I became aware of the dying with dignity movement in June, 2004, and of Compassion and Choices a short time later, though the organization went through a couple of name changes before it became Compassion and Choices. My original introduction to dying with dignity was philosophical in nature – I heard a presentation on the separation of church and state given by people involved in the movement in Oregon. Once my life intersected with C&C, my involvement as a volunteer, supporter, and, above all, an advocate, became personal.
The young people in the organization, both staff and volunteers (I'm just shy of 78 now, so I tend to think of folks around me as "the young people") are smart, dedicated, and capable. I'm proud to be affiliated with them. I fully realize I'm talking about a 501(c) 3, but it truly seems a bit more like an extended family.
C&C has been in the forefront of dying with dignity legislation attempts in the United States and it was the principal force that recently brought California's End of Life Option Act into existence. All signs indicate C&C will be leading the battle to protect the new law.
I'm a "volunteer," but I've been well rewarded when someone stops by a C&C table in some exhibit hall or convention center, and takes time to chat with me because they appreciate the organization's efforts or they have a personal story to share about a loved one's death. These moments have given my life a meaning and sense of purpose that no other activity does.
I encourage everyone who reads this to get involved in the organization in any way they can. Be selfish! Go after the same feeling of fulfillment and purpose C&C has given me.
After being with my brother throughout his illness, I promised I would work to help people have choices at the end of their lives. Witnessing his pain and suffering and that of our entire family, I came to support the option for terminally ill people to have medical assistance in dying. Compassion and Choices has made this choice available in California and other states. I have found a place in this organization to inform the public of this option. We’re not here to convince anyone to make a particular choice at the end of life. We’re here to give people the option to choose what is right for them.
The person who said Compassion and Choices victimize the elderly doesn't understand what the law is. Nobody is victimized. A dying person who is mentally capable and has been diagnosed by two doctors and have 6 months or less to live is able to obtain medication to end suffering. Compassion and choices is the wonderful organization with caring people to help patients and their family. Money is not even an issue nor is it mentioned in the law. People are caring and help patients at the end of their life whether a person wants to go on hospice or take medication to end suffering, or other options. For those who don't want to utilize it, no one can make a person do it. Even if people don't use the medication to end life, it's good to know it's there in case of unbearable suffering. Everyone I've dealt with at Compassion and Choices has been wonderful.
These are sad people who victimize the elderly and try to get their money. These people shouldn't be allowed to continue their abuse of the elderly.