My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Compassion & Choices, Littleton, CO, USA
David Allan. Compassion&Choices Volunteer.
I have volunteered for Compassion and Choices for some time now and have no reservations commending their tireless ongoing effort to improve all aspects of end-of-life care for those dying of an incurable illness. I particularly support their historic advocacy for those eligible patients who freely choose to avail themselves of the California End-Of-Life-Option by requesting a prescription from a supportive physician to end their dying process in a peaceful, humane and dignified manner. I spent forty-three years as a registered nurse and too often witnessed and participated in the delivery of futile aggressive medical care to those at the end of life. The reasons why this occurs so often are multiple and complex, but major factors are the medical profession and our society are woefully unprepared to confront our mortality and paradoxically this can lead to much unnecessary suffering at the end of life. It is this area that Compassion and Choices excels through education, advocacy, and outreach to medical professionals, lawmakers, journalists, healthcare systems and hospices, and particularly the general public. Through these efforts, gains are being made in preparing all of us to better meet the needs of those at the end of life. As a volunteer, I find Compassion and Choices well managed, organized and very supportive of its volunteers by providing multiple resources in order to achieve its goals. I also commend them for their vigorous defense of the California End-Of-Life Option against legal challenges brought by opponents of an eligible patient’s right to self-determine how they pass from life based on their own values, beliefs, and ethics. Paraphrasing one author, “ It is one thing to say - I don’t believe in medical-aid-in-dying and I would never choose it for myself, and quite another to say - I don’t believe in medical-aid-in-dying and no-one else should be allowed, those who participate should be criminally prosecuted.” The first statement is acceptable, the second is not. There is only one stakeholder that matters in this whole debate, and that is the eligible dying person and their beliefs, values, and wishes.