From the President:
I was just reading the article, by then President Joyce Nielsen, in our Spring 2012 newsletter. I second Joyce's urging
to all Compassion & Choices members and supporters to tell our relatives what our dying wishes are. I will go one
step further. We need to be talking with acquaintances and strangers too. It is amazing how many people we can engage each
day. Here is an example: As I was dropping a piece of mail to a legislator in my mailbox, I told the mail carrier what I was
posting. He said he supported the idea and that he would sign a petition. The next day, when I met him at the mailbox with
a petition and clipboard in hand, he signed it! Another example: A Kinko's employee was printing letters to Iowa legislators.
I asked her if she would take a minute to glance through it. "What do you think of this idea?," I asked. She told me a story
of her mother who had lingered on and on with no chance of recovery and hated her existence. "Of course, I support your cause,"
she said. I invited her to our annual meeting.
We need to reach out beyond our relatives and friends.
We need to reach out so that we are not always "preaching to the choir." We need to talk to others who may never have heard
of Compassion & Choices, or have never thought about a prolonged death for themselves or loved ones. We need to talk to
young people, not just the older ones. We may very well receive negative, even hostile responses on occasion. We need to put
anticipation of possible negative reactions aside and keep engaging others about Compassion & Choices. We must keep our
collective eyes on the goal - Compassion & Choices advocacy for death with dignity. It has been my experience that
information usually peaks interest and support. We need to spread the word by mouth, by letters to our newspapers, by speaking
or arranging for speakers to address organizations to which we belong, to our public officials, and people who we meet in
the course of our daily activities.
Let's make a commitment to informing people about the mission
of Compassion & Choices. Let's make a commitment to making death with dignity an Iowa Law in our lifetime!
more information about Compassion & Choices, you may call the
National Office at 1-800-247-7421. Compassion and Choices offers end of life
consultation to patients and their families, as well as to interested
individuals. With information about choices, the end of life can be a more
meaningful, peaceful experience.
"Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain" - Iowa State Motto
Public support for aid in dying has remained at over
60% since regular polls first began being collected in 1977.
If any other issue held this same
kind of support for that long, it would already be a law.
However, aside from four
states, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont, aid in dying has proved to be a lightening rod issue facing
fierce opposition from some quarters of organized religion and, in some cases, disability rights groups.