What We Do
End of Life Choices California offers
trained Client Volunteers to work with
Californians who are seriously or
terminally ill, or those simply thinking
ahead and planning for the future.
Make an informed decision
Our volunteers give their time free-of-charge and provide general and specific information along with personal support to people who are facing end-of-life planning and decision-making. We provide information and support regarding end-of-life choices and options. Our goal is to help facilitate choices that reflect the wishes and values of the person living with the disease. We believe that if individuals do not have complete information about the pros and cons of various end-of-life options, they will not be able to advocate for themselves and make an informed decision.
We can help with effective ways to communicate with health care providers, as well as members of their own families who may have difficulty accepting the patient’s end-of-life choices.
Access to the law
Medicine still has a long way to go in meeting the needs of patients at the end of life, ensuring to the best of their ability, a peaceful and pain-free death consistent with the patient’s values and wishes. Thankfully, California passed the End of Life Option Act, also known as medical aid in dying. However, we still find that most people facing end of life decisions do not know of the law or all their options and therefore are unable to make educated, informed end-of-life decisions. Our mission is to help ensure that all Californians who are eligible for the law are able to access the law if they wish.
We can help you learn more
Our goal is to help ensure that people are able to receive the information and support they need to advocate for and experience the death they wish. To request volunteer support, please fill out this form online.
Request Volunteer Support
We help people navigate through their death process, from beginning to end. Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks or months: sometimes 1-2 meetings, sometimes many more.
Client Volunteers Provide the Following Services:
- Thoroughly explain all the different options for dying well and how to achieve them; including stopping life-preserving medical treatments, seeking palliative care, entering hospice, voluntary stopping eating and drinking with the support of hospice, palliative sedation, and medical aid in dying.
- Help people navigate through their dying process, from beginning to end. Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks or months: sometimes 1-2 meetings, sometimes many more.
- Offer support for clients or their families to advocate for themselves if their wishes are not being met or who are not getting adequate pain or symptom management.
- Meet with families to help facilitate discussions about the client’s end-of-life wishes.
- Provide information and support to family members regarding the process of their loved one’s dying, what to expect and how they can best provide compassionate and helpful support.
- Provide support and reassurance to the client as he/she navigates through the process of accessing medical aid in dying and encouraging the client/family to advocate for themselves. We also help the client find physicians and hospices willing to prescribe and encourage their having conversations with physicians or hospice to help them obtain needed services or adequate pain control.
- Bring an experienced, calm, and reassuring presence on the day of planned death. We also help review instructions and provide bedside support and comfort to both the client and family.
- Assist in completing or understanding advance directives.