Copy
View this email in your browser
Welcome to our newsletter!
April 2022
Its purpose is simple:
- to keep you informed of news / information related to our growth
- to provide education about Medical Aid in Dying
- to provide progress updates on legislative actions
- to identify ways in which you can help

Progress Update

Our goal is to educate the public about Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), build a strong network of advocates voicing their support, and work with the Florida State Legislature to get a Medical Aid in Dying law for Florida.

We continue to contact legislators and their staff and are working to get a sponsor in both the House and Senate. Florida Death with Dignity supporters continue to contact their state legislators to educate them about end of life care options. To find information about how to contact your legislators click here

Over the last few months Florida Death With Dignity has been very active educating our fellow Floridians about the need and value of MAiD laws. Kate Parker, along with her volunteer group, continues to present to civic organizations in and around The Villages, as well as obtaining petition signatures from the residents.  Tony Ray presented to a number of civic and political organizations in the Orlando area.  To date, over a thousand signatures have been collected!  

Florida Death with Dignity had a tent at the Melbourne Spring Art and Craft Expo last month. Tony and Helayne Ray talked with hundreds of individuals who stopped by to show support for Medical Aid in Dying, and sign our petition in support of a MAiD law.  People shared their stories of loved ones who suffered and would have used a MAiD law if one existed in Florida.  Many tears and hugs, and they expressed gratitude for our organization's mission. It confirmed just how important our mission is. We will be attending this event in Indian River County in Nov 2022.

Roberta Goode presented to the Alzheimer's Support Network, which is dedicated to serving the thousands of families dealing with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia in Collier County, and beyond. 

Catherine Wallace spoke to the Aging Life Care Association, whose goal is to advance the dignified care of Florida seniors, the elderly, and their families.  She is scheduled to present to the Florida Association of Retired Americans via Zoom in May 2022.

Tony and Helayne Ray, and Elizabeth Kufrovich attended the Jack Has A Plan (see below) Florida Film Festival Screening about Jack, who has a terminal illness, and how he uses California's medical aid in dying law.  Bradley Berman, the film director, introduced our organization to the audience, and we had a table outside the theatre where many people stopped by to pick up literature and sign our petition.

Please support our efforts!

Florida Death with Dignity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit grass roots movement, is determined to raise awareness and fight for expanding end-of-life options in our state. It is time for the Sunshine State to join other U. S. jurisdictions having a death with dignity law, to make it possible for Floridians with a terminal illness to access the same autonomy and individual freedom while dying as they enjoyed while living.  We educate the public, healthcare professionals, and legislative communities about patient-directed end-of-life care.  We need your support to continue. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

Volunteer Spotlight

It is with gratitude that our Volunteer Spotlight features Elizabeth Kufrovich.  Witnessing the death of her grandfather from cancer, and her passion for an individual's rights, has motivated her to join Florida Death with Dignity.

Elizabeth has helped us navigate the legislative system while working tirelessly on editing our model Medical Aid in Dying Act. She has personally met with Florida legislators to educate them on Medical Aid in Dying.

Elizabeth Kufrovich is a lifelong resident of Florida. Growing up in the Orlando and Winter Park area she was exposed to the difficulties renters experience and the prevalence of homelessness. This exposure to injustice, coupled with the experiences she has had as a person living with disabilities, inspire her to engage in activism for individual rights and collective power. She previously worked as a campaign intern for a state representative and is very interested in state law and advocacy. Elizabeth intends to pursue a degree and career in speech-language pathology and currently works as a substitute teacher's aide.


Thanks Elizabeth!

Building our Core Team

A big shout out to one of our newest volunteers, Anne Kennedy!  Anne participated in our training program, has gathered signatures at several events for our petition in support of a MAiD law, and has had her opinion piece published in a local Florida newspaper.

A bright idea can come from anyone!  The more diversity we have on our team, the more unique perspectives we share.  Everyone deserves an Aid in Dying option, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. We are committed to an inclusive core team that fully represents different cultures, backgrounds and viewpoints. Our group is actively looking for more volunteers to fill both leadership and non-leadership positions. Contact us at volunteer.fldwd@gmail.com for more information.

