February 22: Marie Manis, “Promoting Compassionate Choices about Death in 2015″

Marie-ManisMarie Manis is the Campaign Manager for

Once again, Compassion & Choices will file a bill with the Massachusetts State Legislature to support the adoption of policies that promote individual choice in the manner of death. Last year, the Board of trustees of the Ethical Society of Boston voted to support the legislation, and submitted testimony to the legislative committee responsible for moving the bill forward. The bill was not reported out of committee, and in 2015, Compassion and Choice will submit legislation. In this program, a film will be shown and followed by discussion.

The film is “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”. It is an Oscar-nominated short documentary about legalizing the right to die in Washington State.

In 1994, a year after serving two terms as one of the most popular governors in modern Washington State history, Booth Gardner was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  In 2008, as his health continued to deteriorate, he returned to the political spotlight, this time as the driving force behind a ballot initiative that would legalize one’s choice to die.

Oscar®-nominated in 2009 in the category of Best Documentary (Short Subject), “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner“ chronicles Gardner’s controversial crusade, looking at both sides of this hotly debated issue. The film tracks Gardner and his supporters in their efforts to pass Initiative 1000 (I-1000), also known as the Death with Dignity Act, in Washington State, following the debates the campaign provokes, as well as the toll it takes on Gardner’s health.  Along with Gardner and his supporters, Film Director Junge and his crew had extensive access to opponents of I-1000. The film runs about 40 minutes.

Marie Manis of Compassion & Choices will lead a discussion after the film and also talk about the campaign to pass a similar initiative here in Massachusetts. Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life.