Testimonials

I joined Choice and Dignity for the most selfish of reasons: I want those options available when I get to that spot! Arizona presents one of the most daunting social and legal landscapes for death with dignity. Sure, someday it will be “cool.” But let it be remembered that John Abraham and the Choice and Dignity group were there hard at work on it long before it was cool. -Gary Dukarich, Attorney, Phoenix

         Choice and Dignity means so much to me that I have included it in my will. Of all the progressive causes I've supported over my lifetime with time or money or both, it is the one that can have the most impact on me personally.

Our local organization is very active with many events, easily accessible for information or support, and committed to ensuring our final human right: that of a dignified death of one's own choice.

I urge everyone reading this to not only support Choice and Dignity now with your time and/or money, but also to include the group in your final bequests. - Renée Neumann, Green Valley


I met Stan, what seems like a hundred years ago in Chicago.  We were both affiliated with a stock exchange there.  Although Stan was 30 years older than I, we became fast friends.  We spent a lot of time together.  He came to my house every holiday.  Stan came to my children's plays, sporting events and birthday parties.  He came on vacations with myself and my family.  Stan and I always skied together.  The thing I most remember about Stan is how he made me laugh.  I don't mean giggles, I mean full on laughter that would send you running to the bathroom.

We talked on the phone every single day for over 30 years. We talked about life, love, who was getting married, who was getting divorced, what questions he answered correctly on the T.V. show Jeopardy, where we were going on our next ski trip, the kids and death. 

I was as close to Stan as any man I had ever met.  We shared an intimate relationship without it being physical.  I am sure of these things, the love of my son, the love of my daughter, the love of my sisters and the love of Stan.

In one of our many conversations he made it a point to show me his will and his wishes if he became ill. It was paramount in his thoughts that he not be a burden to his own children.

As all of us have experienced losing friends, some do suffer, some linger, and some exhaust the resources of the family. 

After attending a funeral of a mutual friend, (who did suffer) as we walked to the car Stan said to me, "That's not the way I want to go." Stan took the usual steps to ensure that this would not happen to him.  That he would not suffer, that he would not linger, and that he would spare his children and loved ones the agony of a prolonged death.  He wrote it in his will, and he put a DNR (do not resuscitate) order at the hospital just in case.

We continued our relationship for several more years and then Stan got sick.

Cancer of the liver.  He went through it bravely, still cracking jokes, still making me laugh.  He got worse and started turning yellow.  I remember he told the staff several times that he had a DNR on file.  Stan and I said our emotional good byes while he was still lucid.  A film covered his eyes.  I kissed him good bye. 

Instead of dying in peace like he wanted, the doctors came in and put Stan on a respirator. We watched as he laid there with tubes coming out of everywhere. He lasted for two weeks.  I remember being so angry.  I understand that doctors take an oath to preserve life, but what about Stan's rights?  What about Stan's wishes that were clearly written and verbalized?  He didn't go the way he wanted.  It broke my heart and I couldn't do a thing. 

This experience made me think about my own death.  This is the reason I joined this organization: Choice and Dignity.  This is not the way I want to go. It would be nice if I could preserve my dignity.  - My name is Mary Vallone and Stan was my friend.


I joined Choice and Dignity because I believe you got the shaft from FEN.  I admire all your hard work and sincere caring that people have a peaceful way to die when one feels it is time. - Connie Whiteside


Dear Brian Ruder -- There is no substitute for face-to-face contact and discussion, especially when dealing with right-to-die issues.  Face-to-face creates community, and webinars (which I, at 81, have never done) cannot be a viable substitute.  Nor can speaker meetings.  When my wife I joined FEN recently – at a cost of $75 – it was to be part of that community, to establish one-on-one relationships where difficult subjects could be safely discussed.

 

Frankly, the magazine is worthless to me without being able to discuss contents with like-minded others.  I think you are making a big mistake and we, to be frank, would like our money back – or for you to reconsider your wrong-headed action and allow affiliates to remain part of FEN.

 

Sincerely, Albert Lannon & Kaitlin Meadows


How I came to be involved with Choice and Dignity

 

In 2018, I was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera.  Polycythemia Vera is a rare blood cancer for which there is no cure.  At the time of my diagnosed, I knew nothing about Polycythemia Vera. I was given my diagnoses with some explanation (quite possibly I was in too much shock to absorb much) and given some pamphlets to read.  Getting the big C diagnosis with the additional news that there is no cure for this type of cancer was a huge wake up call for me to start thinking about death and dying in a practical way rather than in a theoretical way.  Fortunately for me I found Choice and Dignity through the Meetup site.  It is comforting to me to know I had a sympathetic supportive group of like-minded individuals in my search for solutions to a prolonged possibly painful and undignified death of needless suffering.  Choice and Dignity is a great source of comfort to me.  It is such a relief to know there what my options are for my death and that I have support and resources for planning and implementing the way I choose to die when the time comes.  I am grateful for Choice and Dignity so much so that I have volunteered to be the Vice President and do all I can to keep this organization and the choice in end of life decisions that they advocate to keep for individuals.

Tracy Corbin