3. Medida de Muerte Con Dignidad De Nevada No Avanzará En Esta Sesión Legislativa

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    El Proyecto de Ley 165 del Senado de Nevada, se agotó de tiempo el día de hoy, y no avanzará durante esta sesión legislativa. El proyecto de ley, junto con muchos otros más, se presentó al “primer pasaje de la cámara baja”, dentro de su fecha límite del 23 de abril. Dicha medida fue presentada por el senador David Parks (D-Las Vegas), el 14 de febrero, y fue escuchada por el Comité de Salud y Servicios Humanos del senado, el 25 de febrero. Después de una sesión de trabajo el 20 de marzo, el Comité aprobó el proyecto de ley por 3 a 2.

    “Estamos profundamente decepcionados de que el proyecto de ley no avanzara más el día de hoy”, dijo Ashley Cárdenas, Directora de Políticas y Programas para Compassion & Choices y de Las Vegas. “Las personas valientes que viven con enfermedades terminales, han testificado y hecho llamados a legisladores para que se autorice el proyecto de ley y tener la opción de ayuda médica para morir, cuando ningún tratamiento brinda alivio al sufrimiento intolerable. Cientos más de personas han visitado a sus legisladores,  presentado testimonios y han hecho que sus voces sean escuchadas en apoyo a la ayuda médica para morir. Seguimos confiando que la voluntad de los habitantes de Nevada que apoya fuertemente la ayuda médica para morir, prevalezca pronto”.

    Esto sucede solo un día después de que Hanna Olivas, madre de cuatro hijos de 44 años de edad, con un cáncer de sangre incurable y que vive en Las Vegas, grabó videos bilingües, haciendo un llamado a legisladores para que se autorice la ayuda médica para morir en Nevada, y en todo el país.

    Hanna fue diagnosticada con un tipo de cáncer raro en la sangre, mieloma múltiple, en agosto del 2017. Esta enfermedad incurable causa dolor de huesos severos, fracturas tras golpes menores, anemia, debilidad, infecciones frecuentes, insuficiencia renal y crecimiento de tumores.

    “Nosotros como pacientes, luchamos todos los días una batalla que las personas que no padecen cáncer, pueden jamás entender”, dice Hanna en el video. “Y pueden no estar de acuerdo con ello (ayuda médica para morir), pero al menos nos dan la opción de hacerlo, si eso es lo que elegimos.”

    El video está disponible en inglés y español.

    Compassion & Choices continuará trabajando junto con Hanna,  así como con la Coalición de Muerte con Dignidad de Nevada, para educar a legisladores y explorar todas las oportunidades para que se apruebe esta medida lo más pronto posible, para que los habitantes de Nevada con enfermedades terminales tengan la opción de morir pacíficamente, de acuerdo a sus valores y creencias.

  4. Videos Bilingües de Latina Con Mieloma Múltiple y Cáncer de Mama Pide a Legisladores Que Aprueben Leyes De Ayuda Médica Para Morir En Todo El País

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    (Carson City, NV – 19 de abril de 2019) Una madre Latina con cáncer de sangre incurable, Hanna Olivas, grabó vídeos bilingües para Compassion & Choices, para hacer un llamado a legisladores estatales de todo el país, incluyendo a su estado natal de Nevada, para que autoricen leyes que permiten a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, tener la opción de ayuda médica para morir y terminar pacíficamente el sufrimiento intolerable.

    Hanna y Jerry Olivas

    Los videos se lanzan durante National Healthcare Decisions Day o Día Nacional de Decisiones del Cuidado de la Salud, una iniciativa que motiva a pacientes a expresar sus deseos relacionados con los cuidados de salud, así como para los proveedores de salud e instituciones, a fin de que respeten los deseos de los pacientes, cualesquiera que sean. El video en español se dio a conocer el jueves en exclusiva con People en Español. Para ver el video en español, haga clic aquí.

    Hanna, maquillista de 44 años, y madre de cuatro hijos, fue diagnosticada con un tipo de cáncer raro en la sangre, mieloma múltiple, en agosto del 2017. La enfermedad incurable causa dolor de huesos severos, fracturas tras golpes menores, anemia, debilidad, infecciones frecuentes, insuficiencia renal y crecimiento de tumores.

    “Yo tengo mieloma múltiple y cáncer de mama,” dice en el video. “Mi enfermedad ha sido muy difícil para mi familia. Yo no quiero morir, simplemente no quiero sufrir cuando yo muera”.

    Hanna detuvo los tratamientos tras solo cinco sesiones de quimioterapia por el daño que le estaban causando a sus riñones e hígado. Para empeorar las cosas, los médicos le encontraron cáncer de mama este año.

    “Mi doctor tiene muchas preguntas sobre la ayuda médica para morir,” señaló. “La muerte ahora es una realidad para mi. He hablado con mi familia y mi familia apoya mi decisión”.

    Legisladores en Nevada y 10 otros estados están considerando proyectos de ley que permitiría a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, en pleno uso de sus facultades mentales, con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que decidan tomar y morir pacíficamente, si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. Otros estados que están considerando medidas de ayuda médica para morir incluyen: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nueva York, Rhode Island, y Utah.

    “Si yo pudiera hablar con los legisladores, yo les diría, edúquense sobre la ayuda médica para morir… yo deseo que las leyes de ayuda médica para morir pasen en todo el país”, dijo en el video. “Yo quiero morir tranquila, en paz con mi familia, mi esposo y mis hijos a mi lado”.

    Justo hace dos semanas, Hanna y su esposo Jerry, viajaron al capitolio de su estado natal de Nevada, para unirse a la legendaria activista de derechos civiles, Dolores Huerta, haciendo un llamado para que se autorice la medida Muerte Con Dignidad (SB 165).

    El setenta y dos por ciento de los habitantes de Nevada apoyan el proyecto de ley de ayuda médica para morir. El apoyo a la medida es bipartidista y diverso: Votantes hispanos (63 por ciento); Católicos (76 por ciento); Protestantes (65 por ciento) y votantes de todas edades y niveles educativos, todos a favor de ampliar los derechos de los enfermos terminales. Las encuestas muestran que el 69 por ciento de los latinos hispanos en todo el país, apoyan la ayuda médica para morir.

    “Esperamos que la súplica apasionada de Hanna ayude a convencer a legisladores indecisos, para que autoricen esta medida compasiva,” dijo Elizabeth Armijo, Directora Regional de Campaña y Alcance para Compassion & Choices”. “La medida de Muerte con Dignidad es simplemente una opción que permite a la persona que va a morir, la opción de morir sin el dolor innecesario e intolerante. Los habitantes de Nevada no deben ser forzados a sufrir al final de su vida”.

    Hanna, Cristiana devota, también espera que los médicos y su gente latina, abandonen el tabú cultural de evitar hablar sobre la muerte, y que apoyen la ayuda médica para morir cuando no existe cura ni tratamiento para una enfermedad terminal.

    “Yo soy Cristiana,” dijo en el video “Dios es compasivo y no quiere que sus hijos sufran”.“Una calidad de vida para mí es, ‘vivir sin limites, sin sufrimiento, ni dolor.”

    El esposo de Hanna, Jerry Olivas, dice que no puede imaginar perder a su esposa de seis años, la que conoció desde que era una adolescente. Pero el hecho de verla morir lentamente en dolor insoportable, es algo que él no puede tolerar.
    “Yo apoyo la ayuda médica para morir,” dice Jerry, quien es Católico. Quiero darle soporte a mi esposa”.
    Los videos de Hanna forman parte de “End Of Life Options For ALL” u Opciones de Fin de Vida Para TODOS, una campaña multiestatal de educación bilingüe, encabezada por la legendaria activista de derechos civiles, Dolores Huerta, en la que hace un llamado a la aprobación de leyes de ayuda médica para morir. Huerta recientemente grabó videos en español e inglés, dirigiéndose a Nevada, Nueva York, Nuevo México y Nueva Jersey.

    “Para mí, una muerte tranquila es morir de la mano de mi familia, dormida y soñando en mi lugar preferido que es la playa”, dice Hanna. “Yo no quiero sufrir”.

    En la actualidad, ocho jurisdicciones tienen leyes de ayuda médica para morir: Oregón, California, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, el Distrito de Columbia y Hawai’i. El Gobernador de Nueva Jersey, Phil Murphy, acaba de firmar la semana pasada, la medida para que se convierta en ley. Esto convertirá a Nueva Jersey en la novena jurisdicción de los Estados Unidos que autoriza la ley de ayuda médica para morir. El Gobernador de Nueva York, Andrew Cuomo, dijo la semana pasada en una entrevista para la estación de radio WAMC de Albany, que la legislatura estatal debe autorizar el proyecto de ley de ayuda médica para morir en Nueva York.

    Casi una quinta parte de la población del país (19%) tiene acceso a esta opción de cuidados de fin de vida. Los hispanos de todo el país apoyan de manera abrumadora, a las leyes estatales que autorizan la opción de ayuda médica para morir para adultos con enfermedades terminales.

  5. NJ Governor Applauded for Signing Historic Aid-in-Dying Bill into Law by Advocates

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    New Jerseyans with terminal or life-shortening diseases and family members whose loved ones needlessly died in agony applauded Governor Phil Murphy as they watched him this afternoon sign the historic Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act (S1072/A1504) into law. Nearly seven years after the bill’s original introduction, the state Assembly approved the legislation by a 41 to 33 vote and Senate by a 21 to 16 vote on March 25. The Senate bill would not have reached the 21 vote thresthold required for passage without the votes of three Republican senators: Kim Bateman, Declan O’Scanlon and Sam Thompson. 

    The law will allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live to have the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take if their suffering becomes unbearable and die peacefully in their sleep. According to the law language, it will take effect on the first day of the 4th month after enactment, as early as Aug. 1.

    New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signs the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

    “Allowing residents with terminal illnesses to make end-of-life choices for themselves is the right thing to do,” said Governor Murphy. “By signing this bill today, we are providing terminally ill patients and their families with the humanity, dignity, and respect that they so richly deserve at the most difficult times any of us will face. I commend Assemblyman Burzichelli for steering us down this long, difficult road, and thank the legislature for its courage in tackling this challenging issue.”

    “Words cannot express my gratitude to Governor Murphy and the legislation’s author, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, for giving me this option to die peacefully, if I decide I need it,” said law supporter Susan Boyce, a Rumson resident who has a terminal lung disease that has reduced her lung function to 29 percent (read and watch her story at bit.ly/SusanBoyceOpedVideo). “Just having this option is a godsend that will enable me to live the rest of my life, however long it is, as fully as possible knowing I won’t have to suffer needlessly at the end.”

    New Jersey is now the 9th jurisdiction to allow medical aid in dying in 25 years and 5th to do it in the last five years (Oregon in 1994, Washington in 2008, Montana in 2009, Vermont in 2013, California in 2015, Colorado in 2016, Washington, D.C. in 2017 Hawai‘i in 2018, and New Jersey in 2019).

    “I grew up in the Garden state, so I can’t thank Gov. Murphy, the law’s sponsors and legislative leaders enough for delivering this desperately needed option to terminally ill New Jerseyans,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices, who grew up in Oradell. “We pledge to help the Murphy administration implement this law as smoothly and as quickly as possible — based on our years of experience doing it in eight other jurisdictions — to ensure New Jerseyans can use this peaceful dying option, if they need it.’”

    A majority of state voters (63%), including most Protestants (73%), Catholics (64%) and other non-Protestant residents (59%), support medical aid in dying, according to the most recent state poll on the issue by Rutgers-Eagleton.

    “It is impossible for my terminally ill sister Melissa and I to express our profound sense of relief that this legislation is now law,” said law supporter Laurie Wilcox, a retired nurse in Clark with rheumatoid arthritis that has invaded her lung tissue and requires her to wear an oxygen tank most of the day to breathe. Her sister Melissa is also a retired nurse and has deadly small cell lung cancer (read and watch their story at: bit.ly/WilcoxSistersOpedVideo). “As nurses, we know the limits of modern medicine to relieve suffering and we are so grateful we now have the option to peacefully end our end-of-life suffering, if we need it.”

    “This legislative victory is a tribute to both our tireless legislative champions — led by Assemblyman Burzichelli — and our volunteer advocates like Susan Boyce and the Wilcox sisters,” said Corinne Carey, New Jersey Campaign Director for Compassion & Choices. “Without their unflagging support, we could not have won this hard-won, seven-year campaign to end needless end-of-life suffering in New Jersey.”

