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A very personal look at end-of-life choices

Death is a difficult topic for many. No one wants to talk about what is inevitable for all of us.

A group of Cook County women have become End of Life Doulas—Margy Nelson, Jean Skeels, Pat Campanaro, and Suzanne Sherman. Working with Care Partners of Cook County, the doula team began offering “Death Cafes” in 2019 with the purpose of getting people together to talk about death, dying, and how to live life fully.

Carrie Framsted of Grand Marais was drawn to the Death Café after the death of her wife, Monica Schliep, from pancreatic cancer. They are pictured here during healthier days for Monica, on the left.

In her grief, Carrie also discovered Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit that advocates for the legalization of end-of-life choices, such as Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.

The Minnesota End-of-Life Option Act, which is modeled after the Oregon law, was introduced in the House (HF1358) and Senate (SF1352) on February 22, 2021. The bill authorizes medical aid in dying so that terminally ill adults of sound mind may request and receive from their doctor medication they may self-ingest for a peaceful death if their suffering becomes unbearable.

Carrie reached out to WTIP Community Radio to share her story and to talk about her work with the Minnesota Branch of Compassion & Choices.

Here’s Rhonda Silence with more.