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Serene Meshel-Dillman. Credit: Meshel-Dillman

Life Health > Long-Term Care Planning

Documentary Promotes Aid-in-Dying Bills

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Compassion & Choices, a group that supports state medical aid-in-dying bills, is supporting “Take Me Out Feet First,” a documentary series about the topic.

The Littleton, Colorado-based group helped provide Serene Meshel-Dillman, a California filmmaker who created the series, connect with some of the people who appear on camera.

Meshel-Dillman created the series in response to how California’s End of Life Option Act affected her parents.

Meshel-Dillman’s parents moved to California from New York in the early 1990s. Both of them were diagnosed with cancer. Her mother used life-ending care in 2017, and her father used life-ending care in 2022.

Meshel-Dillman said her parents had control over when their life ended because they moved to California.

“They would not have had that option if they still had lived in New York,” she said.

What it means: The demographic age shift that’s generating discussions about retirement income planning and estate planning is leading to more conversations about hospice care and end-of-life options.

The legislation: Compassion & Choices says 10 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical aid-in-dying laws.

Two aid-in-dying bills in New York state, A995a and S2445a, have attracted support from 88 co-sponsors, the group says.

The opposition: Many religious groups, groups for people with disabilities and medical groups continue to oppose aid-in-dying legislation.

One of the opponents is the American Medical Association.

“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks,” according to the AMA code of ethics.

Insurance coverage: For financial professionals’ clients, one thought that might come up is whether insurance will help them pay for life-ending care.

Meshel-Dillman said in an interview that her parents had health coverage and health care from Kaiser Permanente, which has a department that supports enrollees with medical aid in dying.

“The pharmacist delivered the medication the day of ingestion both times,” Meshel-Dillman recalled.

Kaiser Permanente also sent a social worker to talk about the process with her, her brother and her parents.

The health plan covered all costs except for a modest co-payment.

Serene Meshel-Dillman. Credit: Meshel-Dillman


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