After 13 years of helping all clients who need help finding physicians to prescribe aid-in-dying medication, we are on the verge of not having enough willing physicians to support the unprecedented number of clients reaching out to End of Life Washington (EOLWA) for assistance. We need your help so that we never turn any clients away!
Today, EOLWA supports close to 90% of the people accessing medical aid-in-dying in Washington. Seven of every ten clients we serve need help finding a supportive physician. A dedicated team of 28 retired physician volunteers comprises our free, community-based end-of-life care system. We are experiencing rapid growth in the number of new clients. In 2020, 540 people became EOLWA clients; In 2021, 740 people enrolled as clients, a 37% increase. We have enrolled 200 people in the first three months of 2022; we anticipate serving over 800 clients this year.
Fortunately, we have a clear vision and a strong plan to increase the number of providers statewide who are ready and able to support their terminally ill patients’ wish to access aid-in-dying.
We are devoting this entire newsletter to helping you, our beloved community, understand:
- The strengths and limits of our provider network.
- The provider continuum we envision building.
- How you can help.
We intend to expand, nurture, and sustain an Aid-In-Dying Provider Network that spans secular and nonsecular medical systems and EOLWA’s free community-based system, with a priority for underserved areas and communities. To reach this goal, we will bring on a licensed Medical Director to help coordinate services and ongoing opportunities for provider professional development, peer support, and networking.
Bringing on a Medical Director and devoting staff time to intentionally building a provider network that spans a continuum from free community-based end-of-life care to supportive providers in secular and nonsecular medical systems is groundbreaking.
We can be this bold because of you. You helped pass the Death with Dignity Act.
You support us to reach more people, change laws, and keep our services free.
You expect us to keep advocating, serving, and adapting.
We are not stopping here. We are also very proud to launch EOLWA Visionaries, a multi-year donor circle to fund the Aid-In-Dying Provider Network. You can find more information about how you can become a Visionary and other ways to support EOLWA here.
We are living with so much uncertainty. Yet, knowing that we have committed supporters, people like you, across the state inspires a sense of confidence and hope. We are better and more resilient together.
Inspired and grateful,
Judy A. Kinney, MSW