  6. Gobernador de Nueva Jersey es Aplaudido Al Firmar Propuesta en Ley Histórica de Ayuda Médica Para Morir

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    Los enfermos terminales de Nueva Jersey y personas con enfermedades que acortan la vida, así como los familiares cuyos seres queridos han muerto innecesariamente en agonía, aplaudieron al Gobernador Phil Murphy al firmar esta tarde la histórica medida de Ayuda Médica Para Morir (S1072/A1504), la cual se convierte en ley. La Asamblea estatal aprobó la legislación el 25 de marzo pasado, con una votación de 41 a 33 y el Senado, con una votación de 21 a 16. Esto ocurre casi siete años después de la presentación original de dicha medida.

    El gobernador Phil Murphy firmó la Ayuda Médica para Morir. Foto cortesía de la Oficina del Gobernador.

    La ley permitirá a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, en pleno uso de sus facultades mentales y con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, tener la opción de solicitar y obtener una receta médica para tomar un medicamento y morir pacíficamente en su sueño, si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. De acuerdo al lenguaje legal, dicha ley entrará en vigor, el primer día del cuarto mes posterior a su promulgación, tan pronto como el 1 de agosto.

    “Permitir que los residentes con enfermedades terminales tomen decisiones al final de la vida por sí mismos es lo correcto”, dijo el gobernador Murphy. “Al firmar este proyecto de ley hoy, le estamos dando a los pacientes con enfermedades terminales y sus familias la humanidad, la dignidad y el respeto que tanto merecen en los momentos más difíciles que cualquiera de nosotros enfrentará. Felicito al asambleísta Burzichelli por guiarnos en este largo y difícil camino, y agradezco a la legislatura por su valentía para enfrentar este desafiante problema “.

    “No hay palabras que pueden expresar mi gratitud al Gobernador Murphy y al autor de la legislación, el Asambleísta John Burzichelli, por darme esta opción de morir pacíficamente, si yo decido necesitarla”, dijo Susan Boyce, residente de Rumson, quien padece una enfermedad pulmonar terminal que ha reducido su función pulmonar al 29 por ciento (lea y vea su historia en bit.ly/SusanBoyceOpedVideo). “El solo hecho de tener esta opción, es una bendición de Dios que me permitirá vivir el resto de mi vida, sin importar el tiempo que sea, tan plenamente como sea posible, sabiendo que no tendré que sufrir innecesariamente al final.”

    Nueva Jersey es ahora la novena jurisdicción que permite la ayuda médica para morir en 25 años y la quinta jurisdicción en autorizarla en los últimos cinco años (Oregón en 1994, Washington en 2008, Montana en 2009, Vermont en 2013, California en 2015, Colorado en 2016, Washington, D.C. en 2017, Hawai’ en 2018 y Nueva Jersey en 2019).

    “Crecí en el Estado Jardín, y no me canso de agradecer al Gobernador Murphy, así como a los patrocinadores y líderes legislativos por entregarle esta opción tan desesperadamente necesitada a los residentes de Nueva Jersey”,  afirmó Kim Callinan, directora ejecutiva de Compassion & Choices, quien creció en Oradell. “Nos comprometemos para ayudar a la administración del Gobernador Murphy para implementar esta ley de la manera más fácil y rápida posible, basada en nuestros años de experiencia en otras ocho jurisdicciones, para garantizar que los habitantes de Nueva Jersey puedan usar esta opción de muerte pacífica, si la necesitan”.

    La mayoría de los votantes del estado (63%), incluyendo a la mayoría de los Protestantes (73%), Católicos (64%) y otros residentes no Protestantes (59%), apoyan la ayuda médica para morir, según la encuesta estatal más reciente sobre este asunto, que fue elaborada por Rutgers-Eagleton.

    “Es imposible para mi hermana Melissa que padece de una enfermedad terminal, así como para mí, poder expresar nuestra profunda sensación de alivio, de que esta legislación se ha convertido en ley”, dijo Laurie Wilcox, enfermera jubilada de Clark que padece de artritis reumatoide, misma que le ha invadido el tejido pulmonar y que requiere un tanque de oxígeno la mayor parte del día, para poder respirar. Su hermana Melissa, también es enfermera jubilada y padece de cáncer de pulmón de células pequeñas mortal (lea y vea su historia en: bit.ly/WilcoxSistersOpedVideo). “Como enfermeras, conocemos los límites de la medicina moderna para aliviar el sufrimiento, y estamos muy agradecidas ahora que tenemos la opción de terminar pacíficamente nuestro sufrimiento, si lo necesitamos.”

    “Esta victoria legislativa es un homenaje a nuestros incansables campeones legislativos, encabezados por el asambleísta Burzichelli, y a nuestros defensores voluntarios como Susan Boyce y las hermanas Wilcox”, dijo Corinne Carey, directora de campaña de Nueva Jersey para Compassion & Choices. “Sin su incansable apoyo, no hubiéramos ganado esta campaña de siete años que fue ganada con tanto esfuerzo, para poner fin al sufrimiento innecesario de fin de vida en Nueva Jersey.”

  7. Montana Physician Imprisonment Act Voted Down by Senate After House Approved It

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    End-of-life liberty is protected in Montana and it remains an authorized state for terminally ill patients to seek medical aid in dying. The full Montana Senate today voted today on second reading, against a House-approved bill that would have allowed the state to imprison, and potentially sentence doctors to the death penalty, for writing a prescription for aid-in-dying medication for a terminally ill adult who requests it to peacefully end their suffering. The bill failed to pass when a bipartisan majority of 27 senators, including seven Republicans, voted no vs. 22 senators who voted yes.

    HB 284 is the fifth failed legislative attempt in a decade to reverse the Montana Supreme Court’s 2009 Baxter decision authorizing medical aid in dying. The court ruled that medical aid in dying specifically deferred to a patient’s own decisions and affords terminal patients the right to die on their own terms. After today’s vote, this end-of-life freedom remains intact.

    If charged with and convicted for deliberate homicide under this failed “Physician Imprisonment Act,” doctors who honor their patients’ wishes would have faced no less than 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of death.  

    Amy Hetzler, Montana Campaign Manager for Compassion & Choices and Missoula resident stated: “We thank the Senate for rejecting this bill that would have allowed the state to prosecute physicians for giving terminally ill patients the option of medical aid in dying when no other treatment option provides relief for their suffering. This legislative triumph upholds the legacy of Bob Baxter’s selfless legal fight as he was dying to authorize medical aid in dying for terminally ill Montanans and upholds his family’s legacy as active champions protecting this end-of-life freedom.”

    Nearly 7 out of 10 Montana voters (69%) said they support allowing a mentally capable adult, who is dying of a terminal disease and in extreme pain, to choose to end his or her life in a humane and dignified way, according to a Global Strategy Group survey in April 2013.

    Roberta King from Missoula, daughter of Bob Baxter said: “People in this state pretty much believe that we know how to take care of ourselves without government interference. We trust our doctors to give us the best possible medical advice. The Montana Supreme Court was right to agree and today the Senate voted against HB 284 to support what my father advocated so hard for.”

    Eric Kress, MD, a Missoula resident and family physician for over 30 years, stated: “I am extremely grateful that Senate members listened to the voices of supporters, advocates and the terminally ill from across the state to defeat this physician imprisonment act. This bill would have taken away a terminally ill patient’s ability to obtain a prescription for medical aid in dying, a personal freedom that the citizens of Montana deserve.  

    I am a physician who would have been thrown in prison and subjected to the death penalty had HB 284 passed, and my terminally ill patients would have suffered greatly as a result.”

  8. Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Joins Legislators, Advocates in Rally for Death with Dignity Bill

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    Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta joined legislators and medical aid-in-dying supporters to urge passage of a bill that would expand end-of-life options for terminally ill individuals in Nevada on the same day she was honored by the State Legislature. The Death with Dignity bill (SB 165), would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or fewer to live the option to request and receive a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable.  

    My mother died of terminal breast cancer that spread throughout her body, so I know first-hand about the desperate need for expanded healthcare options at the end of life,” Huerta said. “This issue is urgent for terminally ill Nevadans who cannot afford to wait for relief from unbearable suffering in their last days.”

    Huerta’s visit is part of the ‘End of Life Options for ALL’ multi-state bilingual education campaign, in which she urged fellow Hispanics to join her in calling for passage of medical aid-in-dying legislation. She recently recorded videos in English and Spanish, targeting Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico.  New Jersey recently passed medical aid-in-dying legislation, which is awaiting Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature.  Once signed into law, New Jersey will become the 9th U.S. jurisdiction to authorize medical aid in dying.

    From left, Elliot Malin, Jerry and Hanna Olivas, legendary civil right rights activist Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth Armijo, and Debbie Black outside the Legislative Building in Carson City.

    In addition to the news conference, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak honored Huerta by presenting a proclamation for Dolores Huerta Day. Other state and local governments throughout the country have also honored the iconic civil rights and labor activist with “Dolores Huerta Day” celebrations.

    “I know if I had a terminal illness I would want this compassionate medical aid-in-dying option,” said Huerta, who turns 89 years-old on April 10. “Dying Nevadans don’t have time to wait for another legislative session, they need medical aid in dying NOW.”

    Elizabeth Armijo, Nevada campaign manager for Compassion & Choices, said the bill is simply an “option that allows a person who is already going to die the option to die without unnecessary and unbearable pain.”  

    The Senate Health & Human Services Committee recently voted 3 to 2 to approve the Death with Dignity Act SB 165, introduced by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas). The bipartisan bill has 16 additional sponsors and cosponsors. The bill advanced to the Senate Floor and is waiting to be scheduled.

    “This end-of-life care option is a matter of personal freedom and liberty to honor the wishes of terminally ill individuals,” Senator Parks said. “Nevadans should have the freedom to choose the end of life options that are right for them.”

    Seventy-two percent of Nevada residents support medical aid in dying legislation. Support rose to 75 percent after respondents heard additional information about the bill, according to the survey by Public Policy Polling.

    Hanna Olivas, a 44-year-old mother from Las Vegas, held back tears as she spoke about living with a rare form of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood and breast cancer.

    “When our Lord calls me, I do NOT want to be connected to machines, catheters and tubes that will cause more pain in my spine, bones, body, nausea, and vomiting that only debilitate my relatively young 44-year-old body,” she said. “I want to die peacefully, surrounded by my husband and our two sons, two daughters and precious grandchildren holding my hand in prayer. The last words I want to hear are “We love you, mom, We love you grandma.”

    Hispanics nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying. Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016.  

    Eight jurisdictions have authorized medical aid in dying (California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington), along with the District of Columbia. Collectively, these jurisdictions represent 19 percent of the nation’s population and 30 percent of Latinos. In addition, New Jersey passed legislation on March 25 and the bill is scheduled to be signed by the Governor, making it the ninth jurisdiction that authorizes medical aid in dying laws.

  9. Dolores Huerta Se Une a Legisladores y Defensores En Rally A Favor De Medida de Muerte con Dignidad

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    La legendaria activista de derechos civiles Dolores Huerta se hoy unió a legisladores y partidarios de la ayuda médica para morir para instar la aprobación de un proyecto de ley que ampliará las opciones al final de la vida para las personas con enfermedades terminales en Nevada, el mismo día en que fue honrada por la legislatura estatal. El proyecto de ley (SB 165) o Muerte con Dignidad permitiría a los adultos de Nevada con una enfermedad terminal, que tengan un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que puedan tomar para morir pacíficamente si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable.

    Mi madre murió de un cáncer de mama que se extendió por todo el cuerpo, por lo que sé de primera mano sobre la necesidad urgente de ampliar las opciones de fin de la vida”, dijo Huerta. “Esta opción es urgente para los enfermos terminales de Nevada que no pueden permitirse el alivio del sufrimiento insoportable en sus últimos días de vida”.

    Desde la izquierda, Elliot Malin, Jerry y Hanna Olivas, la legendaria activista de derechos civiles Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth Armijo y Debbie Black afuera del Edificio Legislativo en Carson City.

    La visita de Huerta es parte de la campaña ‘Opciones de Fin de Vida para TODOS’ en la cual la legendaria activista hace un llamado en vídeos y fotos a los hispanos para que se unan a ella en apoyo a medidas de ayuda médica para morir. Recientemente, Huerta grabó videos en Ingles y Español para los estados de  Nevada, Nueva Jersey, Nueva York y Nuevo México. Nueva Jersey recientemente aprobó la medida de ayuda médica para morir, y actualmente solo espera la firma del gobernador Phil Murphy. Cuando se firme la ley, Nueva Jersey será la novena jurisdicción que autoriza la ayuda médica para morir en Estados Unidos.

