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There are many forces that differentiate us in the world: politics, religion, beliefs to name only a few. One thing that unites us is the desire to die with dignity. Asunción Alvarez, president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies said, “Around the globe, many people fight to make a death with dignity possible for themselves and those they love. It is these people that we would like to put in the spotlight for World Right to Die Day 2022; the Champions, who through their support, activism, fighting, writing, willpower, vision and strength, are advocating to make right to die legislation possible all over the world.”
Champions such as New Zealand’s Dr Libby Smales from the Hawkes Bay and the late Esther Richards from Tauranga.
As a retired palliative care consultant and former hospice director, Libby allowed herself to be co-opted by TV programmes on national and regional channels during the 2020 referendum year, staring down official palliative care spokespersons and an Opus Dei lawyer with that most uncomfortable weapon: the truth. “Wonderful as it is”, she said, “palliative care is neither infallible nor sufficient in all circumstances.”
During the last increasingly difficult months of her life, Esther Richards permitted a documentary film crew to follow her assisted death so that the resulting current affairs programme could inform others. On TV she said, “I don’t want to die as someone other than me”. She remained Esther to her last breath.
At 18.30 local time on November 2nd, the End-of-Life Choice Society NZ will post the World of Champions map on www.eolc.org.nz as will all 58 World Federation of Right to Die Societies spread through 30 countries across six continents. Rob Jonquière, Executive Director said, “The World of Champions tells the stories of the parents, siblings, activists, doctors, supporters and volunteers who are working to make dying with dignity possible from all the corners of the earth. It is a testimony of their struggle and the complexities they face in championing the right to die with dignity. In some areas, the map is empty, and while there are certainly Champions in each of these countries, their efforts are shrouded in silence without right to die societies to support their cause and tell their story. We hope that they will join us in time.”
At the biannual World Federation Conference of Right to Die Societies in Toronto, Canada, WFRtDS president Asunción Alvarez will unveil the World of Champions map at a special presentation at 18.30 (EDT)and discuss the achievements of our Champions thus far in 2022 and the challenges we face in 2023.
Join us in celebrating the unity and commitment of Champions worldwide on November 2nd, World Right to Die Day, by reading and sharing their stories as well as joining us in supporting their advocacy.
See the End-of-Life Choice Society NZ www.eolc.org.nz Our organization has been fighting since 1979 to obtain and defend the right to die with dignity for New Zealanders whose incurable medical conditions cause them intolerable suffering that cannot be alleviated.
The World Federation of Right to Die Societies’ goal is to ensure that everyone has the right to die with dignity, peacefully and without suffering. Founded in 1980, the federation comprises 58 right to die organizations from 30 countries and facilitates the cooperation between member societies to utilize the experience and expertise of professionals already lawfully assisting people to die. For more information, please visit www.wfrtds.org ENDS
In NZ, contact Ann David, President End-of-Life Choice Society. +64 27 573 8085 email@example.com
Internationally, contact World Federation of Right to Die Societies firstname.lastname@example.org +31.6.47594091
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