The End of Life Care Committee was created in 2010 at the OSPN Taking LGBT Aging Out of the Closet conference. The group’s initial focus was the issue of medical assistance in dying, palliative care and the work of the Quebec Panel.
Over the years, committee volunteers have organized screenings of films such as A Short Stay in Switzerland, The Suicide Plan, and Choosing To Die. They also presented a panel on the topic ‘Palliative Care and Ethics’ where, among other issues, the question of loss of rights with a dementia diagnosis was discussed.
In 2011, the End of Life Care Committee offered a evening entitled ‘Taking Care of Business’ where a lawyer, an accountant and a family physician talked about legal, financial and practical issues that LGBT seniors need to think about in order to protect themselves and their ‘families of choice’. A three-part series called ‘On Dying’ was organized in 2013 to explore the spiritual, emotional and practical sides of death and dying.
The Committee has partnered with Dying With Dignity on many occasions including marches at the Supreme Court, film presentations, and DWD’s Advanced Care Planning workshop. Events are always well attended and generate considerable interest in end of life care issues important to LGBT seniors.
In order to plan activities for 2017, the End of Life Care Committee is surveying Network members for interest in a variety of relevant topics.