(Austin, Tex. — June 15, 2017) Compassion & Choices, the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to increasing options and improving care at the end of life, including medical aid in dying, has appointed Dr. Janet Strickland as its Action Team Leader in Texas. 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. Dr. Strickland is a retired physician of Internal Medicine who has practiced in Texas for 35 years and resides in Wimberley, Texas, a suburb of Austin and San Antonio.
“I strongly believe that physicians need to be able to offer as many end-of-life care options to patients as possible, including hospice, palliative care and medical aid in dying,” said Dr. Strickland. “People living with a terminal illness should have the right to die peacefully and in accordance with their own values and beliefs. I have had many terminally ill patients tell me that they are not afraid of death, but only the process of dying.”
“The most peaceful death is often considered one that occurs in one’s sleep,” added Dr. Strickland. “The decision about how we die is a matter of personal freedom. Texas needs a law to support that option and I am looking forward to working with my fellow Action Team members, advocates and partners to make medical aid in dying a reality.”
Oregon, California, Washington, Colorado, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have authorized medical aid dying via ballot initiatives or legislative action and Montana obtained this option via a state Supreme Court ruling. Medical aid-in-dying legislation is also being considered in New Mexico, New York and 24 other states.
Large majorities of Americans believe that a dying person’s decision whether to end their suffering should be based on that person’s personal values, in consultation with their loved ones and their physician.