The Hemlock Society of San Diego


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CA End of Life Option Act

End-of-Life Resources


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We are an
all-volunteer organization.
No funds go to salaries...or to headquarters.

We need your help with a variety of volunteer positions. If interested, leave a message at (619) 233-4418


Programs and activities of the Hemlock Society of San Diego (HSSD) are made possible by your membership dues and the generous donations of members and friends. Donations and memberships (tax deductible) can be sent to: HSSD, PO Box 34237, San Diego CA 92103
Use PayPal for donations (any amount)

Include the Hemlock Society of San Diego in your Will or Living Trust.

Thank you!

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End of Life Option Act Annual Report for 2017 is out.
577 prescriptions were written and 374 people ingested the drugs.

Deborah Ziegler at rally to save the End of Life Option Acts
Deborah Ziegler speaking at the Rally May 20, 2018
Mac users should be able to see this short clip of Dr. Bob (m4v)
and a few more snippets from the meeting from a local news station

Friends of End of Life Choice:
5/25/18: a Riverside judge struck down the California End of Life Option Act.
6/15/18: 4th District Court of Appeal issued a stay on a lower court's ruling which had overturned the California End of Life Option Act. This means the law CAN BE USED again. At least for now....
See Channel 8 News clip about the reinstatement.
6/29/18: The June 29th motions hearing that was scheduled has been vacated due to the 6/15/18 order reinstating the law. Written briefs are due to the appeals court by July 19. No date has been set for oral arguments. The law remains in effect.

Meanwhile you should know:
1. It is our mission to let you know about ALL choices for a peaceful death and we have done that. At our meetings are books, pamphlets and other resources that explain alternatives. Our November, 2017, conference covered a variety of options. The DVD from that conference is available.
2. Future and past meetings will and have covered:

  • the Nitrogen Method and the Final Exit Network
  • VSED Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (coming in Sept.)
  • Palliative Care and Hospices
  • Going to Switzerland, and more.

As we learn new things we will pass them along to you. Most of our meetings are recorded and you can view them here.

Meanwhile, write to your legislator and see if a comparable bill can be passed during the regular session of the General Assembly.

Send donations to the HEMLOCK SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO — the only organization that informs you completely about ALL of your end of life choices.
Faye Girsh, President

Upcoming Events
Bring your friends and family!


Right to Die Film Series:
IKIRU  (To live) 

(A Japanese film with English subtitles)
Hemlock Logo - Good Life, Good Death Sunday,
August 19th


IkiruOne of director Akira Kurosawa's most famous films, this 1952 masterpiece is about Mr. Watanabe, a man who discovers he has terminal cancer.

How he decides to use the time left to him is the question. What would you do?

Join us to be moved — and to discuss it afterwards.

Sponsor: Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location: Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92108 (next to Ikea)
Cost: Free

Meetup - San Diego Death Talk


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM


San Diego Death Talk is for anyone interested in discussing and learning more about end-of-life care, dying and death. Facilitated by volunteers of Compassion & Choices California, C&C encourages conversations about California's End of Life Option Act (medical aid in dying), voluntary stopping eating and drinking (VSED), hospice and palliative care, and access to your full range of end-of-life care options.

more info

Sponsor: Meetup
Location: North University Public Library 8820 Judicial Dr · San Diego


Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)

Hemlock Logo - Good Life, Good Death Sunday,
September 16th


Speakers: Dr. Bob Uslander
Several Family members who have observed their family members participate in VSED.

Sponsor: Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location: Scottish Rite Event Center, 1895 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108
Cost: Free

Right-to-Die Film Festival Schedule



Dying Matters.  Let's talk about it.

May 6th marks the second anniversary of the passage of California's End of Life Option Act.

Click the numbers below to hear the two-part mp3 audio recording of Faye's interview on iHeartMedia San Diego about the importance of making your end of life wishes known to your family and friends far in advance of when a crisis arises.

1     2 

Cinema Junkie
A discussion of
how films use serious drama
as well as absurd humor to help us face questions about death and dying
Faye Girsh
radio Hear interview with Faye Girsh, President of the Hemlock Society of San Diego and Dr. Bob Uslander, Integrated MD Care, on KFMB radio program "It's Your Money and Your Life."

No one disputes that it's against the law to take another person's life, but is it against the law to sit with someone and watch while they commit suicide? We meet an elderly woman who sneaks around the country as an "exit guide."

