Rites of Passage or Right to Die?: Beyond legsilation for end of life

Beyond “Right to Die” to Rites of Passage: An Alternative view of Canada’s Legislation

Recently Canada’s parliament decided: “Canadians should not need to be terminally ill to access doctor-assisted dying, and those with mental illnesses or psychiatric conditions should not be excluded, a new parliamentary report says.” Laura Stone, The Globe and Mail, February 25, 2016.

What does this really mean? I believe it reflects a heightened listening to humanity's desire to restore death to its sacred place in the beauty, mystery and celebration of life.

Legislation such as points to a beautiful, natural human desire to move beyond helplessness, beyond hopelessness, beyond do no harm, to offer compassionate compassionate human care in the face of extraordinary suffering.
Our systems may open the way for compassionate end of life choices, but far greater is our personal desire to respond to the emotional, physical and existential suffering of families, friends, and patients facing death. Far greater is a growing desire to "Occupy Death". To be with our people and those we love in ways that not only ease suffering but inhabits the dying time as portal for the evolution of human consciousness.

As a culture of humans now highly dependent on law and medical authority, the true call is to Go Beyond “Right To Die” toward seeing and creating our deaths as a “Rite of Passage”. Deaths that bring healing and transform all involved as we remember how to connect with ourselves and each other, communicate with confidence and compassion, and comfort those we love in this last great rite of passage.

End of Life Doulas are frontline caregivers who offer healing vs.curative care to families and patients during critical illness and the dying process. They work in teams, being available around the clock before, nearing and during death. Their compassionate presence increases quality life moments of the families and patients they serve. The presence of an end of life Doula at bedside assures that families and loved ones can focus on what is most important throughout the dying time. What a relief it would be to know that a Doula could be there for you.

A recent Huffington post article noted that education of frontline caregivers Is THE MOST important single step in providing excellent patient care while our health care systems navigate the increasingly complex health needs of 76 million aging baby boomers and manage the high cost of medical expenses and poor patient satisfaction at end of life.
In the early 80s, Elisabeth Kubler Ross talked about this very thing: the imperative for a new model of end of life education for clinicians and caregivers. For without this new form of education, she believed, the fear based culture of death and dying and restoration of human dignity for patients and families and their ultimate healing would not be addressed.
Conscious Dying Education addresses this imperative by training Doulas who create healing care for the dying. Since opening October 13th, 2015, we have trained over 450 End of Life Doulas. Our transformational education brings a sacred caring healing philosophy and experience of wholeness back to caregivers who serve at end of life as awakened beings.Their loving comforting presence increases life-giving moments of families and patients in home and health care settings in the U.S. and abroad.

Let’s work together to increase the authentic loving, healing presence of caregivers who serve our families friends and loved ones through turbulent yet transformative moments of dying.

Join The Conscious Dying Institute in forwarding our mission to restore death to its sacred place in the beauty, mystery, and celebration of life.

  1. Become a Conscious Dying Educator If you are a clinical leader, clinician or system executive, our programs can increase quality care and positive system patient satisfaction scores by training staff in our end of life education, community engagement, and life fulfillment onsite/online course offered in conjunction with University of Colorado School of nursing early 2106.

  2. Become a "Sacred Passage Doula": If you are a caregiver, healing arts or clinical professional, this innovative end of life career training will restore your purpose and power as a caring healing agent and support you to serve at end of life.

In love and caring,
Tarron Estes
Founder Conscious Dying Institute