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Death With Dignity Podcast
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Death With Dignity Podcast

Author: Andrew Flack

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The Death With Dignity Podcast is the story of a 33 year old male with terminal cancer. Join us as we navigate and explore the End of Life Option Act, signed into California law on June 9th, 2016. We will examine the physical, social-emotional, and spiritual elements correlated to the Death With Dignity process; including guests of various backgrounds from the medical, theological, and political realms. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story -
21 Episodes
Andrew’s final transmission. It consists of three separate recordings he recorded on three different days. Andrew is joined by Suzy and Hasban to talk about his condition, how he's thinking about end-of-life options, psychedelics, life lessons, and friends/family. He also answers some questions from the listeners.The outro (the Desiderata) was recorded around 20 minutes before he ingested the medicine. If you want a copy of the outro only, please contact us through the website.The thumbnail for this image was taken around the time Andrew passed. This was Andrew's final view of the world out of his bedroom window. He was surrounded by family and friends that loved him dearly.Order of recordings:October 6th - The EpisodeNovember 14th - Intro to the episodeNovember 16th - DesiderataLearn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)Contact Us:
Show notes:Recorded on Aug, 17 2022.This is one of the two episodes that were released after Andrew’s passing. We originally planned on releasing this episode before his passing and the final transmission (episode 21) after his passing. But, things didn’t work out that way. It didn’t feel right to release them one by one so we decided to release them simultaneously. About the guest:Ginger Fairchild is a registered veterinary nurse and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is the widow of Sargeant Matt Fairchild who chose MAID after enduring nearly a decade of chemotherapy, radiation, hospitalizations, and surgeries in connection to his skin cancer diagnosis, which subsequently spread to his brain, bones, and lymph nodes.Andrew and Ginger have a really insightful conversation about her and Matt’s journey, MAID, how to talk to people who are sick, and much more.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)Contact Us:
Author Joanne Tubbs Kelly joins us to discuss her book titled, “Walking Him Home:  Helping My Husband Die with Dignity” (Amazon Link).Joanne sits down with us to discuss her book and shares her experiences supporting her late husband as they navigate life with a terminal illness. She discusses the writing and publishing process, the ups and downs involved with being a caregiver, and the idea that we all have the ability to experience a dignified death.  Joanne’s writing is truthful, funny, vulnerable,  empowering, and emotional — but most of all- filled with kindness, compassion, and love.  Thank you Joanne, for sharing your and Alan’s experiences with us. We encourage our listeners to grab a copy of her touching book!Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter),  dwd_podcast (Instagram)
Nurse Penny has been comforting and supporting people during their end-of-life experiences for many years.  She also has a substantial social media following on TikTok and Instagram.  Nurse Penny uses social media to educate people about Hospice Services, Advanced Directives and wills, and death anxiety and how it impacts our lives.  We encourage you to follow Penny on social media. We thank her for her advocacy and enlightenment on the subject of death and dying.Nurse Penny InstagramNurse Penny TikTokLearn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter),  dwd_podcast (Instagram)
Spiritual care is an integral component of the healing process, and in this episode, Allison Kestenbaum and Rev. Katie Whipple-Hatelvig join us from the UCSD Chaplain and Spiritual Care Services.  These two individuals provide compassion and spiritual support to both patients and families, offering a variety of services including crisis intervention, spiritual support, support in decision making and ethical dilemmas, providing prayers, blessings, rituals, and end-of-life support.  Specifically, learn how Allison and Katie wander along the delicate lines of faith and beliefs while offering guidance during one’s End of Life Experience, including paths such as Medical Aid in Dying. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
