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“Dying with dignity” advocate to speak October 10

A photo of Brittany Maynard and Dan Diaz

Dan Diaz moved to Oregon with his wife, Brittany Maynard, in 2014 so she could take advantage of that state’s Death with Dignity Act.

The Department of Psychology will present a talk titled, “Brittany Maynard’s Story of Living Life: End of Life Options and Care,” with Dan Diaz Tuesday, October 10, at 7 p.m. in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center. Diaz is an advocate for end of life options and “dying with dignity” legislation.

Abstract

Diaz is the husband of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who died in November 2014 from a brain tumor. Maynard’s story became national news when the couple moved from California to Oregon, one of seven states that has authorized medical aid in dying, so she could have the option to choose a gentle dying process.

Because of Maynard’s story, new “dying with dignity” legislation has since been introduced in 25 states. Diaz’s efforts were instrumental in securing the passage of the legislation in California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. His efforts continue across the country—keeping the promise he made to his wife. Diaz will share Maynard’s story and the reality of medical aid in dying.

Meet the speaker

In addition to this formal presentation, there will also be two opportunities to meet with Diaz Wednesday, October 11, in Room 121 of the Illinois State University Alumni Center. These meetings are intended for professionals and trainees who are more directly involved with end of life decisions and care, such as clergy, hospice/palliative care workers, hospital ethics committees, and local cancer center staff.

At these meetings, Diaz will give a brief presentation and Q&A session followed by discussion and the opportunity for interaction among various professionals who are involved in end of life care. These additional sessions will be held from 3–4 p.m. and 5:30–6:30 p.m. Light snacks will be provided. All university and community members are invited.

Sponsorship

These events are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences; the Departments of Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences, Politics and Government; the School of Social Work; and Compassion & Choices, McLean County.

To support the Department of Psychology and help enhance its educational mission with advanced teaching methods, guest speakers, and more opportunities for students to learn through research experiences, please consider making a gift to the department through the Illinois State University Foundation.

If you need a special accommodation to participate in this program, call the Department of Psychology at (309) 439-8651. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.