Exploring Your End of Life Options
The End of Life Option Act, which was signed into California law in October, will become effective 90 days after the special legislative session in which it was passed adjourns. Discussing the range of options available at the end of life will be Cecily Hintzen, the Central California Outreach Manager for the Compassion and Choices End of Life Option Act Access Campaign, and Susan Johnston, the organization's Orange County co-action team leader. They also will touch on the importance of an advance directive and how to start end-of-life conversations with those close to you before the need arises. (Note: Hintzen will give the talk in Hollywood, while Johnston will lecture at Costa Mesa. Johnston will be substituting for Joe Barnes, the group’s California outreach manager.)
Compassion and Choices' mission is to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. It supports, educates and empowers healthcare consumers and providers to ensure trhat shared decision-making occurs between doctors and patients; that every person receives medical treatment aligned with her or his values and priorities; and that people and their loved ones are fully informed and supported by providers on the full-range of end-of-life options, including medical aid in dying.
Hintzen earned her Bachelor's degree from UCSB and her Master's degree from California Lutheran University. After working in education as a teacher and counselor for at-risk high school students, she spent 10 years working in healthcare. As the owner of Pathfinders Memorial Planning, Cecily works with families to help them through difficult decisions after a loved one dies and facilitates discussions about end-of-life choices.
Johnston earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor of education degrees from UCLA, where she taught at its elementary school before moving to California State University at Dominguez Hills to serve as professor of education for 39 years in its Graduate College of Education. She also served as a consultant to community colleges on effective instruction and curriculum design to increase their rate of student success. Johnston has been an active volunteer with Compassion and Choices for several years in working towards passing the California End of Life Option Act and is now making community presentations to inform the public about the specific terms of the Act that becomes effective June 9th. She is committed to helping to establish the normalization of medical aid in dying as an acceptable option for terminally ill patients in our state.
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