Physician Writer, D.C. Entrepreneur Join Compassion & Choices Board of Directors
A former instructor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Warraich currently practices medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he also is a fellow and clinical researcher in cardiovascular disease. He is a contributing medical writer for The New York Times and recently authored a critically acclaimed book, Modern Death – How Medicine Changed the End of Life (St Martin’s Press/Macmillan, Feb 2017).
“Compassion & Choices and I share the same goals: to ensure patients get the end-of-life care they want, and honor their goals, preferences and values,” said Dr. Warraich. “My job as a doctor is to minimize suffering and maximize quality of life at its inevitable end. The best options to achieve this goal often are a combination of hospice, pain control and palliative care, but we should support patients who decide medical aid in dying is the only option to peacefully end their suffering.”
Dan Grossman was the founder and owner of a chain of office-supply stores in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and serves as an advisor to a number of private companies. He holds a degree in economics from Miami University of Ohio and has an MBA in finance from Columbia University in New York City. He is the former chairman of the Atlas Network and Foundation for Economic Education, and is a current board member of a number of nonprofits, including Atlas Network.
“I believe people should have the liberty to make their own healthcare decisions at the end of life, free from government interference,” said Grossman, who is a lifelong Libertarian. “Medical aid in dying is one of the end-of-life options that terminally ill people should have if they want it.”
In fact, numerous national and state polls show strong support for medical aid in dying among both U.S. physicians and Americans across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum. Six states have explicitly authorized medical aid in dying (California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) along with the District of Columbia. Collectively, these seven jurisdictions represent 18 percent of the nation’s population and have 40 years of combined experience safely using this end-of-life care option.
“Haider and Dan share a passion for end-of-life care, and together they bring a great combination of medical knowledge and business acumen to the organization,” said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, who was an ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant for 25 years before she became a lawyer and co-author of the nation’s first medical aid-in-dying law, the 1994 Oregon Death with Dignity Act. “We are fortunate and thrilled they have agreed to serve on our board of directors.”
“I am confident Haider and Dan will help Compassion & Choices realize a patient-directed health system that respects the patient’s voice and autonomy at the end of life,” said Compassion & Choices Chief Program Officer Kim Callinan. “Their skills will complement the expertise of our other board members and help us advance our mission.”