Death With Dignity Expert to Speak in Missoula

by jhwygirl

Compassion & Choices is a nationwide organization, with a chapter in in Montana, advocating and educating on the subject of end-of-life care and choice issues.

It’s not something most people are comfortable about…but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. In reality, end-of-life care is something that is far better to be discussed and thought out before the torment comes to you or your loved ones.

Here in Montana, a 2010 Supreme Court decision – Baxter v. Montana guarantees the rights of a Montanan to seek doctor-assisted death as part of their end of life care.

Does that make you uncomfortable? It’d be weird if it doesn’t.

The shame of this all is that the only guidance Montanans have in this matter is the Supreme Court decision. Laws here do not set forth guidance, nor do they protect doctors or patients. They should.

Sickness and pain-tormented days are not the time to be fighting these things out in court, as Robert Baxter had to do in 2008. Baxter died, suffering, the day of the Supreme Court decision.

Dr. Tom Preston, a Washington physician and medical director for Compassion & Choices of Washington will address current issues and answer audience questions here in Missoula next Tuesday, October 12th, from 12 to 1 p.m. at University of Montana’s Todd Building, Room 210.

Preston has worked with Washington’s Death With Dignity Act and is knowledgeable on how aid in dying fits into comprehensive end-of-life decision making. He regularly consults with patients, families and medical providers, helping them to explore available end-of-life options, which results in a peaceful end to terminal illness and unbearable suffering.

Advocates and opponents would do well to inform themselves on this issue. Montana law needs to address this – as the Supreme Court ruling assures it as our constitutional right.

True conservatives would want the government out of the doctors office, and would want to protect doctors from unnecessary and undue influence that political agendas can push upon patients, families and loved ones much like what happened to Terri Shiavo back in 2005.

Montanans – Republicans and Democrats – overwhelmingly support supporting individual choice when it comes to death with dignity. A recent poll, in March, 2010 confirms this. Democrats – 69% support with 16 in opposition…Republicans 53% in support with 35 in opposition, and 61% of Independents, with 23 in opposition.

Where does your legislative candidate stand on this important issue? Will they stand in the way of protection for individual rights? Will they refuse to protect physicians from political agendas? Will they want to come between you and your doctor and your private choices?

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Death With Dignity Expert to Speak in Missoula « 4&20 blackbirds --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jhwygirl, Beth Saboe. Beth Saboe said: RT @jhwygirl: Death With Dignity Expert to Speak in Missoula: […]

  2. 2 Hear Robert Baxter’s Daughter Speak of Her Father’s Death « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] wrote the other day about Dr. Tom Preston, who will be speaking in Missoula on Tuesday regarding dying and death with dignity issues. In that […]

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