    Además de la conferencia de prensa, el gobernador del estado de Nevada, Steve Sisolak, honró a Huerta al presentar la proclamación del “Dia de Dolores Huerta” en dicho estado. Otros estados en todo el país también han honrado al icono de derechos civiles y activista laboral con celebraciones de ‘Día de Dolores Huerta”

    Elizabeth Armijo, directora de la campaña de Compassion & Choices en Nevada, dijo que el proyecto de ley es “simplemente una opción que permite a una persona que ya va a morir la posibilidad de morir sin dolor innecesario e insoportable”.  

    El comité de salud y servicios humanos del Senado recientemente votó 3 a 2 para aprobar la medida Muerte con Dignidad SB 165, presentada por el senador David Parks (D-Las Vegas). La medida bipartidista tiene 16 patrocinadores y co patrocinadores. El proyecto de ley avanzó al piso del Senado por sus lecturas y votos.

    “Esta opción de cuidado al final de la vida es una cuestión de libertad personal y la libertad de honrar los deseos de las personas con enfermedades terminales”, dijo el Senador Parks. “La gente de Nevada debe tener la libertad de elegir las opciones de final de vida que sean adecuadas para ellos”.

    Setenta y dos por ciento de los residentes de Nevada apoyan la medida de ayuda médica para morir. El apoyo aumentó 75 por ciento después de que los encuestados escucharon información adicional sobre la ley, de acuerdo con encuestas de opinión pública.

    Hanna Olivas, una madre de 44 años de Las Vegas, contuvo sus lágrimas al hablar de vivir con una rara forma de mieloma múltiple, un cáncer incurable en la sangre y cáncer de seno.

    “Cuando nuestro Señor me llame, NO quiero estar conectada a máquinas, catéteres y tubos que me causen más dolor en mi columna vertebral, huesos, cuerpo; náuseas y vómito que solo debilitan mi cuerpo, relativamente joven de 44 años”, dijo. “Quiero morir pacíficamente, rodeada por mi esposo y nuestros dos hijos, dos hijas y preciosos nietos sosteniendo mi mano y orando. Las últimas palabras que quiero oír son ‘Te amamos mamá, Te amamos abuelita.

    Los hispanos a nivel nacional apoyan en forma arrolladora a las medidas de ayuda médica para morir para los adultos con enfermedades terminales, para que no tengan que sufrir innecesariamente al final de vida. Gracias al apoyo de latinos como Dolores Huerta, el actor de Hollywood Mauricio Ochmann, y de Miguel Carrasquillo, un ex chef de Nueva York que se convirtió en defensor de esta opción antes de morir en su natal Puerto Rico; así como Dan Díaz, esposo de la fallecida Brittany Maynard, quien fue defensora de la ayuda médica para morir, hoy día el 69 por ciento de latinos a nivel nacional, apoyan la ayuda médica para morir.

    Brittany fue una mujer Californiana con una enfermedad terminal que se mudó al estado de Oregón, para poder hacer uso de la ley de Muerte con Dignidad, porque en ese entonces California no tenía dicha ley. La defensa de Brittany inspiró a California para que se autorizara una ley de ayuda médica para morir en el 2015. Desde entonces, ha surgido un apoyo creciente de organizaciones nacionales latinas que incluyen al Consejo Nacional Hispano Para el Adulto Mayor, la Comisión Latina sobre el SIDA, Red de Salud Hispana, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, y más recientemente, Nuestra Salud en Nuevo México.

    La defensa de Brittany también inspiró a Colorado, al Distrito de Columbia, y a Hawái para que se autorizaran leyes de ayuda médica para morir, desde que ella falleció el 1 de noviembre del 2014. Gracias a las leyes previamente autorizadas en Oregón, WashingtonVermont y a una Sentencia de la Corte Suprema de Montana, casi una quinta parte de la población a nivel nacional, tiene acceso a esta opción de fin de vida.

    El apoyo hispano jugó un papel clave en la promulgación del End of Life Option Act de California, que entró en vigor en el 2016. De hecho, Dolores mostró su apoyo de la ley cuando los legisladores se encontraban inciertos si debían apoyar dicho proyecto de ley.

  10. Advocates for MD End-of-Life Option Act Vow to Fight to Pass Law in Near Future After Senate Fails to Pass Bill in Tie Vote

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    (Annapolis, MD) Advocates for the Maryland End-of-Life Option Act (SB311/HB399) expressed disappointment that the Senate failed to pass the legislation today in a 23 to 23 tie vote, but vowed to continue fighting to enact the bill into law in the near future. The bipartisan bill would have given mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or fewer to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable and die peacefully in their sleep. The House of Delegates passed the bill, which had 69 cosponsors, on March 7 by a 74 to 66 vote.

    Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan.

    Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan

    “We appreciate the strong leadership of the bill sponsors, Delegate Shane Pendergrass and Senator Will Smith, who advanced the bill farther than ever before,” said Kim Callinan, a 22-year Maryland resident and CEO of Compassion & Choices, which led the grassroots campaign to pass the bill. “While the Senate bill had troubling amendments, we believe the bill could have been fixed if the legislative process had continued.”

    On Monday, the New Jersey Assembly and Senate passed similar legislation to the Maryland House-passed bill, the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act (S1072/A1504), after debating the issue since 2012 and Governor Phil Murphy promptly vowed to sign the bill into law. The Maryland Legislature has been debating the issue since 2015.

    “This temporary setback in Maryland is deeply disappointing to our brave, seriously ill advocates,” said Callinan. “But we are confident that it is just a matter of time before a version of this legislation similar to the House-passed bill, which is based on proven laws in eight other jurisdictions, becomes law. Maryland voters strongly support medical aid in dying and terminally ill residents desperately need this option to end needless suffering, so they can die in peace.”

    Medical aid in dying has been successfully implemented for a combined 40 years in Washington, D.C. and seven states, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

    “I am heartbroken that this legislation did not pass both houses, but I greatly appreciate the lawmakers who supported it,” said Chevy Chase resident Marcy Rubin, who has incurable, stage IV breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and liver. “I just hope I am still around next year to help pass this legislation, so I have the option to die peacefully when my time comes, rather than suffer needlessly.”

    A Public Policy Polling last month showed Marylanders support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed most of its members supported it.

    In addition, four local newspapers have editorialized in support of passing the End-of-Life Option Act: The [Annapolis] Capital Gazette, The Washington Post, The [Easton] Star Democrat and The [California, MD] Enterprise.

  11. Compassion & Choices Praises Governor Murphy for Prompt Decision to Sign Aid in Dying Bill

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    Terminally Ill Act author and sponsor Assemblyman John Burzichelli, C&C CEO Kim Callinan and C&C NJ Campaign Dir. Corinne Carey after legislature passed bill and Gov. Phil Murphy vowed to sign it.

    From left, C&C terminally ill volunteer NJ advocate Melissa Wilcox, NJ Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act author and sponsor Assemblyman John Burzichelli, C&C CEO Kim Callinan and C&C NJ Campaign Dir. Corinne Carey after legislature passed bill and Gov. Phil Murphy vowed to sign it.

    “We are thrilled that Governor Murphy promptly promised to sign the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices, who grew up in Oradell. “His quick statement brought immediate peace of mind and tears of relief to the terminally ill residents in New Jersey who now know this peaceful option is imminent.”

    “We look forward to working with the Murphy administration to facilitate the smooth and successful implementation of this compassionate law,” said Corinne Carey, New Jersey campaign director for Compassion & Choices. “We know our New Jersey supporters are counting on us to help make this law as accessible as possible.”

    Below is Governor Murphy’s full statement:

    https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562019/approved/20190322d.shtml

    Statement from Governor Murphy on Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act

    3/25/2019

    “This measure is about dignity. Senator Scutari and Assemblyman Burzichelli should be commended for sponsoring this bill that will make us a more dignified and empathetic state. For Assemblyman Burzichelli, in particular, with whom I have met to discuss this issue, this bill has been a personal fight for years.

    “Allowing terminally ill and dying residents the dignity to make end-of-life decisions according to their own consciences is the right thing to do. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”

  12. Asamblea y Senado de Nueva Jersey Aprueba Medida “Ayuda para Morir”, Tras 7 Años de Debate

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    Los residentes de New Jersey con enfermedades terminales o pocos días de vida y Compassion & Choices elogiaron a la Asamblea y al Senado estatal por aprobar el proyecto de ley Terminally Ill Act (S1072/A1504)  o Ayuda Para Morir para Enfermos Terminales después de cerca de 7 años de debates e instan al gobernador, Phil Murphy, a aprobar la ley lo antes posible. La Asamblea aprobó la enmienda por un voto de 41 a 33 y el Senado por un voto de 21 a 16.

    La ley permitirá a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, en pleno uso de sus facultades mentales, y con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos de tener la opción de solicitar a un médico la receta de un medicamento, que ellos pueden tomar por sí mismos, si su sufrimiento se vuelve insoportable y así morir en paz mientras duermen. Si el Gobernador Murphy firma la enmienda o no actúa en los próximos 45 días, el proyecto se convertirá en ley y entrará en vigor el primer día del 4to mes después de ser promulgada.

    La Asamblea de Nueva Jersey aprobó la enmienda por un voto de 41 a 33.

    La Asamblea de Nueva Jersey aprobó la enmienda por un voto de 41 a 33.

    “Estoy eternamente agradecida con el autor de esta medida, el asambleísta John Burzichelli, por defender incansablemente esta legislación durante casi siete años y con cada miembro de la legislatura que votó por ella”, dijo la defensora del proyecto de ley Susan Boyce, residente de Rumson que padece de una enfermedad pulmonar terminal que ha reducido su función pulmonar al 29 por ciento (leer y ver su historia en bit.ly/SusanBoyceOpedVideo). “Instó al gobernador Murphy a no esperar 45 días y a firmar este proyecto de ley de inmediato, así tendré esta opción para asegurarme que no tengo que sufrir innecesariamente al final de mi vida”.

    La ayuda médica para morir se ha implementado con éxito en una combinación de 40 años en siete estados: California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, así como Washington, D.C.

    “Sabemos que los oponentes ejercerán una enorme presión sobre el gobernador Murphy para vetar esta legislación, pero le instamos a que firme el proyecto de ley para respetar los deseos de la mayoría de los votantes de New Jersey que lo apoyan”, dijo Kim Callinan, directora ejecutiva de Compassion & Choices, que creció en Oradell. “Como escribió el gobernador de California Jerry Brown, un ex seminarista, cuando firmó la ley de California, End of Life Option Act u Opción de Fin de Vida. “No sé qué haría si estuviera muriendo con un dolor prolongado e insoportable. Sin embargo, estoy seguro de que sería un consuelo poder considerar las opciones ofrecidas por este proyecto de ley. Yo no negaría éste derecho a los demás”.

    La mayoría de los votantes del estado (63%), incluyendo la mayoría de los protestantes (73%), católicos (64%) y otros residentes no protestantes (59%), apoyan la ayuda médica para morir, de acuerdo a la encuesta más reciente sobre este tema de Rutgers-Eagleton.

    “Mi hermana Melissa, con una enfermedad terminal, y yo le imploramos al gobernador Murphy que firme esta legislación, para así tener la opción de morir pacíficamente”, dijo la defensora de la ley Laurie Wilcox, una enfermera retirada de Clark con artritis reumatoide que ha invadido su tejido pulmonar y necesita un tanque de oxígeno la mayor parte del tiempo para respirar. Su hermana Melissa, también es una enfermera jubilada y tiene un cáncer pulmonar de células pequeñas, mortal (Leer y mirar su historia en: bit.ly/WilcoxSistersOpedVideo). “Ninguna de nosotras sabemos si utilizaríamos esta opción de cuidados de fin de vida, pero solo tenerla nos daría tranquilidad para poder disfrutar el resto de nuestras vidas lo más plenamente posible”.

    Los periódicos de New Jersey ya han publicado 18 columnas, editoriales y comentarios de opinión desde el pasado mes de marzo, instando a la legislatura estatal a aprobar este proyecto de ley.

    “Los votantes de Nueva Jersey han estado esperando casi siete años para que este proyecto de ley sea aprobado”, dijo Corinne Carey, directora de la campaña de Nueva Jersey de Compassion & Choices. “Mientras tanto, cinco jurisdicciones han autorizado la ayuda médica para morir : California, Colorado, el Distrito de Columbia, Hawai‘i y El gobernador Murphy podría reforzar su legado como líder nacional en asuntos de salud al firmar esta ley compasiva”.

