Welcome to End of Life Choices California’s blog page. These thought pieces, how tos and essays are organized by date and category listed below for your convenience.  If you would like to subscribe to our blog and receive other EOLCCA updates in your inbox, please fill out our subscriber form! Thank you.

sunset through the trees

What MAiD Is, and What It Isn’t

Illness, dying and death can be troubling and fearful subjects. Not the kind of thing you bring up at brunch or over an after work beer. In a way that is too bad, these are things that happen to everyone, and by avoiding them, we give away much of our own power...

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Ondi Timoner and Eli Timoner in 'Last Flight Home'

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.

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.

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EOLCCA NorCal volunteers in Dec 2022

A Good Year

As 2022 winds down, I want to wish all our friends and supporters a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year. I always find it illuminating to look back and review where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished every year. I am pleased to share my thoughts with...

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volunteer at bedside
Informational, Stories

How We Help Our Clients

At the end of the day, I felt honored to have had the privilege to support Billy in his choice to use medical aid in dying, and to witness his passing. From the first phone call through the day of Billy’s death, we spent many hours on his case–and this is not unusual. I was also fortunate to participate in the very core of the work we do at EOLCCA: to help our terminally-ill clients find relief from their suffering, and achieve the peaceful, dignified death they want.

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Talking to your doctor

Talking to your Doctor about MAID

Being direct about a sensitive and personal topic like aid in dying can be intimidating. But the more clearly you express yourself, the more likely your doctor is to really “hear you” and understand not only your request, but also your priorities and values.

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doctor consult
Informational, Opinion

Talking with Your Doctor about Your End-of-Life Wishes

Planning for the end of life is unique to any other human life experience. Raising the topic with family members or friends is not easy. Talking with our doctors about our end of life is also difficult and not commonplace. Even when confronted with a terminal condition, the sensitivity around death causes many doctors to be reluctant about initiating such discussions and to instead rely on their patients to raise the topic.

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The Day I Die, by Anita Hannig
Book Review

The Day I Die: The untold story of assisted dying in America

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of assisted dying,” Hannig says. “They provide firstline support for families and patients, and it’s hard to overestimate the role they play. In my research, I witnessed how much families and their loved ones leaned on volunteers for their technical expertise but also – and equally importantly – for their human touch and care. In a time of great vulnerability and uncertainty, volunteers help patients navigate the ins and outs of qualifying for the law and accompanying them each step of the way afterward. The emotional labor volunteers put into their work is nothing short of admirable. I have profound respect for their work.”

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Nurses defend Dr. William Husel (center) during his trial.

Comfort at Life’s End

When is being comfortable and pain-free not a good idea? Most of us would say never. As we humans approach life’s end, though, that question can get trickier. Or at least more complex.   A recent court case stirred renewed discussion of end-of-life care,...

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A Return To Nature

  I recently read this article, which appeared in my Inbox. I was pleasantly surprised by all the information it contained about green burial.  This issue has not been part of my decade-long work in death and dying. However, I have known others who are...

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Informational, Inspiration

Apoyo y Ayuda al Final / Support and Help at the End

Sabemos que hay versiones diversas de cómo vivir una vida buena y plena. ¿Sabía usted que contamos con varias opciones para morir una muerte digna y serena? Entre ellas se encuentran la muerte natural, el cese de tratamientos médicos, el hospicio, los cuidados paliativos, la sedación paliativa, la suspensión voluntaria de la comida y la bebida, y la ayuda médica para morir.

We know that there are various versions of how to live a good and full life. Did you know that we have several options for dying with dignity and serenity? These include natural death, stopping unwanted medical treatment, hospice, palliative care, palliative sedation, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, and medical aid in dying.

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End of life choices California

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