Death is a grim topic, a taboo subject avoided by most Americans.
Changing laws about death is an equally grim process. In considering the nation’s first Death with Dignity policy reform proposals in 1994 and 1997, the opponent group Physicians for Compassionate Care asserted that people from outside the state would flock to the Oregon’s beaches to die. In 2009, Congress faced allegations of creating death panels if they passed federal legislation allowing insurance reimbursement for physicians who consulted with patients about end of life care options.
These political messages are but two examples of how the fear of death has been used in an attempt to extinguish policy reform efforts aimed at giving Americans greater choice, options and information about how they die.
Over the past month, though, a fresh face joined the conversation, quickly pushing aside the idea of end of life policy reform as a distasteful and…
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