Berkeley Doctor Opening ‘Death With Dignity’ Clinic For Terminally Ill Patients


LIVES. THE RIGHT-TO-DIE LAW GOES INTO EFFECT THURSDAY.. IT WAS INSPIRED BY BRITTANY MAYNARD, A CALIFORNIA WOMAN DIAGNOSED WITH TERMINAL BRAIN CANCER.. WHO MOVED TO OREGON TO END HER LIFE, LEGALLY. CALIFORNIA WILL BE THE FIFTH STATE WITH A “RIGHT-TO- DIE” LAW. KPIX 5’S JOHN RAMOS INTRODUCES TO A PHYSICIAN IN BERKELEY.. WHO HAS OPENED UP A CLINIC TO HELP PEOPLE MAKE THE ULTIMATE DECISION. From his office in the backyard of his Berkeley home, Dr. Lonnie Shavelson is preparing for yet another career. He’s saved lives as an emergency room physician, told life stories as a writer and photojournalist.and now he will be in the business of helping people END their lives. Dr. Lonnie Shavelson/Director, Bay Area End of Life Options “.so Thursday, June 9th, this law starts.and nobody knows what will happen on that day.” He’s referring to California’s new “right to die” law allowing physicians to prescribe lethal medications to terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives. Dr. Shavelson has created a new practice called Bay Area End of Life Options to explain what those options may be. “Nobody should be calling to say ‘I want to do this.’ What they should be saying is ‘I want to talk about it.I want to consider what this means to me.'” The issue gained critical mass with the doctor- assisted death in Oregon of Brittney Maynard, the California woman who chose to end her life rather than wait for a cruel death from her brain cancer. This testimony, recorded before her death, helped convince the Legislature to enact the law. Brittney Maynard/Brain Cancer victim who chose assisted death “Every terminally ill American deserves the choice to die with dignity. Let the movement begin here.NOW.” But even though there are safeguards in the law to prevent that choice from being rash or involuntary, Dr. Shavelson expects many doctors to be reluctant to help their patients in this ultimate medical decision. “In the end, you give the patients all the choices they can possibly have and then you respect THEIR choice.as oddly, we do for everything in medicine except this one thing.” He says he can help physicians understand how the option works.and help patients if their doctors refuse. Assisted death for the terminally ill is no longer just a question to ponder.it is now the law. In Berkeley, JR, KPIX-5. DOCTOR SHAVELSON POINTS OUT THAT WHILE ASSISTING WITH

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