Founders’ Story

We founded End of Life Choices California out of an abiding belief that all Californians diagnosed with a terminal illness should have factual information about, and access to, all legal options concerning their end of life wishes.  We come together as friends and colleagues with decades of professional work in medicine, nonprofit development, volunteer management, and a wish to expand access to health care with our shared commitment to the growing death with dignity movement.     

All of us were actively involved in the successful campaign led by the national organization, Compassion & Choices, to pass legislation in California legalizing medical aid in dying (MAID) for terminally ill Californians.  The law enables physicians licensed in California to legally prescribe a lethal dose of medication to their decisionally capable, terminally ill, adult patients requesting medical aid in dying.  The California End of Life Option Act (EOLOA) was passed in 2015, and there was an immediate effort to provide an implementation plan and on-the-ground volunteers for those wishing to access the law. Each of us either worked for or went on to be trained in that effort.  

In 2018, the larger advocacy group ceased providing on-the-ground volunteer services as their priority shifted to defending existing laws and advocating for aid-in-dying laws nationwide; a noble cause. However, singly and then as a group, we saw that too many people facing end-of-life decisions remain uninformed about all end-of-life choices, the law or how to access medical aid in dying  in California. We came to believe that Californians would benefit from a community network comparable to that which had helped so many people during the early years after the law went into effect.

We founded End of Life Choices California out of an abiding belief that all Californians diagnosed with a terminal illness should have factual information about and access to all legal options concerning their end of life wishes.  

Therefore, End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA) was born.  We made a commitment to help by creating an effective volunteer-based effort for the dying in California.  It is our wish that everyone has easy access to the information and support they need to make the choice for the death that feels right to them. It is our goal to provide information and personal support to people from all walks of life, free-of-charge.  We can be reached by telephone, email, or the contact page on the website. We will expand existing networks, train additional volunteers and build more volunteer teams throughout the state. 

Thank you for visiting our website.  We hope we can be of service to you, a friend, or a family member.  Please fill out our Request a Volunteer form if you would like to talk with one of our volunteers to answer your questions.  In the meantime, if you wish to support our work,  please consider making a donation either in your name or the name of a loved one.  

Respectfully,

Founding Directors

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“I feel so much better about this dying process since I have talked to you.  No one has been willing to have these conversations with me. Thank you so much.” – Client Testimonial

“I thank you tremendously for helping my wife transition as smooth and peaceful a transition as possible.” T.R.

End of life choices California

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