End of Life Choices California—Here for You

Watching things bloom this time of year makes me think a lot about End of Life Choices California and how we too are growing. 

I am pleased and honored to share that I am no longer the “acting volunteer executive director” which I have been since our humble beginnings, as the Board of Directors recently voted to appoint me as our official Executive Director.

When the other founding directors and I started EOLCCA back in the spring of 2019, our vision was to help people access a peaceful death. Big vision! We were driven by the daunting realization of how few people, doctors, and hospices knew about California’s at the time newer End of Life Option Act legalizing medical aid in dying (MAiD), as well as all the other end-of-life options.

On our YouTube channel

As part of our ongoing effort to educate the public and health care providers about the law, we have created a short video designed to reach a broad audience. I am delighted to share it with you here.

Please take 3 minutes to learn about the positive impact we have on peoples’ lives.

I invite you to share it with your own networks so more people can be aware of this law and how to reach us.

To educate and empower

We continue the work we started back in 2019 with high hopes and dreams of continued growth and the ability to reach, educate and empower Californians so they know what all their end-of-life options are, and how to access them. One of our greatest satisfactions has been the specialized presentations we have provided to hospices. We have had the privilege of providing education to dozens of hospices throughout the state – from their MDs, RNs and MSWs to their bereavement counselors and volunteers.

To schedule a presentation, please contact our Speaker’s Bureau coordinator at speaker@endoflifechoicesca.org


Day to day, on the ground, our dedicated cadre of Client Volunteers provide the backbone of our operation. In 2023 alone, we have already fielded calls and emails from nearly 500 people. Our amazing volunteers offer support and guidance to empower individuals to navigate the medical system and effectively communicate their end-of-life wishes. We have built a rich resource center over the years so they can provide information about physicians willing to prescribe MAiD, supportive hospices with physicians who prescribe MAiD, and other pertinent support services in their community. In addition, our volunteers are skillfully trained and honored to be present bedside to support the family or loved ones on the day the client chooses to take medical aid in dying.  

“During a period of time when we were in desperate need of guidance and information and a resolution, we came across the organization (EOLCCA) and it helped us every step of the way.”

— Matt Mayerson, family member

Matt Mayerson

Sharing and giving

We are so grateful to the many supporters of EOLCCA who are helping us reach a larger audience by sharing our video widely. For more information about how you can support our mission through a tax-deductible gift, please visit our donation page.  Every donation, large and small, is deeply appreciated and helps us reach more people to ensure they are able to access the end-of-life care and dying that they want.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “…one must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”  We feel the work we do provides just that: brings the lightness of summer to an often-wintry time for those facing the end of their lives. 

Best wishes for a lovely summer.


EOLCCA supports a strong team of experienced volunteers throughout the state, ready to help anyone, anywhere in California free of charge with information and support regarding all end-of-life planning and choices, including aid in dying through the California End of Life Option Act. You can find comprehensive information on our user-friendly website. To support our work, or request an educational presentation, please visit ways to help.  Thank you for your support!

Last Flight Home

“It was like light from a lighthouse,” says David Timoner of the call he got from End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA) when he and his family were facing the toughest time of their lives.

“The wisdom we got from those final days we will carry with us forever.”

LFH Oscar shortlist pic

David’s 92-year-old father Eli was in the hospital. He had reached a point at which advanced COPD, CHF, and other health issues had become intractable and meant he would have to transfer to a care facility. But Eli knew he wanted to die at home surrounded by those he loved, and he asked about medical aid in dying. His family understood and supported his decision but didn’t know where to turn for help. Vaguely aware of a California law, they still had no idea what to do next.

