There are seven states plus Washington DC, where Death with Dignity is currently legal. There are bills pending in seven other states, including Massachusetts. State Senator Will Brownsberger talks today about pending legislation there. And once again, you’ll see that there is often a personal story for someone winding up in this end of life space.
It’s called different things in different places. Here in Massachusetts, the bill is titles S.1208 End of Life Options. In Colorado, the home of my last 3 guests, it called Medical Aid in Dying. Regardless of it’s name, it allows physicians to legally prescribe medication that a terminally ill individual can self-administer, to hasten their death.
It’s controversial, and definitely not for some (most I would guess). But for the select group of competent individuals who choose it, I believe it should be legal. Listen and learn:
Why Senator Brownsberger is an advocate
What the barriers are, even in state where it’s legal
What you can do to promote legislation in your state
Dr. Ross Camidge wrote an article titled, Why I Wrote the Rx That Helped My Cancer Patient Die that was published in The Huffington Post in June. This is how I became aware of this amazing team. I talked with Joan Hart, the oncology social worker, Dr. Jon Treem, the palliative care physician, and today, with Dr Ross Camidge, the medical oncologist, about their experiences with patients who requested Medical Aid in Dying.
We talk about a lot, including:
what the process is to request MAID
how clinicians feel about this request
what his team has learned from the patient’s they have received
things for clinicians to consider in states where legislation is pending
Oregon was the first state to legalize Death with Dignity Click on this link to view recent statistics and their data summary
Stay tuned for next week’s episode. I am talking with one of my state (Massachusetts) senator’s about the bills currently under review (H.1926/S.1208), to legalize this in Massachusetts.
Whether you approve of Death with Dignity, or “medically assisted death” or not, it’s legal in 7 states and the District of Columbia. Just because it’s legal, it doesn’t mean you need to partake. And if you do request it, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Death with Dignity is legal in 7 states and the District of Columbia. At least 8 other states have legislation under review, including Massachusetts, where I live.
So I decided to speak with some practitioners who have experience with patients requesting medically assisted death. This interview is the firs of three with healthcare providers from the University of Colorado Hospital’s Cancer Center.
Today I talk with Joan Hart, the social worker from the team. She provides insight regarding:
Did you know that many medicare recipients would have to choose between medication and housing costs or even food, if they had a serious medical condition? Healthcare costs are a large contributor to bankruptcy filing in the elderly.
Could your parents (or you) afford medication that cost 10, 15, 20 thousand dollars or more annually to treat a serious medical condition? Me either.
The PAN Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides assistance to over 200 thousand people a year. They offer grants to subsidize prescription medication costs for 70 different diseases.
Listen to my conversation with Dan Klein to find out:
who qualifies for a grant
how to apply
what you can do to decrease out of pocket expenses
where you can find assistance to figure these things out