Death with Dignity Part Four with Senator Will Brownsberger_077

Massachusetts State Senator Will Brownsberger

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

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Death with Dignity Part Three, with Dr. Ross Camidge_076

Dr. Ross Camidge

This week’s episode wraps up my talk’s with a group of healthcare providers from the University of Colorado’s Cancer Center, about their experience with Medical Aid in Dying (MAID), or Death with Dignity.

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.

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Death with Dignity Part Two with Dr. Jonathan Treem_075

Dr. Jonathan Treem

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.

In today’s episode, Dr. Jonathan Treem, a palliative care physician affiliated with the University of Colorado Hospital Cancer Center, talks us through the process of Medical Aid in Dying in Colorado.

You’ll also learn:

  • The barriers to medical aid in dying (even in states where it’s legal)
  • three things people who request medical aid in dying are encouraged to do
  • three suggestions for clinicians in states where Death with Dignity laws are pending or forthcoming

Check out the bills currently undergoing review in Massachusetts

End of Life Options Act

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Death with Dignity Part One with Joan Hart, MSW_074

Joan Hart, MSW and her Mom,
cuz you have to smile!

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:

  • medical aid in dying (MAID) in Colorado
  • who is a qualified terminally ill adult
  • why some patients choose this option
  • the impact this decision can have on providers

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PAN Foundation with Dan Klein_073

Dan Klein, President/CEO
PAN Foundation

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


National Council on Aging

Download the app FundFinder to help you find financial assistance from charitable organizations

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