A Volunteer’s Story
Our client, and my friend, “Anne” died Friday, December 10. She was the mother of my best friend and the most fun-loving, bubbly, vivacious, down-to-earth woman I have ever known. I called her my “other mother.” At a cool 95, she was having a great time. She was my hero.
But then came the cancer and her life changed. Now everyday was a painful struggle. Her body just didn’t seem to work right anymore. After she returned home from a horrific trip to the ER, followed by a hospital stay and rehab, she said, “I’m not going back there,” and asked me about that “aid in dying thing”.
Even with hospice support, her daily life soon became a grind of pain and difficulty and loss of things that brought her pleasure. After going through the process with her medical providers to request aid in dying medication, and once she received the prescription, she seemed to relax and rally and had a pretty good week. But ultimately, the pain and misery became unbearable and, on that Friday, with her daughter, her boyfriend and me present, she drank her final medication and peacefully drifted off to a deep sleep with hugs all around. I’m grateful to EOLCCA for providing the training that made it possible for me to support my dying friend’s wishes.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
As the new year approaches, we thank you for your generous support, your insights, and your commitment to our work throughout 2021. You have helped EOLCCA grow in a sustainable and incremental way. We are truly grateful to be able to meet the needs of Californians, such as Anne whose story is shared above, seeking answers or support with their end-of-life options. We look forward to continuing this vital work in 2022.
The New Law
On January 1, 2022 — just a few days away — California Senate Bill 380 which became law this fall, will go into effect!
We welcome all of SB 380’s excellent improvements! Through this blog and our website, we will keep you apprised as the law becomes operational and we learn more about how providers, healthcare systems and hospices address required changes in the new year.
Here’s a snapshot:
- The new law reduces the waiting period between the two required oral requests from 15 days to 48 hours.
- Healthcare systems and hospices will now have to post their aid-in-dying policies on their websites.
- The Final Attestation form will be completely eliminated.
- If a terminally ill patient requests medical aid in dying and his or her physician does not wish to participate, the physician will be required to tell the patient he or she will not participate. AND the physician must document the request in the patient’s medical record and transfer the patient’s medical records upon request.
- The new law clarifies that medical aid in dying medication can be taken within a healthcare facility.
We continue to be honored to help people in circumstances, such as Anne’s, to navigate the process through the end of their lives and hopefully find their way to a peaceful death.
We are grateful to be able to provide these services at no charge to our clients. It is because of the big-heartedness of you, our supporters that we can continue to do so. Thank you. If you wish to make a year-end gift to further our work, please click here for our donation page and accept our sincere appreciation.
Happy New Year to you all! And best wishes for a more peaceful, healthy 2022.
The EOLCCA Team