Jack Tuller's Story

"Your politics might lean toward an accepting stance about the right to die. Or not. That’s beside the point. Our goal with JACK HAS A PLAN is to engage all audiences with an entertaining, universal story that invites reflection on the most serious subject in life. "  (Author: jackdocumentary.com, Published February, 2022)
ABOUT THE MOVEMENT TO REIMAGINE DEATH
From jackdocumentary.com

"American society is in the midst of a seismic shift in how it views death. The medical establishment has historically focused on extending every patient’s life for the maximum number of days. But there is an emerging and fundamental recognition that palliative care focusing on alleviating suffering is a more compassionate approach.

As America’s Baby Boom generation ages, our country will face dramatic and unprecedented increases in societal death rates. The scourge of the pandemic has made us all too aware of our fragility. The best time to discuss how to experience our waning days is now—rather than when our health declines or angels show up at our doorstep.

But what healthy and vibrant person (especially a young one) wants to talk about death? It’s the ultimate endgame. Documentaries on the subject commonly depict dire scenarios—such as reluctant terminations of life-support systems, or “point of no return” melancholy with cancer patients.

The topic is depicted as controversial, taboo, and often as a polemic.

That’s not the case with Jack’s story. His decision-making process takes place in slow motion over the course of 25 years. His complete comfort with the subject (and his jovial personality) allows general audiences to experience his journey not only as a viewer, but as a friend."

Share your story -- Here's how...
The power of a personal story goes well beyond simply relaying facts and data. It adds color, depth and credibility, and helps people connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.
If you are a supporter of Medical Aid in Dying, then it's likely that you have experienced an event in your life that prompted your support.  If so, we would love to hear about your experience.  If you have questions or a story idea, visit Share your Story and let's get started. 

Education Corner

Medical Aid in Dying laws have a successful history of being safe and effective.  If there was one area that patients and clinicians agreed could be improved upon, it was the time constraints built into the laws.  Typically, the process from the patient's first request through to actually receiving the prescription can be 17 days or more.  Many times, the patient dies before the process is complete.  Many states are amending their law in response to the needs of the terminally ill.
  

Recent MAiD news

California SB380

Changes to the existing California law were enacted to provide better access to the benefits of the law.  The changes centered on 1) reducing the time from first request to actually receiving the medication,  and 2) requiring healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals to be transparent in their decision to (or not to) support/participate in providing medical aid in dying services.  Changes include:

  • Reduce the mandatory minimum waiting period between the two oral requests for aid-in-dying medication to 48 hours for all eligible patients.  

  • Require healthcare entities, including hospitals, hospice facilities and nursing homes, to post their medical aid-in-dying policies on their websites.

  • Clarify that the first oral request must be documented in a patient’s medical record even if the physician is unwilling or unable to support the patient in the option.

Oregon

Last month Oregon eliminated the residency requirement in their law.  This was the result of a lawsuit brought by Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group, on behalf of Dr. Nicholas Gideonse, a Portland physician and assistant professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.  He had patients in both states but could not offer MAiD services to the patients from Washington.  The basis for the suit...if you can travel from state to state for other medical procedures why not also for medical aid in dying.  It is expected other states with MAiD laws will follow Oregon's example.

Call To Action – We need YOU!

As a rapidly growing grassroots movement we have many needs! This translates into opportunities for volunteers who have the time, motivation and skills to support our growth. Even 15 minutes per week will help! If you want to help, but aren't sure you have the background, don't worry: we will provide you with the training and the tools to increase your confidence and effectiveness.  Visit How You Can Help for more info.

We specifically would like to increase our base in the Naples, Ft. Myers area all the way north to Tampa, St. Pete area.

We are looking for volunteers to help:
  • Advocacy tasks: call/write to our legislators - we supply contact info and templates. 
  • Social Media: Promote our presence on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. 
  • Membership: Looking for a MailChimp administrator
  • Are you a natural leader? We have several available leadership positions.
  • Something you would like to do which isn't listed? Contact us!

           Contact us at volunteer.fldwd@gmail.com to get started.

Help us Build our Newsletter Reach!

Here's what you can do: Call two of your friends or relatives who live in Florida, and whom you believe are in favor of MAiD. Ask them if you can subscribe them to our quarterly newsletter. If they agree, click this link and fill in their name, email address and zip code.

I am always available to answer questions, and provide guest speakers for your group(s). You may contact me at tr.fldwd@gmail.com.



Sincerely,
Tony Ray

 
Copyright © 2022 FL Death with Dignity, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp