Meetings & Events


July 10 — Providing Comfort at End of Life Through Hospice and Palliative Care

      Part Two of our Legal Options at End of Life series

Monday, July 10, 2017
12:15–2:00 pm
William K. Sanford Town Library (Colonie)   [Map]
629 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211

Beth Mahar, Director of Operations for the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of NY State (HPCANYS), will chair a panel exploring the provisions of hospice and palliative care to terminally ill patients. Provider services, legal restrictions/requirements, qualifying conditions, and the role of hospice and palliative services in end-of-life care will be explored in an interactive format. Panelists will share experiences, perspectives, and insights into this important component of the care spectrum for terminally ill patients.

The meeting is free and open to the public.


NOTE: Videos of recent program meetings can be accessed from our Resources page.


June 13, 2017: Voluntarily Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED): A End-of-Life Option

Judith Schwarz, RN, PhD, the Clinical Director of End of Life Choices NY, will present information about VSED, which is a legal option in New York State. Implications for both the patient and family, and responsibilities for caregivers will be featured. Information will also be presented about how provisions for VSED can be included in Advance Care Directives in the event of loss of decision-making capacity due to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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May 9, 2017: Lobby Day

Supporters and advocates will travel to Albany from across the state to rally in support of New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act and visit with their own Assembly Members and Senators, as well as other key lawmakers poised to take a vote on the bill. Mark your calendar to join us.

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May 4, 2017: Communicating Effectively With Legislators

This program will feature opportunities to learn effective strategies and techniques for communicating with legislators and ensuring that your feelings are articulated in a clear and robust manner. Observations of role-playing scenarios and a conversation with a New York State official will assist those in attendance to learn “how to make difference” when communicating with your elected representatives.

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March 22, 2017: Being Mortal

We will show the 2015 PBS FRONTLINE program on Dr. Atul Gawande, author of the best-selling book Being Mortal, followed by a discussion afterwards. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.

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December 7, 2016: Palliative Care and Hospice

Dr. David S. Pratt, MD, MPH will discuss the services provided through Palliative Care and Hospice. Who is eligible? What is included? When should people become involved? What is the process for getting these services?

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October 25, 2016: Controlling Your Destiny: Legal Documents That Work

Estate Planning isn’t just about money—it is also choosing the people you want to speak for you when you are no longer able, and providing them with the legal authority to carry out your wishes. Attorney Louis W Pierro will discuss Advance Directives, DNR orders, and how to have frank, honest discussions about your choices with family, physicians, attorneys and caregivers.

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September 29, 2016: Clergy Perspectives on End-of-Life Options

An interfaith panel of nationally and locally prominent clergy members will explore how their ethical and religious beliefs relate to end-of-life options in the context of pending legislation in New York authorizing medical aid in dying. Panelists will include Dr. David M. Gordis, Rev. Dr. Eric S. Shaw, and Dr. William Levering.

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May 10, 2016: Compassion & Choices Lobby Day

Our next New York Lobby Day will be Tuesday, May 10. It’s an important opportunity to share your personal story and continue to build support with face-to-face interactions. No experience is needed. Compassion & Choices will organize teams for visits with your Senator and Assembly Member, and will provide training, materials and talking points in advance.

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May 3, 2016: Showing of Film “How to Die in Oregon”

Peter Richardson’s award-winning 2011 documentary takes you into the lives of terminally ill men and women as they face end-of-life decisions and consider availing themselves of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which was enacted in 1997.

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March 23, 2016: Moving From Thought to Action: How YOU Can Make a Difference!

Wondering about the status of lobbying efforts to pass legislation on end of life options? Looking for a way to get involved? Please join us at this meeting for a very practical discussion.

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