  13. NJ Assembly, Senate Pass Aid in Dying Bill After Nearly 7 Years of Debate

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    New Jerseyans with terminal or life-shortening diseases and Compassion & Choices praised the state Assembly and Senate for passing the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act (S1072/A1504) after nearly seven years of debate on the issue and urged Governor Phil Murphy to promptly sign it into law. The Assembly approved the bill by a 41 to 33 vote and Senate by a 21 to 16 vote. The Senate bill would not have reached the 21 vote thresthold required for passage without the votes of three Republican senators: Kim Bateman, Declan O’Scanlon and Sam Thompson. 

    This bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with 6 months or less to live to have the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take if their suffering becomes unbearable and die peacefully in their sleep. If Governor Murphy signs the bill or does not act on it within 45 days, the bill becomes the law and would take effect on the first day of the 4th month after enactment.

    The final New Jersey Assembly vote on the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, March 25, 2019.

    The final New Jersey Assembly vote on the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, March 25, 2019.

    “I am eternally grateful to the bill author, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, for tirelessly championing this legislation for nearly seven years and for every member of the legislature who voted for it,” said bill supporter Susan Boyce, a Rumson resident who has a terminal lung disease that has reduced her lung function to 29 percent (read and watch her story at bit.ly/SusanBoyceOpedVideo). “I urge Governor Murphy not to wait 45 days and to sign this bill promptly, so I have this option to ensure I don’t have to suffer needlessly at the end of my life.”

    Medical aid in dying has been successfully implemented for a combined 40 years in seven states, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, as well as Washington, D.C.

    “We know opponents will apply huge pressure on Governor Murphy to veto this legislation, but we urge him to sign the bill to respect the wishes of majority of New Jersey voters who support it,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices, who grew up in Oradell. “As California Governor Jerry Brown, a former seminarian, wrote when he signed the California End of Life Option Act: ‘I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.’”

    A majority of state voters (63%), including most Protestants (73%), Catholics (64%) and other non-Protestant residents (59%), support medical aid in dying, according to the most recent state poll on the issue by Rutgers-Eagleton.

    “My terminally ill sister Melissa and I implore Governor Murphy to sign this legislation, so we have the option to die peacefully,”said bill supporter Laurie Wilcox, a retired nurse in Clark with rheumatoid arthritis that has invaded her lung tissue and requires her to wear an oxygen tank most of the day to breathe. Her sister Melissa is also a retired nurse and has deadly small cell lung cancer (read and watch their story at: bit.ly/WilcoxSistersOpedVideo). “Neither of us knows if we would use this end-of-life care option, but just having it would give us peace of mind, so we could enjoy the rest of our lives as fully as possible.”

    New Jersey newspapers have now published 18 columns, editorials and op-eds since last March urging the state legislature to pass this legislation.

    “New Jersey voters have been waiting for nearly seven years for this bill to be enacted into law,” said Corinne Carey, New Jersey Campaign Director for Compassion & Choices. “Meanwhile, five jurisdictions have authorized medical aid in dying: California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i and Vermont. Governor Murphy could bolster his legacy as a national leader on healthcare issues by signing this compassionate law.”

    Compassion & Choices volunteer advocates and members of the New Jersey political affairs team thank New Jersey legislators for passing the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act on March 25, 2019.

    Compassion & Choices volunteer advocates and members of the New Jersey political affairs team thank New Jersey legislators for passing the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act on March 25, 2019.

  14. MD Senate Committee Bill Advances End-of-Life Option Act with Troubling Amendments, Advocacy Group Says

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    Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan testifying at hearing before Maryland House of Delegates on Feb. 15.

    The Senate Judicial Proceedings voted 7 to 3 to advance the Maryland End-of-Life Option Act (SB311/HB399), after hours of debate last night on troubling amendments the committee added to the bill. The bipartisan legislation would give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable and die peacefully in their sleep. The House of Delegates passed the bill, which has 69 cosponsors, on March 7 by a 74 to 66 vote.

    “We appreciate the strong leadership of committee vice chairman Will Smith in advancing the bill. Unfortunately, the new drastically revised version of this bill includes troubling amendments that we know from our experience in other states will make the bill nearly impossible for patients to access,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices, which is leading the grassroots campaign to pass the bill. “The bill in its current form would create many needless hoops and roadblocks for dying patients and put doctors at risk for baseless lawsuits against them for helping dying patients relieve intolerable suffering.”

    Today, the Senate Judicial Proceedings approved the bill with amendments that individually appear reasonable, but collectively make the bill unworkable. They include:

    • Stripping the bill of civil immunities for doctors, patients, family members and witnesses.
    • Adding nearly impossible, time-consuming and vague requirements for doctors that expose them to baseless, expensive, wrongful death suits.
    • Erecting barrier after barrier for dying patients: a mandatory psychological evaluation, numerous additional witness requirements, and the cruel reality that they will never find a doctor willing to prescribe aid-in-dying medication.
    • Putting the dying person’s family members in the untenable position of fearing baseless, expensive lawsuits and preventing them from enjoying the precious time they have left with their loved one.

    Other supporters included the ACLU, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Libertarian Party of MarylandMaryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Anthony Brown, Marylanders for End-of-Life Options, Suburban Maryland Psychiatric Society, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, United Seniors of Maryland, and WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective).

    A Public Policy Polling last month showed Marylanders support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed most of its members supported it.

    In addition, four local newspapers have editorialized in support of passing the End-of-Life Option Act: The [Annapolis] Capital Gazette, The Washington Post, The [Easton] Star Democrat and The [California, MD] Enterprise.

  15. Montana Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on House-Passed Physician Imprisonment Act

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    The Montana Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing on a House-passed bill that would allow the state to imprison, and potentially sentence doctors to the death penalty, for writing a prescription for aid-in-dying medication for a terminally ill adult who requests it to peacefully end their suffering. The committee did not take executive action today so there are no vote results at this time. The bill will remain in committee until the vote takes place.

    Introduced by Rep. Carl Glimm (R-Montana State House District 6), HB 284 states: “aid in dying is against public policy, and a patient’s consent to physician aid in dying is not a defense to a charge of homicide against the aiding physician.” Deliberate homicide in Montana is punishable by a maximum sentence of the death penalty and minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

    HB 284 would overturn the 2009 Montana Supreme Court decision in a suit filed by Compassion & Choices on behalf of a terminally ill truck driver from Billings, Bob Baxter. The court ruled in the case, Baxter v. Montana, that: “…we find no indication in Montana law that physician aid in dying provided to terminally ill, mentally competent adult patients is against public policy.”

    “My dad suffered in agony, bravely fighting for the right of other Montanans to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable,” said Leslie Mutchler, a nurse practitioner from Billings and daughter of Bob Baxter. “Our state lawmakers need to know how medical aid in dying enabled my 36-year-old son TJ, Bob Baxter’s grandson, to end his unbearable suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer and die peacefully in his sleep two years ago. Threatening doctors who are willing to provide this end-of-life option to terminally ill patients with homicide and the death penalty is bad, cruel public policy.”

    Amy Hetzler, Montana Campaign Manager for Compassion & Choices and Missoula resident stated: “We are deeply disappointed that this draconian legislation has made it this far down the road this legislative session. This bill would allow the state to prosecute physicians for giving terminally ill patients the option of medical aid in dying when no other treatment option provides relief for their suffering. Lawmakers inserting their beliefs and government intervention into the private medical decisions that happen between terminally ill patients, their families and their medical team is unacceptable.”

    Eric Kress, MD, a Missoula resident and family physician for over 30 years, stated: “I have written about 6-10 prescriptions per year for patients since the Baxter ruling in 2009.  My suffering, terminally ill patients and the families of those who suffer are grateful to me, as are other healthcare providers. All of us are grateful that our government, through the Baxter decision, has not been controlling our deeply personal decisions at the end of life.

    HB 284 is a bill that would be a government taking of a personal freedom that the citizens of Montana deserve. Our lawmakers need to stop trying to control our deeply personal decisions at the end of life and leave the Baxter decision in place for the good of all their constituents.”

    Chelsia Rice, Helena resident whose bladder cancer is in remission, testified: “If my cancer comes back, I’ll endure treatment again. My community, my family and my physician will be part of my journey of my choosing. Modern medicine provides many new options for treating cancer and I’m grateful for that.

    Modern medicine also provides, in some states, the option for a terminally ill person to seek medical aid in dying to get relief from unbearable suffering. Knowing Montana is one of those states gives me peace of mind. Montanans value liberty and freedom in our lives. We value liberty and freedom in our death as well. A patient’s medical decisions should be one of their own choosing and not one determined by big government.”

    Nearly 7 out of 10 Montana voters (69%) said they support allowing a mentally capable adult, who is dying of a terminal disease and in extreme pain, to choose to end his or her life in a humane and dignified way, according to Global Strategy Group survey in April 2013.

  16. Comité de Salud y Servicios Humanos del Senado de Nevada Aprueba Medida de Muerte con Dignidad

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    (CARSON CITY, NV – 20 de marzo de 2019) – El Comité de Salud y Servicios Humanos del Senado de Nevada, votó hoy 3 a 2 para aprobar la medida de Muerte con Dignidad SB 165, legislación de ayuda médica para morir, propuesta por Nevada, que fue presentada por el Senador David Parks (D-Las Vegas). La medida de ambos partidos cuenta con 16 patrocinadores y co patrocinadores adicionales. Dicha medida permitiría a los adultos con una enfermedad terminal, en pleno uso de sus facultades mentales y con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que puedan tomar para morir pacíficamente, si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. Dicha medida pasa ahora al Senado para su lectura y votación.

    “A medida que pasan los días, cada vez es más crítico que los residentes de Nevada con enfermedades terminales puedan tener la gama completa de opciones de fin de vida, incluyendo la ayuda médica para morir”, dijo Ashley Cárdenas, Directora de Políticas y Programas para Compassion & Choices, que vive en Las Vegas. “Estamos agradecidos con el Senador Parks y con un número récord de co patrocinadores, por su constante dedicación para llevar esta legislación vital y compasiva a las personas con enfermedades terminales de Nevada”.

    Una mayoría de estadounidenses creen que la decisión de una persona que se está muriendo y quiera terminar con su sufrimiento, le pertenece a él o ella, así como a su médico, basado en sus valores propios. De acuerdo a una encuesta realizada por el Public Policy Polling, casi tres de cada cuatro votantes de Nevada (72 por ciento) apoyan la legislación “ampliando el derecho de pacientes con enfermedades terminales con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, para poder obtener legalmente medicamentos recetados que pongan fin a sus vidas”. El apoyo a la medida es bipartidista y diverso: votantes hispanos (63 por ciento), Católicos (76 por ciento), Protestantes (65 por ciento) y votantes de todas las edades y niveles educativos, todos a favor de ampliar los derechos de los enfermos terminales.

    La mayoría de los residentes de Nevada, así como organizaciones estatales, grupos y capítulos tales como el ACLU, AARP, el Nevada Association of Health Plans, el National Association of Social Workers y el Nevada Libertarian Party, apoyan la medida de ayuda médica para morir. Asimismo, el Nevada Medical Society adoptó una posición neutral sobre el proyecto de ley, uniéndose al Nevada Psychiatric Association y al Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.

    Cuatro nuevas jurisdicciones: California, Colorado, Washington, DC y Hawai‘, han autorizado la ayuda médica para morir desde el 2015. Estos avances demuestran el fuerte apoyo público nacional para la ayuda médica para morir, lo cual ha sido evidente desde que la práctica se autorizó por primera vez en Oregón hace más de 20 años.

  17. Nevada Death with Dignity Act Passes Senate Health & Human Services Committee

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    (CARSON CITY, NV – March 20, 2019) — The Senate Health & Human Services Committee voted today 3 to 2 to approve the Death with Dignity Act (SB 165), Nevada’s proposed medical aid-in-dying legislation introduced by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas). The bipartisan bill has 16 additional sponsors and cosponsors. The bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or fewer to live the option to request and receive a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable. The bill now advances to the Senate Floor for its readings and floor vote.

    “As every day passes, it becomes more and more critical for Nevada residents facing terminal illnesses to have the full range of end-of-life options, including medical aid in dying,” said Ashley Cardenas, Policy & Programs Director for Compassion & Choices and Las Vegas local. “We are grateful to Senator Parks and a record number of cosponsors for their continued dedication in bringing this vital and compassionate legislation to the terminally ill people of Nevada.”

