Illinois is working with a statewide coalition, the Illinois End of Life Options Coalition, in partnership with the ACLU of Illinois and Final Options Illinois. There are nine volunteer action teams and 1000’s of supporters working to educate and build support for medical aid in dying among legislators and the public. We are also raising awareness about advance care planning in the age of COVID-19 and dementia.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Compassion & Choices has adapted to virtual advocacy and education to make progress in bringing medical aid in dying to the state’s policy agenda and to educate people on how to make sure their end-of-life wishes are documented and honored. Working with the statewide Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition and C&C’s nine volunteer action teams throughout the state, we offered 38 community education events and multiple workshops. Highlights include:
- Recruited and conducted training for volunteers to serve as phone bankers to reach out to supportive constituents throughout the state (February/March 2020)
- Sent COVID-19 toolkit and other online resources to almost 200 local community organizations (May/June 2020)
- Co-presented two advocacy training workshops with the ACLU of Illinois for the Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition (July and October, 2020)
- Presented at a program on medical aid in dying hosted by the University of Illinois College of Law Health and Elder Law Society featuring Representative Robyn Gabel (IL) and Amy Sherman of C&C (September, 2020)
- Offered a regional workshop about planning for a dementia diagnosis with Matt Whitaker, C&C National Director of Integrative Programs, Dr. David Grube, C&C National Medical Director, and Daryl Isenberg, C&C volunteer (November 2020)