Death & Grief Talk Podcast with the Grave Woman

Aired November 22, 2022

Our relationships with death, dying and the end-of-life are very personal and unique to use all. We will all meet death differently and because of this it is vital that our collective perspectives allow for countless vantage points. For many who have received or been living with terminal diagnosis, the thought of taking autonomy over “our meeting death” is vitally important yet impossible because of limited legislation, misconceptions, and taboo around Medical Aid in Dying. In this installment of The Death and Grief Talk Podcast with The Grave Woman, I had the honor of speaking with President and CEO of Compassion and Choices Kim Callinan. Compassion and Choices improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey. Compassion and Choices also provides resources that educate and empower those diagnosed with dementia, seeking or receiving palliative care support, and initiating end-of-life conversations with health care providers and much more. According to the Compassion and Choices website Medical Aid in Dying is a trusted and time-tested medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep. Medical aid in dying is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “assisted physician suicide,” “physician aid in dying,” “death with dignity,” and “euthanasia.” Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide, suicide, or euthanasia. These terms are misleading and factually incorrect. To be eligible for aid-in-dying medication, an individual must meet all four criteria: An adult (aged 18 or older); Terminally ill with a prognosis of six months or less to live; Mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions; and Able to self-ingest the medication. In addition to the strict eligibility criteria these laws establish the following core safeguards: The attending physician must inform the terminally ill adult requesting medical aid in dying about all other end-of-life care options. These other options include comfort care, hospice care, pain control and palliative care; The attending physician must inform the terminally ill adult requesting medical aid in dying that they can change their mind at any time. This patient right to change their mind includes deciding not to self-ingest the medication once they have obtained it; The attending physician must also offer the individual an opportunity to rescind their request. These core safeguards ensure that individual patient preferences, needs and values are honored, and guide all clinical decisions, including the decision to use medical aid in dying. Society benefits when medical aid in dying laws are implemented — benefits that help everybody — regardless of whether one decides to access the law: Improved conversations between doctors and patients Better use of hospice Better physician training in end-of-life care

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8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

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