Dianne Clemens

At the end of 2021, Dianne Clemens was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Seeking empowerment and peace of mind at the end of her life, Dianne is advocating for the option of medical aid in dying in her home state of Illinois.
Dianne Clemens smiling wearing a hat and scarf in the snow

“I want the peace of mind that comes with being able to determine when my suffering has become too great — and only I can decide that.”

The following excerpt is from the op-ed, “Death and the power of options,” by Dianne Clemens that first appeared in the Pantagraph on January 20, 2023. 

As a nurse, I spent 50 years bearing witness to people’s deaths. I’ve seen people die with great dignity and grace and I’ve seen people who did not have the opportunity to do so – people who needed and deserved more options.

My professional background and lived experience with cancer have helped me understand the importance of medical aid in dying, both from the perspective of a practitioner and as a consumer. Until lawmakers in Illinois make this a priority, more terminally ill residents will suffer needlessly at the end of their lives.

I really don’t control much in my life anymore, but I realized during my first diagnosis that the one thing I can control is my attitude. I could complain, but why would I? I’m still able to do some things that are meaningful to me, including spending time with family and advocating for improved end-of-life care here in Illinois.

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