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Medical Aid in Dying Is Improving End-of-Life Care in California

Alyson Lynch, Communications Coordinator, Compassion & Choices

Alyson Lynch, C&C Communications Coordinator

A Los Angeles Times article this week highlights a fact that’s been echoed by medical aid-in-dying advocates for years — that medical aid in dying enhances care for every terminally ill adult where it is authorized — not just for the relatively few people who seek this option.

A year after the California End of Life Option Act went into effect, physicians are having more conversations with their patients about end-of-life care options and say that the law “has improved medical care for sick patients, even those who don’t take advantage of it.”

The Times spoke to experts from the University of California Los Angeles and Sutter Health, including ethics experts, clinical psychologists and palliative care specialists. They all agreed that the law ushered in a new atmosphere of open conversation about end-of-life care options.

Dr. Bob Uslander, who specializes in palliative and hospice care, said: “We’ll get more people to actually make their wishes known and document their wishes,” which is good news for everyone.

Read more here.