July 5th, 2018; 11:30am to 1:30pm

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Guest Speaker: Matt Whitaker

Location: Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, South Chapel. 

In 1997, Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act. The act authorized medical aid in dying for individuals with terminal illness; it was the first law of its kind. Since then almost 2,000 Oregonians have received prescriptions under this law, and 7 other jurisdictions have passed almost identical legislation. This presentation will explore the history and professional ethics issues behind these laws, criteria for utilizing this option, research into traits of individuals who have utilized this option, and challenges associated with implementing laws of this kind. Participants will also learn about other legal end-of-life options for those who may not qualify for Oregon’s Death with Dignity.  

After this presentation participants will be able to:
  • Name the five key criteria for patients to qualify for Death with Dignity, and articulate the ethical issues at play
  • Identify all legal end-of-life options in Oregon
  • Describe the interface between hospice, palliative care and Death with Dignity legislation

Matt Whitaker is an end of life educator with extensive experience in health policy and advocacy.  Matt has spoken at numerous conferences on bioethics and person-centered care across the country and testified as an expert resource on end of life choice to numerous legislative committees. He has spoken at over 50 conferences in the last 4 years and been quoted as an expert in over 200 media pieces, including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Washington Post and Newsweek. Matt is a board certified music therapist with clinical experience in palliative care and hospice and has a passion for improving end-of-life care through patient empowerment and education. A Georgia native, Matt is a graduate of the University of Georgia, a graduate student in Integrative Theology at the Twin Cities School of Theology and has a specialty certificate in Palliative Care Chaplaincy.