Death & Dying: Program 3

How to Die in California
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Everyone dies. It’s a topic that many fear or see as the great unknown. Recently though, there are more open discussions about death and dying. Many patients choose hospice care and/or palliative care, rather than life-sustaining machines that prolong their lives. The End of Life Option Act has given terminally-ill patients another choice.

What happens when we die? Are there environmentally-friendly ways to deal with our remains? How do different faith traditions view death? What do we need to ensure our wishes are followed if we are unable to make medical decisions on our own? How do we say goodbye to a dying friend?

Join us for a series of programs to explore these topics and more. All programs are at the Main Library in the Latino/Hispanic Community Room, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Dates are listed below.

May 7 – How to Die in California

The End of Life Option Act is a California law which allows terminally ill, mentally capable patients to request aid in dying – a prescription for medication that will end their life at their own chosen time. Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 5, 2015, it went into effect on June 9, 2016. California is the fifth state to enact an aid-in-dying law. Learn about end-of-life options in California and what it means.

Speakers: Richard Beeman, Compassion and Choices; Thalia DeWolf, Bay Area End of Life Options; AnneMarie Olson, Hospice by the Bay; Wendell Stephenson, Final Exit Network. Also, a screening from excerpt of the documentary, A Dance with Death: The Final Days of Kelly Johnson, produced by The New Fillmore.

Future programs

June 6 – Last Wishes: Start the conversation now!

July 9 – Sitting with the Dying: Rituals and Resources

July 16** – At the Threshold of Death – **new program

August 13* – Talking to Children about Death – *changed from Aug 6

September 10 – Grieving a Pet's Death: Before and After

Programs subject to change due to availability of speakers.


This is a Wise Up! program for learning and living well at any age. Activities for seniors and older adults.

This is a Politics & Current Affairs program. The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.

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