TW // Eating DisordersDr. Jennifer Gaudiani is an internist, who specializes in eating disorders. She is from Northern California, but moved to Boston for School. Once she finished her schooling, she moved to Colorado. Dr. Gaudiani now runs the nations top medical stabilization program for adults with eating disorders. She recently made news when she authored a study in which she prescribed medical aid in dying medication to three of her patients.  In this episode, we dive into the difficult world of eating disorders. Link to the paper —> more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
Meagan Williams resides in Oregon and has a deep history of supporting others and empowering her community.  A retired transition teacher, Meagan now works with Compassion and Choices, an advocacy organization working towards the goal of giving people the option of Medical Aid in Dying.  Meagan also serves her community as a Death Doula, helping those transition from life to death.  In this episode, we are thrilled to learn from Meagan as she explains the role and responsibilities of a Death Doula. Thank you Meagan for your constant commitment to making the world a better place. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
Dr. Chandana Banerjee is a medical doctor who works at City of Hope, located in Los Angeles, California.  She has expertise in pediatrics, palliative care, end of life care, and hospice care.  Describing End of Life care as an “Art”, Dr. Banerjee also developed the End of Life Symposium in 2019, an annual event focusing on end of life care and education involving physicians, nurses, advanced care practitioners, hospice clinicians, and others who are interested in the subject matter.  In this episode, Dr. Banerjee shares her life experiences with us, including her love for poetry, and weighs in on the Medical Aid in Dying debate. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
We were excited to sit down and interview Danna Nelson, a young woman living in Minnesota with a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma; an aggressive cancer which forms in the soft tissues.  Danna was diagnosed while living in Finland at the age of 22.  It was a pleasure listening and conversing with Danna, as she is the first individual we’ve interviewed for the DwD Podcast who is in a similar position as Andrew; a young adult living with a terminal disease, simply looking to have a choice during their end of life experience.  Danna takes the time to share her interests, what motivates her, and how cancer has both positively and negatively impacted her life.  We thank Danna for displaying tremendous compassion and courage while taking the necessary risks to empower those individuals fighting for a choice.  Enjoy the episode.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
Friends, in today’s episode, Erika Gergerich joins us from Arkansas to share her stories as a stage IV breast cancer patient,  a professor at the University level, and a single mother!  She has a teenage daughter and a 4 year old son; Erika provides powerful insight to our listeners, sharing the difficulties and successes of balancing her life as a mom with a terminal disease, along with the other major responsibilities that comes with being a cancer patient.  We appreciate that despite such a heavy topic, Erika leads the discussion with grace, positivity, love, and honesty.  Thank you for listening, and enjoy the episode.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
We are joined by Allyne Hammer, a resident of California who was diagnosed with lymphoma, and a brain tumor, over 12 years ago!  Since the diagnosis, she had tried the standard treatment of care, only to experience the rarest and most harrowing of side effects.  Recognizing that traditional medicine wasn’t helpful in her case, Alina has been experimenting with various homeopathic remedies for over a decade and continues to live in conjunction with her cancer.  Thank you Alina, for sharing your unique story with us while advocating for quality end of life care.  We hope you enjoy the episode.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
A long-time advocate for medical aid in dying, Roger Kligler is a retired physician in Falmouth, MA, living with prostate cancer. In this episode, Roger shares his journey with cancer and advocacy experiences,  and gives us a glimpse into his life as he prepares for a lawsuit against the state of MA, which would declare that Medical Aid in Dying is not criminal under Massachusetts law, meaning prosecution of any physician providing medication to a qualified patient would be unconstitutional. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
Episode 9 with Kim Callinan