    A majority of Americans believe that a dying person’s decision whether to end their suffering belongs between them and their doctor, based on their own values. Nearly three out of four Nevada voters (72 percent) support legislation “expanding the right of terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to legally obtain prescription medication to end their lives,” according to a survey by Public Policy Polling. Support for legislation is bipartisan and diverse: Hispanic voters (63 percent), Catholics (76 percent), Protestants (65 percent), and voters of all ages and education levels are all in favor of expanding the rights of the terminally ill.

    Medical aid-in-dying legislation is supported by a majority of Nevadans as well as state organizations, groups and chapters such as the ACLU, AARP, Nevada Association of Health Plans, National Association of Social Workers and the Nevada Libertarian Party. In addition, the Nevada Medical Society adopted a neutral position on the bill, joining the Nevada Psychiatric Association and Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.

    Four new jurisdictions — California, Colorado, Washington, DC and Hawai‘i — have authorized medical aid in dying since 2015. These advancements demonstrate the strong national public support for medical aid in dying that has been evident since the practice was first authorized in Oregon more than 20 years ago.

  18. End-of-Life Legislation Receives Hearing by Connecticut Joint Public Health Committee

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    Sharon Hines, Middletown resident living with stage IV lung cancer, testifies in support of medical aid-in-dying legislation.

    Compassion & Choices and its Connecticut supporters testified before the state legislature’s Joint Public Health Committee in support of legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying in Connecticut. Medical aid in dying gives mentally capable, terminally ill individuals with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request, obtain and self-ingest medication to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

    The bill, HB 5898, An Act Concerning End of Life Options, is championed by Joint Public Health Committee House Chair Representative Jonathan Steinberg (Westport). The bill is modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been successfully implemented for more than 20 years with no record of abuse or misuse.

    Advocates and people living with terminal illnesses from across the state attended the hearing.

    Award-winning actor and Westport resident, James Naughton, whose wife Pam Parsons died from terminal pancreatic cancer, joined many supporters in telling powerful stories about why lawmakers should act urgently to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation to benefit terminally ill Connecticut residents with six months or less to live.

    James Naughton testified: “Despite having the best care possible, terminally-ill individuals will come to a point where they need options at the end of life. My wife Pam had all the treatment options at her fingertips while her pancreatic cancer was still treatable, but her last four months were extremely rough, she wished she had a way to end all the suffering she was experiencing. I urge the committee to approve this option so other terminally ill Connecticut residents can have peace of mind in their final days.”

    “Kim Callinan, Chief Executive Officer at Compassion & Choices, stated: “In just the last three years, four new jurisdictions — California, Colorado, Washington, DC and Hawai‘i —  have authorized medical aid in dying. These advancements demonstrate the strong national and state-based public support that exists for this practice. Medical aid in dying is transforming end-of-life care in the same way childbirth care was transformed decades ago. The terminally ill residents of Connecticut deserve to join this growing movement and have a voice in how they live the final chapter of their lives and how they die.”

    “We thank Health Committee Co-Chairman Steinberg for his continued advocacy on behalf of Connecticut residents who don’t have time to wait yet another legislative session for access to this compassionate option,” said  Maria Spencer, Connecticut Campaign Manager for Compassion & Choices. “It was an emotionally powerful experience to hear so many terminally ill Connecticut residents and their families tell their stories and so strongly voice their support for this important legislation.”

    The Connecticut Joint Public Health Committee last held a hearing on medical aid-in-dying legislation in 2018. According to a 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 63 percent of Connecticut voters support the option of medical aid in dying. This majority support holds across all party, age and gender groups.

  19. Terminally Ill NYC Woman Who Pleaded for NYS Legislature to Pass Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill Dies Before Lawmakers Act

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    A terminally ill New York City artist and filmmaker, Barbara Hammer, who did multiple local interviews in February urging the New York Legislature to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act because she was too ill to attend the Albany news conference to introduce the bill, died on Saturday, March 16. She was 79.

    “My sweetheart died Saturday morning with suffering,” said Barbara’s spouse Florrie Burke for the last 31 years. “It shouldn’t be this way and that’s why she advocated for our lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act. I hope they act soon, so other terminally ill New Yorkers will have the option to die peacefully.”

    “Barbara was in hospice, so she knew she would die soon, yet she selflessly did everything within her diminished power to do to advance this compassionate legislation to give terminally ill New Yorkers the option to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully,” said Corinne Carey, New York Campaign Director for Compassion & Choices. “She delivered a videotaped lecture at the Whitney Museum of Art, wrote an op-ed for The [New York] Daily News, did interviews with The New Yorker and WCBS-TV,  and recorded a video that we are releasing now to keep her voice alive about the urgency for lawmakers to pass this bill.”

    From left, NY State Senator Brad Hoylman, cosponsor of Medical Aid in Dying Act, Barbara Hammer and her spouse Florrie Burke on Feb. 6, 2019. Barbara Hammer died on Saturday, March 16, 2019.

    “Lawmakers can honor Barbara Hammer’s courageous advocacy by fast-tracking passage of this legislation, so no other New Yorker has to suffer needlessly at life’s inevitable end,” concluded Carey.

    My cancer is incurable…I will reach a very debilitated state. My doctor has told me that,” says Barbara in the new video in which she cites enduring more than 100 chemo treatments over 12 years since her ovarian cancer diagnosis before she entered hospice last year. “I would so much like to be able to manage my own death by choosing the time and the person I’d like to have with me, so that I can die in comfort and with compassion and not in pain and morphine-drugged.

    Barbara’s YouTube video is posted at bit.ly/BarbHammerAIDvideo

    I want Gov. Cuomo and state legislators to hear the request of this dying woman,” wrote Barbara in an oped published by The Daily News on Feb. 18. “Please pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act to allow terminally ill New Yorkers to decide if they want to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable, so they can end their lives peacefully in their sleep. All of us, regardless of what we believe, deserve to die in a way that is consistent with our beliefs.”

    In lieu of flowers, Barbara’s spouse, Florrie Burke, asks their loved ones and friends to urge state lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act ASAP at CompassionandChoices.org/New-York.

    More than three dozen people testified in support of the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act  (A.2694/S.3947) at two Assembly Health Committee hearings last Spring in Albany and New York City. These supportive testifiers included terminally ill adults, family members of loved ones who died badly, bioethicists, clergy members, disability rights activists, and doctors. Their testimonies are posted at: compassionandchoices.org/resource/new-york-state-hearings-2018/

    A 2018 Quinnipiac poll showed 63 percent of New York State voters support medical aid in dying. A 2018 Medscape survey showed 67 percent of New York State doctors support legislation to authorize medical aid in dying. In addition, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians, New York State Public Health Association and the Latino Commission on AIDS have endorsed the Medical Aid in Dying Act. Other bill supporters include: ACT UP-NY, Harlem United, Housing Works, League of Women Voters of New York State, Mobilizing Preachers and Communities (MPAC), New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), New York Society for Ethical Culture, and StateWide Senior Action Council.

    Medical aid in dying is authorized in Washington, D.C. and seven states, representing nearly one-fifth (19%) of the nation’s population, with 40+ collective years of experience successfully implementing this end-of-life care option: California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State.

  20. Seriously Ill Advocates for MD End-of-Life Option Act Express Concerns that Reported Bill Amendments May Endanger Passing Law This Year

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    Bill sponsor Sen. William C. Smith, Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan and supporters attending the March 14 press conference for the Maryland End-of-Life Option Act.

    Seriously ill advocates for the End-of-Life Option Act (SB311/HB399) urged senators Thursday not to add reported amendments to the bill’s multiple eligibility criteria and safeguards that may make it more difficult, if not impossible, for terminally ill adults to access the law if it passes. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to vote on the legislation on Friday.

    “If excessive amendments are added to the legislation’s numerous eligibility criteria and safeguards, it may make it more difficult, if not impossible, to access this law,” said Chevy Chase resident and former psychotherapist Marcy Gray Rubin, who has been receiving medical treatment for metastatic stage IV breast cancer for six years. “It is a risk terminally ill Marylanders cannot afford. I am pleading with our senators to please pass the End of Life Option Act, without excessive amendments, so that I may have this final gift: To die peacefully in my own home, surrounded by the love of my dearest family and friends.”

    A study by Kaiser Permanente Southern California showed that one-third of the terminally ill adults with six months or less to live who requested medical aid in dying under California’s End of Life Option Act died before they were able to complete the process and obtain a prescription. The California law does not contain any of the possible amendments in Maryland reported by The Maryland Daily Record last Friday.

    “This bill is loaded with protections for patients,” said Rockville Carol Preston, who has received medical treatment for the blood cancer chronic lymphocytic leukemia twice and a year ago was blindsided by a potentially deadly soft tissue sarcoma. “I urge senators to please vote for the bill without adding excessive amendments that will endanger passing this law this year [and] would turn the bill into a phantom legal option. Allow terminally ill patients the dignity to have a final say in their end-of-life care options.”

    Bill supporters also are concerned that excessive amendments may endanger passing the same bill in both houses by the end of the legislative session on April 8. The House of Delegates passed the End-of-Life Option Act last Thursday, so if the Senate passes an amended bill, the House would have to pass the Senate bill too or the two legislative bodies would have to agree on a compromise bill and pass it in both bodies.

    “It’s already too difficult for eligible patients to access the law in neighboring Washington, D.C. and California,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices and a 22-year resident of Maryland. “More delays and amendments are not necessary. What IS necessary is the passage of this compassionate end-of-life care option right now.”

    Neighboring Washington, D.C. and seven states have authorized medical aid in dying: California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Collectively, these jurisdictions have more than 40 combined years of experience successfully implementing this medical practice.

    “I urge Maryland lawmakers not to put additional obstacles in the form of excessive amendments in the path of those making this hardest and most personal of decisions,” said Stella Dawson Klein, whose wife, Mary Dawson Klein, died peacefully last August, thanks to the D.C. Death with Dignity Act. The D.C. law does not contain the reported amendments in the Maryland End-of-Life Option Act, yet Mary still had great difficulty accessing the D.C. law. “Do not extend the stress and uncertainty that we face. It robs you of precious time. Allow each person to confront death with their own strength and dignity.”

    There are 69 co-sponsors of the End-of-Life Option Act, more than one-third of the state’s 188 lawmakers. Other supporters include the ACLU, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, Compassion & Choices Maryland, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Libertarian Party of MarylandMaryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Anthony Brown, Marylanders for End-of-Life Options, Suburban Maryland Psychiatric Society, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, United Seniors of Maryland, and WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective).

    “Physicians regularly counsel their patients on life or death decisions regarding treatments and patients assess the risks and benefits in order to come to a reasoned decision,” said Dr. Ilana Bar Levav, MD, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and practicing psychotherapist in Bethesda, who witnessed her uncle use the California End of Life Option Act. “There is a severe shortage of mental health professionals in Maryland, so [a amendment] requiring a psychiatric evaluation of every patient who requests medical aid in dying would mean many patients would die before they could get a prescription [and] discriminate against patients who live in rural counties, where the shortage…is most acute.”

    A Public Policy Polling last month showed Marylanders support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed most of its members supported it.

  21. Video by Former New Mexico Cabinet Member with ALS Urges Passage of Medical Aid-in-Dying Law

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    Bill Johnson former Secretary, New Mexico Human Services department and CEO, University of New Mexico Hospital.

    (Albuquerque, NM – March 8, 2019) A former Secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department, Bill Johnson, has recorded a video for Compassion & Choices to urge state lawmakers to pass a law that would expand end-of-life care options in New Mexico.

    The video is released as legislators in New Mexico consider the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act (HB 90/SB 153), a bill that would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable. To view video, click on this link: https://youtu.be/Efv-kbxfGvk.

    Bill was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2017. The life-shortening neurodegenerative disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has no treatment or cure. The illness destroys nerve cells and robs people of their ability to use their hands, to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe.

    “The prognosis is you live two to five years and then you die,” says Bill in the video. “I feel that at 83 and looking forward to maybe a terrible, terrible protracted agony, that just is not something that I want to go through.”

    Bill served as New Mexico Secretary of the Human Services Department under Governor Gary Johnson and for more than 20 years as the CEO of University of New Mexico Hospital, the state’s only academic medical center and primary teaching hospital for the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. In addition, he served as a medical service corps officer in the Army.

    Bill understands the positive impact that authorizing this compassionate option will have for terminally ill New Mexicans.

    “My doctor and I have discussed this, several times, and he’s aware of my personal feelings…… He is a supporter with that and has worked with the group promoting it right now,” he says in the video.“If I had just one minute to speak with the legislature, I would try to have them understand there has to be a solution to this prolonged disease that is so, so terrible.”

