Many of us don't think about the end of our lives. And few of us give consideration to the quality of dying in the same way we regard quality of life. Yet all of us would probably agree on one thing: that we would hope for ourselves, and the ones that we love, a peaceful death when the time comes. The reality is that many people, through circumstance of terminal illness, are forced to face the prospect of the end of their lives much sooner than any of us would choose, and they have very little control over how much they suffer, and when their suffering ends. Yet, in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont, the people have spoken: Aid in Dying legislation gives those with terminal illnesses control over how and when their suffering ends. Now is time that we who live in Connecticut, ask ourselves, and our lawmakers, a vital question: What is the meaning of personal freedom if we do not have end of life choice?
The Milford Public Library and Connecticut Compassion and Choices invites you to view a free screening of the Academy Award (R) nominated documentary short, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner. The film is a moving portrait of former Governor Booth Gardner's fight to ensure that our society respects the same freedom of choice in dying that we have in life. Gardner struggles with his own debilitating illness, even as he forges ahead in his "last campaign" to pass the Death with Dignity Act in the state of Washington. His message, which we will discuss after the film, is simple: Society must honor freedom of choice at all stages of life. Please join us next Tuesday, January 14th, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Milford Public Library for the film, and to learn more about Connecticut's campaign to codify Compassionate Aid in Dying legislation. Barbara Weinberg, MSCreator and Faciliator of Women Redefining Retirement