Physician-assisted dying is legal in at least ten U.S. states and the District of Columbia under legislation known as Death with Dignity Laws. Should Utah also offer the option?
That’s the topic of the online panel discussion, “A Time to Die: Adoption of Physician-Assisted Dying in Utah,” Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, broadcast at 7 p.m. Mountain Time, from the Utah State University College of Science website. Access to the broadcast is free and all are welcome. Viewers will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panelists after their presentations.
“Death isn’t an easy topic to discuss,” says Andy Anderson, principal lecturer and pre-health advisor in USU’s Department of Biology and moderator of the panel discussion. “But health care professionals deal with this reality almost daily, and aspiring medical professionals, as well as all of us, need to approach and prepare for this topic with knowledge, discernment and open hearts and minds.”
Anderson is joined on the panel with senior care consultant and USU alumna Pat Sadoski, MS’95, a retired hospice nurse, and Matthew Welter, family practice physician and hospice medical director.
Sadoski, a Cache Valley, Utah registered nurse who earned a graduate degree in cardiac rehabilitation and fitness from Utah State, worked in hospice for nearly 25 years.
“When I began working in this field, Cache Valley had only one hospice and it was not a commonly known or understood specialty,” she says. “I became an advocate and spokesperson for hospice care and end-of-life discussion.”
Welter, who has practiced family medicine in Logan for 16 years and served in hospice care for 20 years, says, while he endeavors to prevent the progression of disease, he also provides palliative care, “when no further meaningful medical interventions are available.”
The panelists encourage the audience to view the 2011 documentary, “How to Die in Oregon,” which explores the historic and controversial adoption of that state’s Death with Dignity Act in 1994. The one-hour and 47-minute film is available for free viewing on Tubi streaming service.
“‘How to Die in Oregon’ is a powerful and personal film that wrestles with tough issues surrounding choice and this critical debate,” Anderson says. “It’s an excellent introduction to this thought-provoking discussion.”
The Oct. 1 panel discussion is hosted by USU’s College of Science. Utah Public Radio is the event’s media sponsor. In addition to online streaming, the panel discussion will be recorded and posted on the college’s YouTube channel.
For more information, visit the college’s website or call 435-797-3517.