    Bill hopes legislators relinquish any perceived ideologies and religious beliefs that force other New Mexicans to suffer from a terminal illness with no cure or treatment.

    “I’ve talked to the family, and my wife, and kids, they understand how I feel, they are not disapproving, We’re Roman Catholic,” he says. “Those individuals who think it’s morally wrong and incorrect, I will try and help them understand how harrowing this disease is, how debilitating, how it takes everything away from you.”

    Sixty-five percent of New Mexicans support medical aid in dying legislation, including 58 percent of New Mexican Catholics. And the vast majority (88%) of voters agree with the statement: “How a terminally ill person chooses to end his/her life should be an individual decision and not a government decision.”

    “Mr. Johnson’s experience vividly illustrates the urgent need for expanding end-of-life care options that the majority of New Mexicans support,” said Elizabeth Armijo, regional campaign & outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “We hope legislators listen to the voices of the majority of New Mexicans so they are not forced to suffer needlessly at the end of their lives.”

    Last month, the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee approved SB 153 for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary and the Health & Human Services Committees voted earlier in February to approve HB 90 for consideration by the full House. Prior to the legislative session, the city councils of Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque voted on bipartisan resolutions in support of medical aid in dying.

    Currently, eight jurisdictions have medical aid in dying laws: Oregon, California, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and Hawai‘i. Nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population (19%) has access to this end-of-life care option.

  22. Video de Ex Miembro del Gabinete de Nuevo México con Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica Hace Un Llamado Para Que Se Apruebe Ley de Ayuda Médica Para Morir

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    Bill Johnson former Secretary, New Mexico Human Services department and CEO, University of New Mexico Hospital.

    Un Ex Secretario del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Nuevo México, Bill Johnson, grabó un video para Compassion & Choices, haciendo un llamado a los legisladores estatales, para que aprueben una ley que ampliará las opciones de cuidados para fin de vida en Nuevo México.

    El video se lanza mientras los legisladores de Nuevo México están considerando el Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Option Act (HB 90/SB 153), un proyecto de ley permitiría a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, mentalmente capaces y con un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos de vida, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para tomar un medicamento y morir pacíficamente, si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. Para ver el video, haga clic en este enlace: https://youtu.be/Efv-kbxfGvk.

    Bill fue diagnosticado con Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica (ELA) en el 2017. La enfermedad neurodegenerativa que acorta la vida, también conocida como enfermedad de Lou Gehrig, no tiene cura ni tratamiento. La enfermedad destruye las células nerviosas y le quita a las personas la capacidad de usar sus manos, de poder caminar, hablar, tragar y eventualmente dejar de respirar.

    “El pronóstico de vida es de dos a cinco años, y después uno muere,” dice Bill en el video. “Siento que a mis 83 de edad, estoy viendo venir quizá, una terrible, terrible agonía prolongada, y eso es algo por lo que no quisiera pasar.”

    Bill se desempeñó como Secretario del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Nuevo México, bajo la dirección del Gobernador Gary Johnson y durante más de 20 años, fue director ejecutivo del Hospital de la Universidad de Nuevo México. Dicho hospital es el único centro médico académico del estado y hospital de enseñanza primaria de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Nuevo México. Asimismo, se desempeñó como oficial del cuerpo de servicios médicos en el U.S. Army.

    Bill entiende el impacto positivo que tendría la aprobación de esta opción compasiva para los enfermos terminales de Nuevo México.

    “Mi médico y yo hemos discutido este asunto varias veces, y él está consciente de mis sentimientos personales…..  Él es partidario de esta opción y ha trabajado con el grupo que la está promoviendo ahora mismo”, comenta Bill en el video. “ Si yo tuviera solamente un minuto para hablar con la legislatura, trataría de que comprendieran de qué tiene que haber una solución para esta enfermedad prolongada que es tan, tan terrible.”

    Bill espera que los legisladores renuncien a cualquier ideología y creencias religiosas percibidas que forcen a que otros residentes de Nuevo México, tengan que sufrir una enfermedad terminal que no tiene cura ni tratamiento.

    “He hablado con la familia, con mi esposa y mis hijos y ellos entienden como me siento y no se encuentran en desacuerdo, somos Católicos Romanos,” dice Bill. “Para aquellas personas que piensan que es moralmente equivocado e incorrecto, yo trataré de ayudarles a comprender lo angustiante que es esta enfermedad, cómo es de debilitante, y cómo le quita todo a la persona.”

    El sesenta y cinco por ciento de los residentes de Nuevo México apoyan las medidas de ayuda médica para morir, incluyendo un 58 por ciento de Católicos de Nuevo México. Y la gran mayoría (88%) de los votantes están de acuerdo con la declaración: “Cómo elige poner fin a su vida una persona con una enfermedad terminal, deberá ser una decisión individual y no una decisión gubernamental.”

    “La experiencia del Sr. Johnson ilustra vívidamente, la necesidad urgente de ampliar las opciones de cuidados para fin de vida, mismas que la mayoría de los habitantes de Nuevo México apoyan,” dijo Elizabeth Armijo, Directora Regional de Campaña y Alcance para Compassion & Choices. “Esperamos que los legisladores escuchen las voces de la mayoría de los habitantes de Nuevo México, para que no sean obligados a sufrir innecesariamente al final de sus vidas.”

    El mes pasado, el Comité de Asuntos Públicos del Senado de Nuevo México, aprobó la SB 153 para su consideración por el Comité Judicial del Senado. El Poder Judicial de la Cámara de Representantes y los Comités de Salud y Servicios Humanos, votaron a principios de febrero para aprobar la HB 90 para su consideración por toda la Cámara de Representantes. Anterior a la sesión legislativa, los ayuntamientos de Las Cruces, Santa Fe y Albuquerque, votaron por resoluciones bipartidistas en apoyo a la ayuda médica para morir,

    Actualmente, ocho jurisdicciones tienen leyes de ayuda médica para morir: Oregón, California, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, el Distrito de Columbia y Hawai’i. Casi una quinta parte de la población del país, (19%) tiene acceso a esta opción de cuidados para fin de vida.

  23. End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group Praises MD House for Passing End-of-Life Option Act

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    Marcy Gray Rubin, a Chevy Chase resident and former psychotherapist with stage IV breast cancer.

    Compassion & Choices praised the Maryland House of Delegates for passing the End-of-Life Option Act today by 74 to 66 vote and urged the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to approve the bill as soon as possible for a Senate vote.

    The bipartisan legislation, also known as Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Act, SB311/HB399), would give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable, so they can die peacefully in their sleep. There are 68 bill co-sponsors out of 188 lawmakers

    “I wish to thank every member of the House of Delegates who heard me and voted for this vital bill,” said Marcy Gray Rubin, a Chevy Chase resident and former psychotherapist. “As someone who has been battling stage IV breast cancer for six years it means everything to me that this bill will allow me to choose a peaceful option.”

    The bill sponsors are the Health and Government Operations Committee Chair, Delegate Shane E. Pendergrass (Dist. 13, Howard County), and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Vice-Chair, Senator William (Will) C. Smith, Jr., (Dist. 20/Montgomery County). Other supporters include the ACLU, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Libertarian Party of MarylandMaryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Anthony Brown, Marylanders for End-of-Life Options, Suburban Maryland Psychiatric Society, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, United Seniors of Maryland, WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective), and Compassion & Choices Maryland, which is leading the grassroots campaign to pass the bill.

    “The floor debate demonstrated that we are all only one bad death away from moving from opposed to support,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices and a Maryland resident for 20+ years who lives in Kensington. “We urge Maryland senators to hear the pleas from their colleagues and constituents and pass this bill now because terminally ill Marylanders need compassionate end-of-life care now.”

    “I applaud the House of Delegates for approving this palliative care option, as both a doctor and a terminally ill patient myself,” said David Meyers, MD, a family physician in who lives with his wife and college-aged son in Takoma Park and was recently diagnosed with glioblastoma, a terminal form of brain cancer that killed Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. “This vote gives me hope that this bill will become law soon, so my terminally ill patients and I will have this peaceful option to die, if we need it.”

    A Public Policy Polling last month showed Marylanders support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed most of its members supported it.

    In addition, three local newspapers have editorialized in support of passing the bill since Feb. 20: The Washington Post, [Easton, MD] Star Democrat and [California, MD] Enterprise.

  24. Two Maryland Committees Pass End-of-Life Option Act

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    Rev. Charles McNeill, a member of Compassion & Choices African American Leadership Council, and Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan testifying at recent a hearing in support of Maryland End-of-Life Option Act.

    Compassion & Choices praised the Maryland Health and Government Operations/Judiciary Committee for approving a medical aid-in-dying bill this afternoon for consideration by the full House of Delegates in a 24 to 20 vote.

    The bipartisan legislation, the End-of-Life Option Act (Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Act, SB311/HB399), would give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable, so they can die peacefully in their sleep. There are 68 bill co-sponsors out of 188 lawmakers.

    “I thank the committee members who responded to my testimony to ‘please don’t let me languish away, fighting for my last shallow breaths,’” said stage IV incurable cancer patient Marcy Rubin, a Chevy Chase resident and former psychotherapist. “This vote gives me hope that the legislature will answer my pleas and pass this bill that would give terminally ill Marylanders the option to die peacefully.”

    The bill sponsors are the Health and Government Operations Committee Chair, Delegate Shane E. Pendergrass (Dist. 13, Howard County), and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Vice-Chair, Senator William (Will) C. Smith, Jr., (Dist. 20/Montgomery County). Other supporters include the ACLU, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, Libertarian Party of MarylandMaryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Anthony Brown, Marylanders for End-of-Life Options, Suburban Maryland Psychiatric Society, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, United Seniors of Maryland, WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective), and Compassion & Choices Maryland, which is leading the grassroots campaign to pass the bill.

    “We thank Chairwoman Pendergrass for recognizing that terminally ill Marylanders need this compassionate legislation to become law as soon as possible to ensure they do not suffer needlessly at life’s inevitable end,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices and a Maryland resident for 20+ years who lives in Kensington. “After four long years of education and debate on this issue, Maryland residents cannot afford to wait any longer.”

    A Public Policy Polling last month showed Marylanders support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed most of its members supported it.

    “I am grateful for the committee members who voted for this bill, so the full House of Delegates can consider it,” said David Meyers, MD, a family physician in who lives with his wife and college-aged son in Takoma Park and was recently diagnosed with glioblastoma, a terminal form of brain cancer that killed Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. “The End-of-Life Option Act will empower people like me to make their own decisions with the support of trusted physicians about how they die.”

     

  25. Dolores Huerta, Ícono De Derechos Civiles, Se Une A Grupo De Defensa De Cuidados de Fin de Vida Para Campaña Educativa Bilingüe en Varios Estados

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    Dolores Huerta, ícono de derechos civiles, se unió hoy a Compassion & Choices en una campaña educativa bilingüe de videos, para promover medidas que amplían las opciones de cuidados de fin de vida en Nuevo México, Nevada, Nueva York y Nueva Jersey. Los videos serán difundidos a traves de Facebook y Twitter.

    En la campaña ‘Opciones de Fin de Vida PARA TODOS’ Dolores Huerta hace un llamado en vídeos y fotos a los Hispanos para que se unan a ella en apoyo a un proyecto de ley que permitiría a personas con enfermedades terminales en Nuevo México, poder tener la opción de ayuda médica para morir. Proyectos de ley similares están siendo considerados también en Nevada, Nueva York y Nueva Jersey, estados con una población grande de Latinos. Dolores grabo videos para promoverlos. Haga clic aquí para ver los vídeos de Nuevo México en inglés (https://youtu.be/N2BhDH-ZoJI) y español (https://youtu.be/SHsZ92zQoAs).

    La campaña llega justo cuando los legisladores de Nuevo México están considerando la medida Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act (HB 90/SB 153).) El proyecto de ley permitiría a los adultos de Nuevo México con una enfermedad terminal, que tengan un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que puedan tomar para morir pacíficamente si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable.

    El miércoles, la Legislatura de Nuevo México aprobó por unanimidad el Memorial del Senado 82 y declaró el 27 de febrero de 2019 como el ‘Día de Dolores Huerta. Los legisladores, algunos con lágrimas, también aprobaron una resolución para honrar a la ‘Hija de Nuevo México’ al nombrar la Avenida Dolores Huerta en Albuquerque. La calle conectará con la Avenida César Chávez, la única en la nación con ambos nombres.