“The day is a blur,” David says. “I think I googled something like ‘How to end your life legally . . .’ and EOLCCA popped up right on top. I called the number, left a message, and had a call back within the hour.” Lynne, the volunteer at the other end of the phone, was everything David needed at that moment: “Calm, empathetic, and with the answers to all of our questions. Lynne explained how the California law works and reviewed the eligibility requirements.” These, in brief, include the requirement that the patient must be diagnosed as terminally ill, with a six month or less prognosis by two doctors, must make the request himself, be able to self-ingest the medications, and be of sound mind. “Lynne also recommended that my father consider enrolling in hospice care,” David says. She was able to recommend two hospices in our area that she knew had doctors who participate in medical aid in dying. We chose one and brought Dad home.”
Ondi Timoner, an award winning documentary filmmaker, decided to record those days during the then 15-day waiting period mandated after Eli first requested aid in dying medication from the hospice doctor, until he could receive the prescription. She initially intended just to have a family remembrance. After all was over, however, she realized she had the makings of something important.

Ondi’s remarkable film, Last Flight Home, tells the full story. In the ensuing weeks, the Timoner family – Eli and his wife Lisa, their children David, Ondi and Rachel, their grandchildren and friends–would spend invaluable time at home together celebrating Eli’s unique life’s journey. The profound, intimate, loving farewell afforded Eli and his family by California’s medical aid in dying law, is the outcome we at EOLCCA wish for anyone who reaches out to us for similar help and information. That this Southern California family’s experience would be recorded by daughter Ondi and edited into a powerful documentary now being released to widespread acclaim, is a visual testament to the value of medical aid in dying.

At a screening in New York, daughter Rachel told a New York Times interviewer, “And then there is the idea that this film could change laws.” Many of us with EOLCCA worked hard to get the California law passed, and we continue to support expanding the law throughout the U.S. To have had a part in helping Eli Timoner and his family gain peace at his life’s end, and to know that they now join the fight for everyone to be able to make such a choice, is doubly gratifying for EOLCCA.

California is one of a small number of states fortunate to have a law which enables its residents to access this compassionate end-of-life option for the terminally ill. But, from call after call we receive every day, it’s clear that few terminally-ill Californians are even aware of the law, or know enough about it to even begin the process of requesting medical aid in dying from their physician.

Last Flight Home is a film we hope will receive all the top accolades in the film industry for its many-layered and beautiful story. The story behind the film has been well documented in the New York Times. It is one we urge our readers to see as soon as possible and then recommend to friends and family everywhere.

‘Last Flight Home’ is a film we urge our readers to see and recommend to friends and family everywhere.

EOLCCA Lynne with 'Last Flight Home' Director Ondi Timoner and family

From Left to Right: Lynne Calkins with Ondi Timoner, Rachel Timoner, and Lisa Timoner at a recent screening

Asked for advice she might now pass on, Ondi says simply, “Be with your loved ones now. Don’t wait for them to be dying. But there is an incredible quality of life when a person is transitioning. The wisdom we got from those final days we will carry with us forever.”
Perhaps the most profound lesson Eli’s family learned was the simplest. It has to do with summing up life itself – as we humans do so often by looking at accomplishments and honors and all those treasures we accumulate. But no, says Ondi Timoner as she reflects on her family’s journey and the creating of Last Flight Home.

“Look at it as a way to measure our lives,” she says. “Measure our lives with love.”

We hope Last Flight Home will reach the countless families and individuals in situations similar to that of Eli and his family, so that others may learn about the California law in time to make a difference in their own end of life if facing a terminal illness. Our EOLCCA volunteers are always ready to help. Call us at 760-636-8009 or visit our website.

Click here for more information about the film director, Ondi Timoner, and Interloper Films.

Click here to stream it on Paramount+ 

Paramount+ logo



A lifelong newspaper and magazine writer, EOLCCA Board Member Fran Moreland Johns has published fiction, nonfiction, and several books. Her focus on end-of-life issues includes many volunteer years, numerous articles and one book, Dying Unafraid. She holds a BA in Art from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and currently blogs at Medium.com and franjohns.net. Her short story collection, Marshallville Stories, was released in April 2022.