Hear an interview with Exit Guide Fran Schindler

Final Exit Network

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An assisted dying law would not result in more people dying, but in fewer people suffering.
-Campaign for Dignity in Dying


Our speaker bureau can provide a speaker on California's End of Life Option Act, Advance Directives or other right to die issues.

Where we have spoken

Contact the Hemlock Society of San Diego

Facebookvisit us on Facebook

Registering Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) with CA Secretary of State

 For a small fee, you can register your AHCD with the Secretary of State's Office to ensure that, wherever you may be, your health provider will have access to it. When you register, you have the option of providing a PDF (that an officially identified health provider can then download) or indicate its location.

more info



Featured Articles

As Catholic Hospitals Expand, So Do Limits on Some Procedures By Katie Hafner,Aug. 10, 2018, New York Times.

Letting Go By Atul Gawande, Annals of Medicine August 2, 2010 Issue. Published in The New Yorker

Die Like a Dog By Joseph M Pierre, UCLA Professor of Psychiatry. Aeon

In Oregon, pushing to give patients with degenerative diseases the right to die By Rob Kuznia, Washington Post, March 11, 2018

Scottish Parliament removes time limit in definition of "terminally ill" My Death, My Decision website, July 15, 2018

Oregon Couple's Final Days Captured In Intimate Aid-In-Dying Video Washington Post, March 7, 2018

How American ideas about end-of-life care have shifted by Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2018

A Harder Death for People With Intellectual Disabilities. By Tim Lahey, M.D. New York Times, April 5, 2018

Professor Stephen Hawking backs right to die for the terminally ill. By Sarah Boseley. The Guardian. Sept. 2013

This Was Not the Good Death We Were Promised, By Karen Brown. New York Times, 1/6/18

Getting Off the End-of-Life Conveyor Belt. by Joanne Kaldy. Caring for the Ages. Dec., 2017

I'm a Christian With Stage IV Cancer. I Want Death With Dignity. by Corinne Johns-Treat. Time. August 10, 2016

New 'Instructions' Could Let Dementia Patients Refuse Spoon-Feeding. By JoNel Aleccia, Kaiser Health News. November 3, 2017

Accessing Drugs for Medical Aid in Dying. (An article about the cost) by Catherine Offord, The Scientist, Aug. 17, 2017

A Year After Assisted Suicide Became Legal in California, hurdles remain. by Paul Sisson, San Diego Union Tribune, July 2, 2017

Changing the Paradigm of Advance Directives to Avoid Prolonged Dementia by Norman Cantor, Harvard Law Blog, April 20, 2017

How to End a Life, By Nicholas Hune-Brown, Toronto Life, May 23, 2017

A Matter of Death and Life, by Wael Haddara, April 28, 2017

Belgian Catholic psychiatric hospitals 'adjust' their view of euthanasia.By Michael Cook, Bioedge April 29, 2017.

Montana's right to die law in jeopardy with new proposal. KPAX, March 1, 2017

Gorsuch Staunchly Opposes 'Aid in Dying.' Does It Matter? Judge Neil M. Gorsuch's book leaves no doubt regarding his feelings. But advocates say the real battle is in state courts, not the Supreme Court. By Paula Span, THE NEW OLD AGE; New YorkTimes FEB. 24, 2017

Doctor Considers the Pitfalls of Extending Life and Prolonging Death. Haider Warraich, on his new book, "Modern Death" Fresh Air. January 30, 2017

Assisted Dying Global Report Card 2016 - Fact file by Neil Francis, Posted on Thursday 7th July 2016 on Key finding: Approval amongst physicians seems to be consistently lower than amongst the public..

DIGNICIDE -- By William Simmons - Presentation at at the Euthanasia-2016 Conference World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies Amsterdam, May 12, 2016

Doctor Assisted Suicide:California Ban Challenged in Court -- by Howard Mintz -- San Jose Mercury News -- February 15, 2015

Assisted Suicide Now Legal in 5 States -- by Erik Eckholm -- New York Times -- February 8, 2014

Fatal Mercies -- by Frank Bruni -- New York Times -- August 10, 2013

A Plea for Assisted Suicide -- by Kayla Penokie -- August 7, 2013

Doctors Really Do Die Differently -- by Ken Murray, MD -- July 17, 2013

I Must Die, My Love, To Rid You of this Burden -- by Sarah-Kate Templeton -- London Sunday Times -- July 14, 2013

Advance Directives Are Often Not Honored -- by Michael Cook -- BIOEdge News -- June 29, 2013

Click here to see additional articles.

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