Episode 9 with Kim Callinan


Kim Callinan is the CEO of Compassion & Choices. With an annual budget of approximately $20 million dollars, she leads the largest national consumer advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to improving care and expanding options at life's end. Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter).
Episode 8 with Dan Diaz

Episode 8 with Dan Diaz


Brittany Maynard was perhaps the greatest advocate for Medical Aid in Dying in the state of California.  Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013, Brittany was forced to leave her home state of California in a move to Oregon so she could take advantage of their Medical Aid in Dying law.  Her husband, Dan Diaz, was with her throughout this experience, supporting and loving her throughout her bout with cancer.  In this episode, Dan Diaz joins us to share Brittany’s story, why Medical Aid in Dying was so important to her, and why he continues to be an advocate for the movement today.  Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)
The team traveled to Moore's Cancer Center at UCSD to record this special episode.  Dr. Millard was a great source of information for all things cancer and you can learn more about him below.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter) About Frederick Millard, MDFrederick Millard, MD, is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in treating people with genitourinary (urologic) cancers, including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and other germ cell tumors, as well as other rarer cancer types.He is a founder and former co-director of the genitourinary oncology team at UC San Diego Health's Moores Cancer Center. His particular interest is in treatment of patients with germ cell tumors (testicular cancer) and improving the care of these patients in the San Diego community.Dr. Millard also participates in the clinical research effort for patients with these illnesses, conducting clinical trials to help find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with urologic cancer. He is part of the only oncology clinical research program dedicated solely to urological cancers in the San Diego area.As a professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Millard instructs medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. His work has appeared in many peer-reviewed publications, including Urologic Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research and the Clinical Genitourinary Cancer.Dr. Millard completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology, and a residency in internal medicine at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. He earned his medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia.He is board certified in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine, and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Lynette Cederquist, MD, is a hospice and palliative medicine specialist who helps relieve suffering in people with life-limiting and advanced illnesses. Dr. Cederquist is also the head of the Aid in Dying program at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). She explains why she chose to be involved with the Death with Dignity process and her experience as a professional.  She also discusses body autonomy and movement from the lens of a pain management specialist. Dr. Cederquist also shared her thought about the changes to the California End of Options act (we recorded the same day as the amendment passed).Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)
Dr. Tom Cummings is the medical director of Interim Hospice of San Diego.  A graduate of Stanford followed by University of California, San Diego, Medical School, Dr. Cummings has been an advocate for providing quality care for patients grappling with a terminal disease in the Hospice setting.  Being involved with over 200 patients and friends concerning the End of Life Option Act, he joins the Death with Dignity Podcast to help define Hospice care and share his experiences related to the topicLearn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)
Monika Lingle helps us understand the end-of-life process through her experience as a licensed clinical social worker.  Monika's specialties include: Oncology, California End of Life Option Act, Grief Counseling, Pediatrics, Maternal-Child health, Bioethics, Palliative Care, Post Graduate Clinical Supervision, and Advanced Health Care Directive planning.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)
California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman joins the podcast to discuss her role as a legislator advocating for the End of Life Option Act, passed into California law on June 9th, 2016.  Senator Eggman was instrumental in the passage of the bill and continues to advocate for Death with Dignity today.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)Timestamps:0:00 - 0:19: Intro music0:19 - 1:09: Guest Introduction- Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman1:09 - 10:00: Senator Eggman’s background / journey into politics10:00 - 14:55: Senator Eggman’s background with the End of Life Act 14:55 - 19:40: Opposition of the End of Life Act19:40 - 21:22: Aversion to End of Life Act / aversion to death21:22 - 24:20: How Senator Eggman’s identity has shaped her political career24:20 - 25:00: Universal experience of death 25:00 - 28:40: Difference of opinion / feelings to others with different opinions28:40 - 30:53: How will the End of Life Act evolve (will more states adopt it?)30:53 - 32:45: Senator Eggman’s thoughts on the medication / barriers for the individual32:45 - 35:05: Senator Eggman’s most proud accomplishments35:05 - 38:50: Proposed amendment for End of Life Act38:50 - 41:05: Senator Eggman’s future plans41:05 - 45:49: Conclusion / last thoughts45:49 - 46:11: Close out music
Episode 2 with Suzy Flack

Episode 2 with Suzy Flack


In this episode, Andrew’s mother, Suzy Flack, joins the Pod to have an in depth conversation of her role as a parent of an adult child with a terminal cancer diagnosis.  Suzy reflects on the differences between her experiences as a mother, helping Andrew as a child with cancer, versus the support she provides now, as he works his way through the current prognosis.Learn more about the podcast & follow our story - // @DWDPodcast2021 (Twitter)
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