Category Archives: Death with Dignity

Posts pertaining to the “Death with Dignity” movement, and related issues.

Some Good Days – The Story of a childrens hospice…


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Date: March 17, 2021

01) LINK


“Year 1996. Moving documentary ‘Some Good Days’ The story of a children’s hospice. Little Bridge House, North Devon. Watch with caution as some parts are upsetting.”

This is not an easy watch…But it’s also very illuminating, on what is possible for children with a terminal illness…and what can be done for their family, at the same time.

This is really quite remarkable.

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Post-Death Care at Home – The Body: Moving, Washing, Dressing & Preparations…


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Date: March 16, 2021

01) Part 1 — Moving the Body


“This video shows the procedure for six women to move a 6’2” man’s (dead) body across a room and through a doorway, carrying him on a large sheet.

CINDEA’s other instructional videos can be found on our channel, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwE3wTIBVkNMuWhYv4u_RIg, or visit our website at http://www.cindea.ca


02) Part 2 — Washing the Head, Face, and Mouth


“This video shows the procedure for washing the hair and face, as well as cleaning the teeth and mouth.”


03) Part 3 — Washing the Body


“This video shows the procedure for washing the whole body (legs, arms and trunk) — as well as rolling the body on its side to be able to wash the back.”


04) Part 4 — Dressing the Body


“This video shows the procedure for dressing the body (in this case, with pants and shirt) — as well as how to set the eyes and mouth so that they remain shut.”


05) Part 5 — Final Preparations


“Option 1: Moving the body into the casket

This part of the video shows the procedure to move the body into the casket — using the same simple single-sheet technique as in Part 1 (Moving the Body).

Option 2: Shrouding the body

This part of the video shows the procedure to shroud the body in the simplest form of shroud — using a large (queen or king sized) sheet and 4 ties.

There are 6 shroud patterns (2 unsewn ones, including the one demonstrated here, and 4 different sewn ones) — with both written and graphic instructions, and approved for use in ‘green burials’ — that are available on CINDEA’s ‘Post-death Care and Home Funerals page under the ‘Shroud Patterns’ section.”

Very interesting and educational.

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End-of-Life Doulas Sue for First Amendment Right to Offer Advice and Support…


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Date: July 01, 2020

01) End-of-Life Doulas Sue for First Amendment Right to Offer Advice and Support


“For many, talking about dying is—unfortunately—a taboo subject. So, as someone nears the end of their life, getting answers and finding support can be difficult. That’s what end-of-life doulas do—they help families plan and care for someone transitioning from life to death. From helping families plan for the day that someone passes away, to providing emotional and practical support to the dying person and their family along the way, doulas offer a set of unique services rooted in a holistic approach to life and death.

But don’t tell that to the regulators in the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (CCFB), which—to preserve the funeral director monopoly on end-of-life services—have cracked down on retirees Akhila Murphy and Donna Peizer, two Sacramento-area end-of-life doulas who operate a tiny nonprofit called Full Circle of Living and Dying.

In November 2019, the CCFB responded to an anonymous complaint and ruled that Akhila and Donna were engaging in the illegal act of running a funeral establishment without a state-issued funeral-home license. The CCFB said that to continue to help families, Akhila or Donna must obtain a state-issued funeral director’s license, and that Full Circle must operate a full-service funeral home, capable of storing and embalming bodies, neither of which Akhila or Donna do.

Without the time, financial resources or desire to obtain the burdensome license and build a funeral home, Akhila and Donna faced a choice: Either they could shut down Full Circle or fight back. They choose the latter.

Today, Akhila and Donna—along with the Institute for Justice (IJ) and a group of families who want Full Circle’s services—filed a federal lawsuit to vindicate their right to help those approaching the end of their life.

“The Funeral Bureau is silencing free speech and interfering with the ancient right to hold a funeral in a private home,” said Jeff Rowes, a senior attorney at IJ. “California cannot force end-of-life doulas to become funeral directors to carry out their labor of love: providing compassion and guidance to the dying and their families.”

Unlike funeral directors, whose primary set of responsibilities is focused on the physical transportation or embalming of a recently deceased body, end-of-life doulas offer families experience and peace of mind throughout the entire process, both before and after death. Part of their post-death work involves helping families hold their own funeral in a private home. Home funerals are legal in all 50 states because they are safe and simple. The remains of a deceased person present no public-health risk in the hours and days following death.

Families are increasingly opting for home funerals for a variety of reasons: to care for their loved one personally, to honor the deceased in the familiar comforts of a private home or to observe religious customs, such as the Catholic Wake or Jewish Shemira. Once the home funeral is over, Akhila and Donna rely on a licensed funeral director to take the remains for final disposition.

