Note From the CEO, June 2019

June 27, 2019

With Diane Rehm at the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health hearing June 25.

Renowned writer George Bernard Shaw once noted “progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” I am excited to share that we are indeed changing the minds and hearts of lawmakers, physicians, medical societies, health systems, state agencies and individuals across the country. Just this past weekend the American Nurses Association dropped its opposition to medical aid in dying! 

Furthermore, Oregon Senate Bill 579, which eliminates the waiting period for medical aid-in-dying medication for patients whose death is imminent, awaits Governor Kate Brown’s signature. We are hopeful the governor will sign. If so, given Oregon’s unique role as the first state to authorize medical aid in dying, we hope this compassionate and reasonable adjustment will serve as a new model and send a strong signal to lawmakers in other states that more regulations are not necessarily better; they simply force dying patients to suffer through needless and redundant hoops rather than spend precious time with their families. While this addendum to the Oregon legislation doesn’t remove all the unnecessary roadblocks, it’s a small but important step in the right direction. Click here to read my op-ed in the Eugene Register to learn more

With last month’s passing of the Maine Death with Dignity Act, we are celebrating the first time that we’ve seen two states (New Jersey’s Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act moving earlier this year) pass legislation in the same year!  

With measurable progress, this is an exciting time in the end-of-life options movement. But still, we need to accomplish a lot more together. Thank you for forging forward with us on this journey. Together, we’re making great things happen.

With gratitude,

Kim Callinan, CEO

Compassion & Choices
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