Martha Werman, Boston Ethical Community
The Boston Ethical Community (BEC) is standing up for “Compassion & Choices” in dying this year in the Massachusetts legislature. A BEC member has presented testimony twice in public committee hearings on this issue, which shares many features with the Death with Dignity movement gaining support in many states.
Members of the BEC have engaged with the movement at home, by providing many informational programs related to the issue. They participated in “The Conversation Project” which enables and encourages the elderly to have a conversation with family and loved ones about their wishes for their final days and other aspects of their death, like the handling of their body. They also hosted “Wake Up to Dying” workshops in Fall 2015 on all aspects of celebrating one’s life before and after dying. One member attended a weekend with the author of “Die Wise” Stephen Jenkinson, and reported her impressions and information regarding aspects of dying and how American culture is not enlightened about this phase of life.
As awareness and consciousness of this issue are of growing national importance, members of the Boston Ethical Community are engaging each other to make an impact.