About The Podcast

The End of Life Option Act went into effect in California on June 9th, 2016. This law provides an option for people dying from a terminal disease to end their life in a humane and dignified manner using medicine prescribed by a doctor. Often referred to as Death With Dignity (DWD), this law provides a sense of control for patients and ultimately freedom; freedom from the suffering that comes with a terminal disease and freedom to make their own end-of-life choices, including how, when, and where they die. The purpose of the Death With Dignity Podcast is to examine the physical, social-emotional, and spiritual elements connected to the aid in dying experience.

And trust me people, I get it- this isn’t an easy topic to discuss. In fact, one could argue death and the experience of death is one of the most profound and difficult conversations to be held. Yet it’s crucial to understand and embrace the fact that there is no escaping death. Every human that has ever lived has experienced death, and if you’re reading this, no doubt that it will come for you someday.

We know that our time here is not a guarantee and can end in an instant. Despite DWD being a taboo topic to discuss,

We hope this podcast will ultimately bring forth a positive experience to all those who listen; providing an opportunity to reflect on their own life, beliefs, attitude, and empathy.

If nothing else, I hope this project will help people be more present, live in the current moment, appreciate or adjust their lifestyles in relation to their physical and mental health, and finally, recognize that each day truly is a gift. So despite the heavy topic and the baggage that comes with it, I am certain that by the end of the Podcast, positive views on the matter will reign supreme.

When examining the physical elements, we hope to learn how a terminal disease such as cancer physically impacts the body. What is the process like for the oncologist and patient when developing treatment plans, putting the plan in action, and eventually reevaluating it as a whole? How does cancer negatively impact certain organs or body functions? As the disease progresses and spreads throughout the body, at what point will an oncologist have the discussion about DWD with their patient? When listening to this podcast, you will hear from a variety of Doctors with different specialties, backgrounds, and beliefs on the topic.

Battling a terminal disease takes a tremendous toll on the physical body, but how does it impact a patient and their mental health throughout the journey? Any human will experience tremendous highs and lows throughout their lives, yet adding the extra layer of an aggressive and/or terminal disease forces the individual to reflect and reevaluate their morals, philosophies, and beliefs. Another crucial factor to this experience is the family component and their feelings and struggles as they watch a loved one battle, suffer, and ultimately succumb to a disease. We will gain insight from professional social workers who have years of experience in supporting patients and their families through the Death With Dignity process.

Spiritual beliefs and theology have played a massive role in the human experience since developing cognition and higher level thinking skills. What happens after we die is something every human has pondered at some point during their existence, and it’s possible that theological beliefs can be a hindrance to some patients when considering Death With Dignity. This podcast explores how spiritual beliefs may or may not impact a patient’s decision to use aid in dying medications. Through the support and discussions with Hospice Care workers and employees, we gain valuable intuition into a patient’s perception regarding Death With Dignity, as well as their last days, experiences, and moments in this physical realm.

The greatest human freedom is to live and die according to our own desires and beliefs

This philosophy can be applied to many facets of life, and should certainly be considered regarding patients with a terminal illness. The Death With Dignity Podcast has provided me the opportunity to reflect at the deepest levels, preparing me for the inevitable. I’m honored for you to join us on this journey and at the end of the Podcast, am confident this experience will have a positive impact on you.

Please reach out with any questions or comments and until then- Grind On!

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