“The goal of Full Circle of Living and Dying has always been to create a community that fully understands options and rights in death and dying. We advocate for the dying and empower families and communities to bring back the tradition of family-led death care through conversation, guidance, education and local resources,” said Full Circle Co-Founder Akhila Murphy. “We asked the Bureau for an explanation of what we did wrong. They told us to get our own lawyers if we wanted to know. That’s when we teamed up with IJ to defend our rights and the rights of consumers to know all their options in end-of-life care.”

Akhila, Donna and the other end-of-life doulas that work at Full Circle have a constitutional right to provide advice and aid to families in mourning a loved one. Specifically, the First Amendment protects the right of Americans to speak, and the Supreme Court has held that providing advice or instruction is protected speech. Earlier this month, in fact, a federal appeals court ruled that a Sacramento-area vocational school represented by IJ had a First Amendment right to teach students, regardless of their educational background. The Constitution also requires that governments have a legitimate reason for denying Americans their right to earn an honest living. Here, the government’s only interests appear to be blind economic protectionism for funeral directors and bureaucracy for its own sake.

“Akhila and Donna represent a movement that helps families experience the process of dying and death in a way that is unfamiliar to many now, but has been part of American culture since the founding,” said IJ Constitutional Law Fellow Adam Griffin. “This resurgence of interest in home funerals led the CCFB to overreact wildly, trying to shut down Full Circle to protect the funeral industry from the options that end-of-life doulas offer consumers. That is unconstitutional, and we will vindicate our clients’ rights.”

This video falls a little bit outside of the scope of this series…but I think it still compliments the series well…So, I’m including it.

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Lets Talk About Death & Dying with Caitlin Doughty…


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Date: February 27, 2020

01) Lets Talk About Death & Dying with Caitlin Doughty


“Let’s Talk About” is a series of conversations hosted by the Sacramento Public Library. The series features important topics that are often unspoken or taboo.

In this conversation, we shake the taboo off of Death & Dying with modern mortician and author of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” Caitlin Doughty. Joining her is volunteer law enforcement chaplain Jenny Ebinger.

This event took place on May 15, 2016, at the Central Library.”

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As ‘a Person of No Faith’: Death…


Date: December 18, 2019

01) Johnny Cash’s last interview (final) – ‘I Expect My Life To End Soon’


As “a person of no faith”, I cannot speak for everyone…but for myself, death is not scary…

…Honestly, I don’t recall any point in my life, where I felt terror or fright over my own mortality…and I am completely at ease with the inevitability.

Death is, however…a heart breaker…and a grievous annoyance…because it is going to cause me to stop engaging in everything that has given my life meaning…What I love, will no longer be mine to experience.

When you’ve spent so much of your life dedicating it to something much larger than yourself…you never reach that point where you are finally done…There is always so much left to do…but “you” cannot do it.

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die…


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Date: November 25, 2019

01) Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die


“In a frank and personal documentary, author Sir Terry Pratchett considers how he might choose to end his life. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, Terry wants to know whether he might be able to end his life before his disease takes over. Travelling to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, Terry witnesses first-hand the procedures set out for assisted death, and confronts the point at which he would have to take the lethal drug.”

This is probably the best documentary on assisted suicide, that I have ever watched.

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The Body Donors – Season 1 Episode 1 & 2…


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Date: November 17, 2019

This is extremely graphic:

If you watch these, you will see a preserved, dead human body dissected…as well as a dead human body being operated on…as well as the beginning steps of an embalming. There is no censoring of this.

I would argue that making this noble choice is a dignified path into death.

I also find this subject matter to be fascinating.

Watch at your own discretion…but this is very informative, about the actual process.

01) The Body Donors – Season 1 Episode 1 – Pilot


“Documentary series following two people who have donated their bodies to science, both before the death and after. Diana has time to plan her own memorial service, while Mike meets the anatomy students who will be working on his cadaver.”


02) The Body Donors – Season 1 Episode 2

“Documentary series following two people who have donated their bodies to science, both before the death and after. Diana has time to plan her own memorial service, while Mike meets the anatomy students who will be working on his cadaver.”

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Victorian firefighter dies in Swiss clinic…


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Date: November 04, 2019

01) Victorian firefighter dies in Swiss clinic

“Veteran Victorian firefighter Troy Thornton has died in a Swiss euthanasia clinic, leaving a powerful message for Australian politicians and voters.

He wanted the nation to think deeply about the concept of dying well, and to challenge the notion that choosing death is somehow wrong.

The 54-year-old died by lethal injection late on Friday, Australian time. His wife Christine was there to hold his hand, but he died without his two teenage children by his side.

He urged Australian voters to tell their politicians what they want when it comes to end of life choices.

“When it’s our life, we should have control. We should be able to choose if we are of sound mind. That’s what I’d like to say”

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