Community forum on Medical Aid in Dying for Arizona



    Compassion & Choices Arizona invites you, your family and friends to an informational panel discussion about Medical Aid In Dying and the benefits of expanding end of life options for Arizonans.

    Hosted by Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik

    With special guests:

     Lance & Lauren Goldberg

    Oro Valley Town Council Member Mary Snider

    Dr. Randy Friese, UMC Trauma Surgeon & State Representative, District 9

    Dr. Vicki Greiff – Specialist in Geriatric Medicine

    State Senator Barbara McGuire, District 8

    Seating is limited

    For further information and to RSVP, contact:

    Sanda at: or 520-437-5614

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Welcome by Sanda Schulmann and Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik. They spoke about Compassion & Choices and that 70% of Americans polled want death by “painless means” and 40% who want to die peacefully at home end up dying in a hospital. Steve K said this is a “tough issue” and not “assisted suicide”.
      Lance Goldberg and daughter Lauren showed video of their wife/mom Terry dying of MSA (Multiple System Atrophy), who lived in Arizona so choose VSED (voluntary stopping of eating/drinking) to die, but wanted some medicine to aid her in dying. Lauren read her mother’s statement about wanting “merciful and logical choice” in dying.
      Mary Snider spoke about watching her sister in law die in Portland Oregon, by taking medicine and then having a doctor assist with intravenous medicine, that she died peacefully, w/o pain in less than 5 minutes. Her sister in law had a terminal illness, met the criteria for Oregon’s laws.
      Dr. Vicky Greiff, geriatrics doctor from Green Valley raised a # of issues for doctors: no consensus on issues, not trained in compassionate dying, patients have varied quality of life prognosis after terminal diagnosis, how to handle depressed patients or charlatan doctors who may face criminal responsibilities, etc.
      Dr. Randy Friese (trauma surgeon & LD 9 House Rep.) said that death is a part of life, issue is prolonging life or prolonging death; strongly supports people’s right to choose how they want to die, with good quality of life at the end.
      State Senator Barbara McGuire has introduced legislation SB 1136 regarding “terminally ill care choices” did not get hearing in committee, will try again next session. Her father suffocated to death, gruesomely so Senator McGuire feels this legislation is necessary for those suffering to die. Legislation modeled after the other 5 states where this is legal, mostly Oregon & Montana. She’s hopeful for new Senate & House leaders in AZ Legislature, in passing this bill, write to your legislators & Councilmembers (for resolution in support).
      Q & A followed about Alzheimer’s patients and how they can declare their wishes before they lose mental capacity, medical power of attorney, etc. Dr. Greiff wondered if hospice doctors could expand their practices to include home care, otherwise all patients end up in hospital. Dr. Friese cautioned use of words such as “euthanasia“ and “suicide”.
      Stay tuned for more forums, future legislation on this issue, and ask candidates about their position on right to die with dignity at upcoming forums.
      LD 11 House candidate Ralph Atchue present as well, standing room only audience.

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