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Compassion's Work Gets Attention

Fall 2000

Recent national media coverage has brought Compassion in Dying to the attention of a new audience, with significant results.

An article in the AARP Bulletin for September titled "Families Fight Doctors Over Living Wills" featured the story of a Compassion patient who made the difficult choice to stop eating and drinking after a long life with Myasthenia Gravis. The nursing home where she resided refused to honor the woman's spoken and written wishes. Her family contacted Compassion, which worked with them to advocate for the patient's right to self-determination. This article generated dozens of requests for advance directives and information about Compassion.

Compassion in Dying provided support for local broadcasting of the September Bill Moyers PBS special on dying, On Our Own Terms. The Compassion spot was broadcast in Alaska, Southern and Northern California, Washington State and Oregon. We received more than 150 calls after the series ended. Many people wanted to learn more about our services while others were interested in affiliate boards or case manager training.

The third show of On Our Own Terms featured an Oregon Compassion patient and Dr. Nancy Crumpacker, medical advisor to Compassion of Oregon. Though Compassion was not identified during the series, people used the Internet and called Oregon hospices and other organizations to locate us. One woman who called said, "I wish we all had the choice that Oregonian's have, and a physician like Dr. Crumpacker. I have the same disease as Kitty Rale and she described my feelings perfectly. It's about choice and control."

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This article was provided by Compassion in Dying. It is a part of the publication Compassion in Dying.
 

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