“Jack Has A Plan” Film Screening and Panel Discussion 2-17

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz County, February 17, 2024, 2-5 PM

Jack Has A Plan is the story of Jack Tuller whose career as a budding San Francisco musician was altered in 1994, when he was diagnosed with a terminal condition and given six months to live. This documentary tells the story of the following 24 years as Jack dodges one bullet after the next.  But Jack somehow turns his predicament into a left Coast art-performance project, complete with experimental movies, diaries, and funky dance moves. Finally, Jack engineers a graceful exit from life’s stage. San Francisco Examiner says “As joyous, thrilling and funny as any film about death could be.”

The film will be followed by a Q &A/panel discussion including Bradley Berman, director of the film; Jim Van Buskirk; Final Exit Network, FEN Regional Director; and Judy Epstein, End of Life Choices California, Executive Director.

Please share this information with your family and friends!

For more information, call: 831-454-8467

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End of Life Choices CaliforniaEnd of Life Choices California’s mission is to provide Californians the information and support to successfully navigate their legal end-of-life options.  Relevant topics include Advance Care Planning; the California End of Life Option Act (EOLA); eligibility requirements for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD); and Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)–a legal option in all 50 states. Our volunteers are very knowledgeable about both hospice and palliative care and can explain the differences between the two services.

Be sure to check our Resources page for Q/A; information on books, films, and organizations; sign up for our blog; see upcoming events; and so much more.  To request a speaker for your group or organization, click here.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: Last Flight Home 11-4

Temple Emanu-El, San Deigo

Saturday, November 4: Temple Emanu-El, San Diego. Time: 12-3 PM

Screening of “Last Flight Home” followed by Q&A and panel discussion

This award-winning documentary introduces us to Eli Timoner in his final days and highlights his extraordinary life, one filled with wild achievements, tragic loss and above all, enduring love from his incredibly close-knit family. LAST FLIGHT HOME shares a heart-wrenching and stunning verité account of a family courageously facing both life and death. Plus, learn about EOLCCA’s role in Mr. Timoner’s journey. A Q&A and panel discussion will follow the screening with panelists:  Judy Epstein, Executive Director, End of Life Choices California; Rabbi Suzanne Singer, Board Member, End of Life Choices California; and Dr. Gaja Andzel, M.D. – Endocrinologist and Physician/Prescriber for Medical Aid in Dying, Southern California.

Click here to watch a trailer for this must see film!

Registration link: https://teesd.shulcloud.com/form/timetoprepare

 

 

 


End of Life Choices CaliforniaEnd of Life Choices California’s mission is to provide Californians the information and support to successfully navigate their legal end-of-life options.  Relevant topics include Advance Care Planning; the California End of Life Option Act (EOLA); eligibility requirements for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD); and Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)–a legal option in all 50 states. Our volunteers are very knowledgeable about both hospice and palliative care and can explain the differences between the two services.

Be sure to check our Resources page for Q/A; information on books, films, and organizations; sign up for our blog; see upcoming events; and so much more.  To request a speaker for your group or organization, click here.

Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Health Fair – San Diego

Wednesday, November 1, 9 AM-2 PM, Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Health Fair

Be sure to visit the End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA) information booth at this health fair.  EOLCCA Founding Director Lynne Calkins and End of Life Doula Sharon Harris will be on-hand to answer any questions you might have regarding advance planning and end of life options. Admission is a $10 gift card or cash.


End of Life Choices CaliforniaEnd of Life Choices California’s mission is to provide Californians the information and support to successfully navigate their legal end-of-life options.  Relevant topics include Advance Care Planning; the California End of Life Option Act (EOLA); eligibility requirements for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD); and Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)–a legal option in all 50 states. Our volunteers are very knowledgeable about both hospice and palliative care and can explain the differences between the two services.

Be sure to check our Resources page for Q/A; information on books, films, and organizations; sign up for our blog; see upcoming events; and so much more.  To request a speaker for your group or organization, click here.

 

 

New Report on Medical Aid in Dying in California

We are pleased to share with you the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) newly published 2022 Data Report on the use of the state’s End of Life Option Act (ELOA).  The report reflects several key changes that went into effect on January 1, 2022 (via Senate Bill 380) that made the law more patient-friendly in allowing physicians to prescribe medical aid in dying (MAiD) for their terminally ill patients who are eligible under the law. 

One critical provision that went into effect shortened the waiting period from 15 to 2 days (48 hours) between the two oral requests required of the patient to their physician for a MAiD prescription. EOLCCA strongly supported this modification as many terminally-ill individuals who wished to use MAiD endured unnecessary suffering that the law (originally passed in 2016) was specifically intended to alleviate. In this new report, we are gratified to learn that:

“Out of the 1,204 individuals who started the end-of-life option process in 2022 and received a prescription during 2022, 947 individuals, or 78.7 percent, waited less than 15 days between the two verbal requests.”  

Almost 50 percent increase

Equally important to EOLCCA is the fact that the number of people who obtained a MAiD prescription increased by almost 50% compared to 2021. Universal knowledge that California has this law is a critical missing element that persists as a major roadblock for those who might request medical aid in dying. 

Too many people who might qualify remain woefully uninformed about the possibility of MAiD at key health care decision points in their end-stage terminal illnesses.

One of EOLCCA’s primary objectives is to continue to reverse that trend through comprehensive targeted education programs about the ELOA to hospices, medical practices, diverse local community organizations, houses of worship, and retirement communities. This year alone, our Speakers Bureau has already provided 42 educational presentations around the state. Please visit our Speakers Bureau webpage to learn more about this program.

volunteer at bedside
More good data

Several other data points of the report include: 

  • The vast majority (over 95%) of those who used MAiD in 2022 were receiving hospice and/or palliative care.
  • Those who utilized MAiD were numerically more white and had completed more education than the state’s diverse population. This is an area of extreme importance to EOLCCA as we work to expand our outreach and education efforts. 
  • About one-third of the people who receive a prescription never use it. 

To this last topic, anecdotal evidence we’ve accumulated through our counseling of scores of patients, indicates to us that having the prescription in hand has its own palliative effect, giving a measure of comfort and control to the patient. As a result, their anxiety goes down, their pain level goes down, and they are more able to relax into their dying process and never feel the need to take the medication. What a wonderful gift for people to have. 

I encourage you to read the report for yourself. It discusses in much more detail what peoples’ diagnoses were, their demographics and many other interesting factors. The report can be accessed here.

The report also showed that 84.5 percent of those who utilized MAiD in 2022 informed their family of their decision. In keeping with August designated as National Make A Will month, if you need assistance in preparing your own Advance Care plans, to better inform yourself or facilitate end-of-life discussions with your loved ones, please contact us.

In conclusion, while the results of this report show some encouraging advances, there is still much more work to be done. If you wish to inform, educate and help more terminally ill people access a peaceful death on their terms, please learn morevolunteer, or consider supporting our work by making a donation here