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.

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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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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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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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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In Love, A Memoir of Love and Loss, book cover
Book Review

In Love, A Memoir of Love and Loss

I felt sad that they were unable to find that peaceful death in their own home and had to go to Switzerland to find medical aid in dying for early Alzheimer’s disease. As someone who has worked in the field of end-of-life care for over ten years now, it was still shocking to me to read her words about how poorly the US has constructed any kind of system for compassionate end-of-life choice.”

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woman sleeping
Inspiration, Stories

Why I Do This Work

I’ll call her Hazel – because she didn’t give me permission to tell her story. If I had asked, though, I’m satisfied that she would have happily agreed. Hazel was 78, and dying of lung cancer. Though hospice had been able to keep her largely pain-free, she was...

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California poppies

Looking Forward in 2022

This month, End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA) celebrates the completion of three years of service to the people of California. Dear Friends and Supporters, I am proud to share with you our accomplishments in 2021 and our vision for 2022. EOLCCA volunteers...

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Inspiration, Stories

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...

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