    “Ví a mi madre, Alicia St. John Chávez, morir de cáncer de mama.” Dolores comenta en el video. “Los legisladores de Nuevo México están considerando una medida que permitirá a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, poner fin a su sufrimiento. Pídale a los legisladores que aprueben las opciones de fin de vida, al visitar compassionandchoices.org/NewMexico”.

    Dolores Huerta, originaria de Dawson, Nuevo México, es un ícono de derechos civiles y laborales y presidenta de la Fundación Dolores Huerta. Es conocida por su famosa frase ‘Si Se Puede’. En el 2012, fue Honrada con la Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad, el mayor reconocimiento civil.

    “Estamos agradecidos con Dolores Huerta por apoyar a los Nuevo Mexicanos con enfermedades terminales cuando más necesitan estas opciones compasivas al final de sus vidas,” dijo Elizabeth Armijo, Directora Regional de Campaña y Alcance para Compassion & Choices. “Los residentes de Nuevo México que se están muriendo merecen elegir opciones que se alineen con sus valores”.

    El Comité de Asuntos Públicos del Senado aprobó  el martes la medida SB 153 para que el Comité Judicial considere dicha medida. El Comité de Salud y Servicios Humanos de la Cámara de Representantes, votó este mes aprobar que se considere HB 90 ante el piso pleno de la Cámara de Representantes. Aún no se hay fecha programada. Anteriormente, los consejos municipales de Las Cruces, Santa Fe y Albuquerque votaron en resoluciones bipartidistas para apoyar la ayuda médica para morir.

    Como parte de la campaña, Compassion & Choices recreó la foto icónica, conocida como “Huelga”, que fue tomada en septiembre de 1965. La imagen que fue exhibida en el museo Smithsonian, muestra a una Dolores joven, con una pancarta con la palabra “Huelga” durante una huelga de la uva y un boicot, lo que llevó a los trabajadores del campo a que obtuvieran su primer contrato en California con los cultivadores de uva de mesa. Para ver la foto, haga clic AQUÍ.

    El 65 por ciento de los residentes de Nuevo México apoyan la legislación de ayuda médica para morir, incluyendo un 58 por ciento de Católicos de Nuevo México. Y la gran mayoría (88%) de los votantes están de acuerdo con la declaración de “cómo elige terminar su vida la persona con una enfermedad terminal, deberá ser una decisión individual, y no una decisión gubernamental”.

    Los hispanos a nivel nacional apoyan en forma arrolladora a las medidas de ayuda médica para morir para los adultos con enfermedades terminales, para que no tengan que sufrir innecesariamente al final de vida. Gracias al apoyo de latinos como Dolores Huerta, el actor de Hollywood Mauricio Ochmann, y de Miguel Carrasquillo, un ex chef de Nueva York que se convirtió en defensor de esta opción antes de morir en su natal Puerto Rico; así como Dan Díaz, esposo de la fallecida Brittany Maynard, quien fue defensora de la ayuda médica para morir, hoy día el 69 por ciento de latinos a nivel nacional, apoyan la ayuda médica para morir.

    Brittany fue una mujer Californiana con una enfermedad terminal que se mudó al estado de Oregón, para poder hacer uso de la ley de Muerte con Dignidad, porque en ese entonces California no tenía dicha ley. La defensa de Brittany inspiró a California para que se autorizara una ley de ayuda médica para morir en el 2015. Desde entonces, ha surgido un apoyo creciente de organizaciones nacionales latinas que incluyen a Consejo Nacional Hispano Para el Adulto Mayor, la Comisión Latina sobre el SIDA, Red de Salud Hispana, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, y más recientemente, Nuestra Salud en Nuevo México.

    La defensa de Brittany también inspiró a Colorado, al Distrito de Columbia, y a Hawái para que se autorizaran leyes de ayuda médica para morir, desde que ella falleció el 1 de noviembre del 2014. Gracias a las leyes previamente autorizadas en Oregón, WashingtonVermont y a una Sentencia de la Corte Suprema de Montana, casi una quinta parte de la población a nivel nacional, tiene acceso a esta opción de fin de vida.

    El apoyo hispano jugó un papel clave en la promulgación del End of Life Option Act  de California, que entró en vigor en el 2016. De hecho, Dolores mostró su apoyo de la ley cuando los legisladores se encontraban inciertos si debían apoyar dicho proyecto de ley.

  26. Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group to Launch Multi-State Bilingual Education Campaign

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    Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta today joined Compassion & Choices to launch a statewide bilingual education campaign featuring online videos promoting legislation to expand end-of-life care options in New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey and New York on Facebook and Twitter.

    The ‘End of Life Options FOR ALL’ campaign, features Dolores Huerta in video and print urging fellow Hispanics to join her in support of a bill that would allow terminally ill New Mexicans to have the option of medical aid in dying.

    The video campaign is being launched as legislators in New Mexico consider the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act (HB 90/SB 153), a bill that would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults in New Mexico with six months or fewer to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable.

    Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

    On Wednesday, the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a Senate memorial declaring February 27, 2019 as Dolores Huerta Day.” Legislators, some in tears, also passed a resolution to honor ‘New Mexico’s daughter’ by naming Dolores Huerta Avenue or Avenida Dolores Huerta in Albuquerque.  The street will connect with Cesar Chavez Avenue or Avenida Cesar Chavez, the only one in the nation to connect with both names.

    The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee approved SB 153 on Tuesday for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary and the Health & Human Services Committees earlier this month voted to approve HB 90 for consideration by the full House. It is currently waiting to be calendared. Prior to the legislative session, the city councils of Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque voted on bipartisan resolutions in support of medical aid in dying.

    “I watched my mother, Alicia St. John Chavez, die in agony from breast cancer,” Dolores says in the videos. “Thankfully, New Mexico lawmakers are considering a bill that will allow terminally ill adults to end unbearable suffering under the care of doctors and surrounded by their loved ones. Please urge lawmakers to pass end of life options by visiting CompassionAndChoices.org/newmexico.”

    Dolores Huerta, born in Dawson, New Mexico, is an iconic labor and civil rights leader and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She is known for her famous line ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can.’ In 2012, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

    “We are grateful to Dolores Huerta for standing up for terminally ill New Mexicans and for advocating for access to compassionate healthcare options at the end of their lives,” said Elizabeth Armijo, regional campaign & outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “Dying New Mexicans deserve to choose options that align with their values.”

    Similar bills are also being considered in New York, New Jersey and Nevada, states with a large Hispanic population, so Ms. Huerta also has recorded videos promoting them. Click to view videos for New Mexico in English (https://youtu.be/N2BhDH-ZoJIand Spanish (https://youtu.be/SHsZ92zQoAs).

    As part of the campaign, Compassion & Choices recreated the iconic photo, known as ‘Huelga’ shot in September 1965. The image, once exhibited at the Smithsonian, shows a young Dolores holding a sign with the word “Huelga’ or ‘Strike’ during the grape strike and boycott, which led to the field workers’ first contract with California table grape growers. To view the photo, click HERE.

    Sixty-five percent of New Mexicans support medical aid in dying legislation, including 58 percent of New Mexican Catholics. And the vast majority (88%) of voters agree with the statement “how a terminally ill person chooses to end his/her life should be an individual decision and not a government decision.”

    Hispanics nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying.

    Brittany was a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon in 2014, so she could use its medical aid-in-dying law because California did not have one at the time. Her advocacy inspired California to pass a medical aid in dying law in 2015, Since then, there has been a growing support of national Latino organizations that include the Hispanic Council on Aging, the Latino Commission on AIDS, Hispanic Health Network, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, most recently, Nuestra Salud in New Mexico.

    Brittany’s advocacy also inspired Colorado, the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i to pass laws authorizing medical aid in dying since she died on Nov. 1, 2014. Thanks to previously passed laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, and a Montana Supreme Court ruling, nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population has access to this end of life option.

    Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016. In fact, Dolores showed her support by advocating for the bill when legislators were still uncertain if they would support it.

  27. Dolores Huerta, Ícono De Derechos Civiles, Se Une A Grupo De Defensa De Cuidados de Fin de Vida Para Campaña Educativa Bilingüe en Varios Estados

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    Dolores Huerta, ícono de derechos civiles, se unió hoy a Compassion & Choices en una campaña educativa bilingüe con videos para promover medidas que amplían las opciones de cuidados de fin de vida en Nevada, Nuevo México, Nueva York y Nueva Jersey.  Los videos serán difundidos a traves de Facebook y Twitter.

    En la campaña ‘Opciones de Fin de Vida PARA TODOS’ Dolores Huerta hace un llamado en vídeos y fotos a los hispanos para que se unan a ella en apoyo a un proyecto de ley que permitiría a personas con enfermedades terminales en Nevada, tener la opción de ayuda médica para morir.

    Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

    Proyectos de ley similares están siendo considerados también en Nueva YorkNueva Jersey y Nuevo México, estados con una población grande de hispanos. Haga Clic aquí para ver los vídeos de Nuevo México en inglés ( https://youtu.be/L13MslSHz6Y) y español (https://youtu.be/X9i124gQIYM).

    La campaña llega justo cuando los legisladores de Nevada están considerando la medida SB 165.  El proyecto de ley permitiría a los adultos con una enfermedad terminal, que tengan un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que puedan tomar para morir pacíficamente si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. Esta semana, el Comité de Salud y Servicios Humanos escuchó dicha medida.

    “Ví a mi madre, Alicia St. John Chávez, morir de cáncer de mama,” Dolores comenta en el video. “Los legisladores de Nevada están considerando una medida que permitirá a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, poner fin a su sufrimiento. Pídale a los legisladores que aprueben las opciones de fin de vida, al visitar compassionandchoices.org/Nevada”.

    “Estamos agradecidos con Dolores Huerta por apoyar a los residentes de Nevada con enfermedades terminales cuando más necesitan estas opciones compasivas al final de sus vidas,” dijo Elizabeth Armijo, Directora Regional de Campaña y Alcance para Compassion & Choices. “Los residentes de Nevada que se están muriendo merecen elegir opciones que se alineen con sus valores”.

    Dolores Huerta es un ícono de derechos civiles y laborales y presidenta de la Fundación Dolores Huerta. Es conocida por su famosa frase “Si Se Puede”. En el 2012, fue Honrada con la Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad, el mayor reconocimiento civil.

    Como parte de la campaña, Compassion & Choices recreó la foto icónica, conocida como “Huelga”, que fue tomada en septiembre de 1965. La imagen que fue exhibida en el museo Smithsonian, muestra a una Dolores joven, con una pancarta con la palabra “Huelga” durante una huelga de la uva y un boicot, lo que llevó a los trabajadores del campo a que obtuvieran su primer contrato en California con los cultivadores de uva de mesa. Para ver la foto, haga clic AQUÍ.

    El setenta y dos por ciento de los residentes de Nevada apoyan medidas de ayuda médica para morir. El apoyo aumentó un 75 por ciento después de que los encuestados escucharon información adicional sobre el proyecto de ley, según la encuesta realizada por Public Policy Polling. El apoyo para la medida es bipartidista y diverso: Votantes hispanos (63 por ciento); Católicos (76 por ciento); Protestantes (65 por ciento) y votantes de todas edades y niveles educativos, todos a favor de ampliar los derechos de los enfermos terminales.

    Los hispanos a nivel nacional apoyan en forma arrolladora a las medidas de ayuda médica para morir para los adultos con enfermedades terminales, para que no tengan que sufrir innecesariamente al final de vida. Gracias al apoyo de latinos como Dolores Huerta, el actor de Hollywood Mauricio Ochmann, y de Miguel Carrasquillo, un ex chef de Nueva York que se convirtió en defensor de esta opción antes de morir en su natal Puerto Rico; así como Dan Díaz, esposo de la fallecida Brittany Maynard, quien fue defensora de la ayuda médica para morir, hoy día el 69 por ciento de latinos a nivel nacional, apoyan la ayuda médica para morir.

    Brittany fue una mujer Californiana con una enfermedad terminal que se mudó al estado de Oregón, para poder hacer uso de la ley de Muerte con Dignidad, porque en ese entonces California no tenía dicha ley. La defensa de Brittany inspiró a California para que se autorizara una ley de ayuda médica para morir en el 2015. Desde entonces, ha surgido un apoyo creciente de organizaciones nacionales latinas que incluyen al Consejo Nacional Hispano Para el Adulto Mayor, la Comisión Latina sobre el SIDA, Red de Salud Hispana, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, y más recientemente, Nuestra Salud en Nuevo México.

