The Hemlock Society of San Diego


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CA End of Life Option Act

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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.

Upcoming Events
Bring your friends and family!

October 13, 2018
2:00 - 4:00pm

Dying Wish

Dying of cancer, this physician chooses to stop eating and drinking and dies peacefully on hospice care. 20-minute film will be followed by questions / answers and discussion.

Sponsor: The Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location:San Marcos Library, 2 Civic Center Dr., San Marcos
Cost: Free
October 13, 2018


October 14, 2018
I May Regret

“I May Regret”

After winning the Grand Prix and Best Director at the Vienna Independent Film Festival and Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Prague Independent Film Festival, I May Regret proudly announces its North American Premier at the San Diego International Film Festival!

A new film about Alzheimer’s that follows an elder woman who is battling dementia, while privately navigating end of life issue.

Receiving the festival’s prime time slot, I May Regret premiers Saturday, October 13th with a 6:00pm Red Carpet event and 7:00pm screening followed by a special Q&A with the cast and crew.

An additional encore screening is scheduled for Sunday, October 14th with a 1:00pm Red Carpet event and 2:00pm screening followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew.

A representative from the Hemlock Society of San Diego has been invited to comment following the film.

Location: United Artists Horton Plaza
Discount Tickets:

Right to Die Film Series: You're Not You

Hemlock Logo - Good Life, Good Death Sunday,
October 21, 2018 - 1:30-3:30pm

You're Not You

A life-changing bond develops between a woman (Hilary Swank) with ALS whose marriage is on the rocks and the brash collegian (Emmy Rossum) hired to be her assistant.

At what point does this talented woman feel her life is at an end? What can she do about it?

Lots of Parking • Good discussions
Invite your friends and neighbors

  Sponsor: Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location: Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92108
Cost: Free
October 27, 2018
9:00am - 4:00pm
Successful Aging

Successful Aging Expo

Over 160 exhibitors and more than 20 expert speakers. Free admission, free health screenings, free expert seminars and so much more!

Look for our booth: Hemlock Society of San Diego and learn about other aspects of successful aging.

Sponsor: The San Diego Union Tribune
Location:Town and Country Resort and Convention Center
Cost: Free
November 18, 2018
1:30am - 3:30pm
Thad Mason Pope, J.D., Ph.D.

Preparing for Dementia and Avoiding Medically Futile Care

Thad Mason Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
Health Law Professor and Bioethicist,
Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Minneapolis MN

Professor Pope is a world renown expert on many areas of health law including advance directives and medical futility. In more than 130 publications he uses the law both to improve medical decision making and to protect patient rights at the end of life.

See for more information on his work.

Sponsor: Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location:Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camnino del Rio South
Cost: Free
December 16, 2018
1:30am - 3:30pm

Wit (with Emma Thompson)

Right to Die Film Series

This is the 2001 HBO adaptation of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about dying and death, directed by Mike Nichols. An intellectual professor suffers through the effects of an experimental therapy for cancer. A kind nurse and a DNR order turn things around.

There will be a short discussion afterwards. Special Holiday refreshments, good parking.

Sponsor: Hemlock Society of San Diego
Location:Mission Valley Library, next to IKEA. 2123 Fenton Pkwy, 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

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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

Could I Kill My Mother? By Sarah Lyall, Aug. 31, 2018, New York Times.

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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