Aid in Dying - a very loaded subject and comes with a lot of stigma attached to it. What is Medical Aid in Dying? From Compassion and Choices:
A medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep.
Medical aid in dying is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “assisted physician suicide,” “physician aid in dying,” “death with dignity,” and “euthanasia.” Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide, suicide, or euthanasia. These terms are misleading and factually incorrect.
I get asked that a lot. Isn't that just suicide?
No, it isn't. Suicide is a choice between living and dying. To even qualify for Aid in Dying, you must have a prognosis of six months or less to live.
Why would anyone choose this?
It gives the control back to the dying person. Loss of control and an ability to participate in life is a major concern. When faced with a painful death that perhaps medication cannot alleviate - or most commonly, fatigue. Dying is hard work and at some point the person is just done.
I chose to certify and learn all I could about this because I believe it is every persons right to decide if they want this option or not. Because of the stigma attached to this, I also want to be there so they don't have to worry about doing this on their own. With and End of Life Doula to help with the details, this allows the family/loved ones to be free to walk the dying person to the door and help them cross it.
For more information you can ask me or visit the website Compassion and Choices.
I realized I hadn't shared where I got Soar Eternally Free from. So, story time!
I was trying to think of a name for myself and my EOL business - it seemed all the logical and good names where taken already. I just sat tossing names out and free associating for over an hour before I hit on Crow - crow - fly - crows soar....
Dumb... D'oh ... Christina *homer simpsons do'h*
It took me way to long to figure this no brainer out and it made me laugh.
When my brother died in 1997, we were at the funeral home getting things set up and it came to deciding what to put on the urn for his ashes. The usual, "RIP," or "forever in our hearts," did not fit my brother at all. I asked if it could wait for the moment and left it at that.
Moments after he was cremated we all stepped outside for fresh air and I looked up over the crematory stack and saw several jets pluming as they flew by. From my angle it looked like they flew right through the smoke and I said something like, "Houston we have lift off," to sort of break the horrible grief and sobbing tears. We all laughed but the image of Tommy, Soaring Eternally Free stayed with me.
I used it in my memorial speech for him and I also asked the funeral home to put that on his Urn.
Now I use it whenever I express my condolences to someone who has had a loved one die. It is also how I see myself during my last breath on Earth. Paused on a high cliff, in the desert at sunset, waiting to Soar.
So that is the story and it is why I am here. We may not want to talk about our last moments or last breaths but I think it is best to talk, to plan, to be ready ... to soar.
I cannot think of a better day to have completed the first part of my training and trying to come up with a succinct "elevator pitch," to share what I do with people.
Death isn't a medical event.
Most people want to die at home and instead, end up in a hospital.
Waiting to plan for a medical emergency in a medical emergency is never a good idea.
Take the control now and plan the way you want things to be - don't leave it up to family who may be too distraught and confused to think clearly.
That is one of the reasons I am here. I can help.
When is this day celebrated? April 20
What is Death Doula Day? The day is set aside for Death Doulas to engage their communities bringing awareness to the profession and benefits for patients and families. An End of Life Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) at the end of life.
This day is created to raise awareness about the profession of Death Doulas and how they can benefit patients and families at end of life. Death Doulas provide the additional support that families need in order to feel comfortable with taking care of their dying loved one at home. They are non-medical professionals that provide holistic support for the dying and their loved ones before, during, and after death. Trained in the various end of life stages, a Doula is able to assist the family with understanding the natural processes while providing comfort and support. This is the day where all Death Doulas can rise together and be a voice for social change at end of life, ensuring everyone has he most positive passing possible.
How should this day be celebrated or observed? On Death Doula Day we encourage the conversation about the profession of Death Doulas. This can be done anywhere in anyway. Have fun with it! Post/tweet/market/share, have a discussion panel, show a documentary, give a training, host a Death Café – Anything to do with end of life.
What we do in life echoes in eternity
Soar Eternally Free/Christina Stone
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