    La defensa de Brittany también inspiró a Colorado, al Distrito de Columbia, y a Hawái para que se autorizaran leyes de ayuda médica para morir, desde que ella falleció el 1 de noviembre del 2014. Gracias a las leyes previamente autorizadas en Oregón, WashingtonVermont y a una Sentencia de la Corte Suprema de Montana, casi una quinta parte de la población a nivel nacional, tiene acceso a esta opción de fin de vida.

    El apoyo hispano jugó un papel clave en la promulgación del End of Life Option Act  de California, que entró en vigor en el 2016. De hecho, Dolores mostró su apoyo de la ley cuando los legisladores se encontraban inciertos si debían apoyar dicho proyecto de ley.

  28. Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Advocacy Group to Launch Statewide Bilingual Education Campaign

    Comments Off on Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Advocacy Group to Launch Statewide Bilingual Education Campaign

    Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta today joined Compassion & Choices to launch a statewide bilingual education campaign promoting legislation to expand end-of-life care options.

    The ‘End of Life Options FOR ALL’ campaign, features Dolores Huerta in videos and photos urging fellow Hispanics to join her in support of a bill that would allow terminally ill Nevadans to have the option of medical aid in dying, so they can live their last days in peace without unnecessary suffering. Similar bills are also being considered in New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, states with a large Hispanic population. Click here to view videos for Nevada in English (https://youtu.be/L13MslSHz6Y) and Spanish (https://youtu.be/X9i124gQIYM).  

    The campaign comes as legislators in Nevada consider SB 165, a bill that would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults in Nevada with six months or fewer to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable.

    Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

    “I watched my mother, Alicia St. John Chavez, die from breast cancer,” Dolores says in videos. “Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow terminally ill adults to end unbearable suffering under the care of doctors and surrounded by loved ones. Please urge lawmakers to pass end-of-life options.”

    Dolores Huerta is an iconic labor and civil rights leader and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She is known for her famous line ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can’

    “We are grateful to Dolores Huerta for standing up for terminally ill Nevadans at the end of their lives when they most need compassionate healthcare options,” said Elizabeth Armijo, regional campaign & outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “Dying Nevadans don’t have time to wait. They deserve equality and justice during their final days, like the majority of Americans who support this compassionate legislation.”

    This week, the Nevada Senate Health & Human Services Committee advanced SB 165, a bipartisan bill that would allow terminally ill Nevada adults to end their life peacefully.  

    As part of the campaign, Compassion & Choices recreated the iconic photo, known as ‘Huelga’ shot in September 1965. The image, once exhibited at the Smithsonian, shows a young Dolores holding a sign with the word “Huelga’ or ‘Strike’  during the grape strike and boycott, which led to the field workers’ first contract with California table grape growers. To view photo click HERE.

    Seventy-two percent of Nevadans support medical aid in dying. Support increased 75 percent after respondents heard additional information about the bill, according to the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Support for the measure is bipartisan and diverse: Hispanic voters (63 percent); Catholics (76 percent); Protestants (65 percent) and voters of all ages and educational levels, all in favor of expanding the rights of the terminally ill.

    Hispanics nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying.

    Brittany was a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon in 2014, so she could use its medical aid-in-dying law because California did not have one at the time. Her advocacy inspired California to pass a medical aid in dying law in 2015, Since then, there has been a growing support of national Latino organizations that include the Hispanic Council on Aging, the Latino Commission on AIDs, Hispanic Health Network, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, most recently, Nuestra Salud in New Mexico.

    Brittany’s advocacy also inspired Colorado, the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i to pass laws authorizing medical aid in dying since she died on Nov. 1, 2014. Thanks to previously passed laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, and a Montana Supreme Court ruling, nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population has access to this end of life option.

    Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016. In fact, Dolores showed her support by advocating for the bill when legislators were still uncertain if they would support it.

  29. Dolores Huerta, Ícono De Derechos Civiles, Se Une A Grupo De Defensa De Cuidados de Fin de Vida Para Campaña Educativa Bilingüe en Varios Estados

    Comments Off on Dolores Huerta, Ícono De Derechos Civiles, Se Une A Grupo De Defensa De Cuidados de Fin de Vida Para Campaña Educativa Bilingüe en Varios Estados

    Dolores Huerta, ícono de derechos civiles, se unió hoy a Compassion & Choices en una campaña educativa bilingüe de videos, para promover medidas que amplían las opciones de cuidados de fin de vida en Nueva York, Nueva Jersey, Nuevo México y Nevada. Los videos serán difundidos a traves de Facebook y Twitter.

    En la campaña ‘Opciones de Fin de Vida PARA TODOS’ Dolores Huerta hace un llamado en videos y fotos a los latinos para que se unan a ella en apoyo a un proyecto de ley que permitiría a las personas con enfermedades terminales en Nueva York, poder tener la opción de ayuda médica para morir. Proyectos de ley similares están siendo considerados también en Nueva Jersey, Nevada y Nuevo México, estados con una población grande de Latinos. Haga clic para ver los vídeos de Nuevo México en inglés (https://youtu.be/JeoxoO9GWC4) y español (https://youtu.be/1S-t4BgJ278).

    Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

    La campaña llega justo cuando los legisladores de Nueva York consideran el Medical Aid in Dying Act o Medida de Ayuda Médica Para Morir. La propuesta de ley permitiría a los adultos de Nueva York con una enfermedad terminal, que tengan un pronóstico de vida de seis meses o menos, la opción de solicitar una receta médica para un medicamento que puedan tomar para morir pacíficamente si su sufrimiento se vuelve intolerable. Las encuestas muestran que el 63 por ciento de los votantes estatales apoyan la ayuda médica para morir. Durante la primavera del año pasado, 37 bioeticistas, miembros del clero, médicos, personas con enfermedades terminales, activistas de derechos de los discapacitados, familiares de quienes fallecieron y personal de Compassion & Choices testificaron en las audiencias de la Asamblea para apoyar el proyecto de ley en Albany y la ciudad de Nueva York.

    “Ví a mi madre, Alicia St. John Chávez, morir de cáncer de mama.” Dolores comenta en el video. “Los legisladores de Nueva York están considerando una medida que permitirá a los adultos con enfermedades terminales, poner fin a su sufrimiento. Pídale a los legisladores que aprueben las opciones de fin de vida, al visitar a compassionandchoices.org/NewYork”.

    Dolores Huerta  es un ícono de derechos civiles y laborales y presidenta de la Fundación Dolores Huerta. Es conocida por su famosa frase “Si Se Puede”. En el 2012, fue Honrada con la Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad, el mayor reconocimiento civil.

    “Estamos agradecidos con Dolores Huerta por levantar la voz de los enfermos terminales de Nueva York que están al final de su vida, que es cuando más necesitan opciones de cuidados compasivos de salud”, dijo Corinne Carey, Directora de la Campaña de Nueva York para Compassion & Choices. “Las personas que se están muriendo, no deben vivir sus últimos momentos con el temor de una agonía y un sufrimiento innecesario. Deben tener la opción de morir de manera pacífica “.

    Como parte de la campaña, Compassion & Choices recreó la foto icónica, conocida como “Huelga”, que fue tomada en septiembre de 1965. La imagen que fue exhibida en el museo Smithsonian, muestra a una Dolores joven, con una pancarta con la palabra “Huelga” durante una huelga de la uva y un boicot, lo que llevó a los trabajadores del campo a que obtuvieran su primer contrato en California con los cultivadores de uva de mesa. Para ver la foto, haga clic AQUÍ.

    Los Latinos a nivel nacional, apoyan en forma arrolladora a las medidas de ayuda médica para morir para los adultos con enfermedades terminales, para que no tengan que sufrir innecesariamente al final de vida. Gracias al apoyo de latinos como Dolores Huerta, el actor de Hollywood Mauricio Ochmann, y de Miguel Carrasquillo, un ex chef de Nueva York que se convirtió en defensor de esta opción antes de morir en su natal Puerto Rico; así como Dan Díaz, esposo de la fallecida Brittany Maynard, quien fue defensora de la ayuda médica para morir, hoy día el 69 por ciento de latinos a nivel nacional, apoyan la ayuda médica para morir.

    Brittany fue una mujer de California con una enfermedad terminal que se mudó al estado de Oregón, para poder hacer uso de la ley de Muerte con Dignidad, porque en ese entonces California no tenía dicha ley. La defensa de Brittany inspiró a California para que se autorizara una ley de ayuda médica para morir en el 2015. Desde entonces, ha surgido un apoyo creciente de organizaciones nacionales latinas que incluyen a Consejo Nacional Hispano Para el Adulto Mayor, la Comisión Latina sobre el SIDA, Red de Salud Hispana, Latinos for Healthcare Equity y más recientemente, Nuestra Salud en Nuevo México.

    La defensa de Brittany también inspiró a Colorado, al Distrito de Columbia, y a Hawái para que se autorizaran leyes de ayuda médica para morir, desde que ella falleció el 1 de noviembre del 2014. Gracias a las leyes previamente autorizadas en Oregón, WashingtonVermont y a una Sentencia de la Corte Suprema de Montana, casi una quinta parte de la población a nivel nacional, tiene acceso a esta opción de fin de vida.

    El apoyo hispano jugó un papel clave en la promulgación del End of Life Option Act  de California, que entró en vigor en el 2016. De hecho, Dolores mostró su apoyo de la ley cuando los legisladores se encontraban inciertos si debían apoyar dicho proyecto de ley.

  30. Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group to Launch Multi-State Bilingual Education Campaign

    Comments Off on Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group to Launch Multi-State Bilingual Education Campaign

    Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta today joined Compassion & Choices to launch a multi-state bilingual education campaign featuring online videos promoting legislation to expand end-of-life care options.in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Nevada on Facebook and Twitter.

    The ‘End of Life Options FOR ALL’ campaign, features Dolores Huerta in videos and photos urging fellow Latinos to join her in support of a bill that would allow terminally ill New Yorkers to have the option of medical aid in dying, so they can live their last days in peace without unnecessary suffering. Similar bills are also being considered in  New Jersey, New Mexico and Nevada, states with a large Latino population, so Ms. Huerta also has recorded videos promoting them. Click to view videos for New York in English (https://youtu.be/JeoxoO9GWC4) and Spanish (https://youtu.be/1S-t4BgJ278).

    Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

    The video campaign is being launched as legislators in New York consider the Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.2694/S.3947). The bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adult New Yorkers with six months or less to live the option to request, obtain and self-ingest medication to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable. Polling shows 63 percent of state voters support medical aid in dying. Last Spring, 37 bioethicists, clergy members, physicians, people with a terminal diagnosis, disability rights activists, family members of deceased loved ones and Compassion & Choices staff testified at Assembly hearings in support of the bill in Albany and New York City.

    “I watched my mother, Alicia St. John Chavez, die in agony from breast cancer,” Dolores says in the videos. “Thankfully, New York lawmakers are considering legislation that will allow terminally ill adults to unbearable suffering under the care of doctors and surrounded by their loved ones. Please urge lawmakers to pass end of life options by visiting CompassionAndChoices.org/newyork.”

    Dolores Huerta is an iconic labor and civil rights leader and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She is known for her famous line ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can.’ In 2012, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

    “We are grateful to Dolores Huerta for standing up for the terminally ill Latinos at the end of their lives when they most need compassionate healthcare options,” said Corinne Carey, New York campaign director for Compassion & Choices. “Dying Latinos should not live their last moments in fear of agonizing, needless suffering and have the option to die peacefully.”

    As part of the campaign, Compassion & Choices recreated the iconic photo, known as ‘Huelga’ shot in September 1965. The image, once exhibited at the Smithsonian, shows a young Dolores holding a sign with the word “Huelga’ or ‘Strike’  during the grape strike and boycott, which led to the field workers’ first contract with California table grape growers. To view the photo, click HERE.

    Latinos nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying.

    Brittany was a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon in 2014, so she could use its medical aid-in-dying law because California did not have one at the time. Her advocacy inspired California to pass a medical aid in dying law in 2015, Since then, there has been a growing support of national Latino organizations that include the Hispanic Council on Aging, the Latino Commission on AIDs, Hispanic Health Network, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, most recently, Nuestra Salud in New Mexico.

    Brittany’s advocacy also inspired Colorado, the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i to pass laws authorizing medical aid in dying since she died on Nov. 1, 2014. Thanks to previously passed laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, and a Montana Supreme Court ruling, nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population has access to this end of life option.

    Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016. In fact, Dolores showed her support by advocating for the bill when legislators were still uncertain if they would support it.


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