Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Lynch

March 23, 2018

Medical aid-in-dying keeps moving closer to passage in Hawai’i, and advocate Susan Lynch has been working to bring this option to the state since 2002.

Hawai’i’s latest medical aid-in-dying bill just passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, and part of Compassion & Choices’ phenomenal on-the-ground team is volunteer Susan Lynch. Susan, who has been actively working to secure the law in her state since 2002, started volunteering for C&C in 2013 — attending marches, speaking at health fairs, testifying at hearings and more.

“My parents, veterans who served this country for over 30 years, were both diagnosed as terminally ill, with very different endings. My father suffered an agonizing, painful death even with hospice and palliative care as the family watched and could not help. We felt we had failed him. My mother after enduring this event and then being diagnosed terminal herself, did not want to put herself through this or have her family feel her suffering, found a way to end her life with medical aid in dying.”

Two months ago, Susan’s stepdaughter passed away after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Also a big advocate for medical aid in dying, she lived in Illinois where that option was not available to her. “She told me, ‘Don’t stop, and keep advocating for medical aid-in-dying!’

I believe it should be anyone’s choice whether to pursue it or not,” says Susan. “No family should have to move to another state or have to resort to VSED (voluntarily stop eating and drinking), a long and painful process to be relieved of such agony.”

“The people of Hawaiʻi should have the option, together with their ‘ohana and their doctors, to make the end-of-life decisions that are right for them in the final stages of a terminal illness — including the option to request a prescription from their doctor to end their dying process painlessly and peacefully. This bill would give those who are terminally ill this important option.”

Track Hawai’i’s exciting progress on our state pages.

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
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(323) 819 0310

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