Celebrating an Inclusive Movement for End-of-Life Options
June is an important month for the LGBTQ community, not just to celebrate all of the strides we’ve made in realizing equality, but to remember those we’ve lost along the way. I was a child when the AIDS epidemic took the lives of so many LGBTQ people, but I honor them by fighting for end-of-life options for all.
These two movements have been linked for decades and continue to be. LGBTQ people face great discrimination and disparities in end-of-life care. In a survey of 850 hospice and palliative care providers, most said that LGBTQ people received discriminatory care, and two-thirds said transgender people received discriminatory care.
Ensuring that LGBTQ people have access to a full range of end-of-life options and receive the best care possible is critical. That’s why Compassion & Choices provides tools like the hospital visitation form, which allows people not traditionally recognized as family members to see one another in some of their greatest times of need.
I’m proud to work at Compassion & Choices which, since its inception, has stood with the LGBTQ community and listened to their needs at the end of life. I’m also in awe of people who spend the last months of their lives fighting for compassionate options, like trailblazing filmmaker Barbara Hammer, and journalist and activist Mary Klein. True solidarity happens when we listen to one another and build a movement that is inclusive to all people.