OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Right to Death

Brittany Maynard's story is one that everyone should read.

Photo of Rochelle
6 9

Written by

The "right to die with dignity " has been a topic of conversation for some time in our country.  Many states have put it on their ballots with some passing and others not.  It is a controversial issue that must be considered when reimagining the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones.  

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/opinion/maynard-assisted-suicide-cancer-dignity/

http://thebrittanyfund.org/

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Everyone should have the right to chose their own end-of-life experience.

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of James Takayesu

I am very interested to hear more about your death oasis concept.  Providing structure and support to such a threatening and painful issue such as death may help people understand what is possible.

Photo of Helen Da Silva

Hi James,
It's a pleasure to connect with you!

Here's my contribution https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/research/the-death-oasis (apologies, this is the only way I know how to link my contribution to this message)

The idea for designing/creating a 'death  oasis' was inspired by an article I read about 'patient hotels' in Denmark. (http://qz.com/545967/in-scandinavia-patient-hotels-provide-an-alternative-to-hospitals/ ) As well as physician-assisted dying; the 'choice' and control of where, when and how I would choose to die if diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

Liz Salmi's contribution inspired me to also consider that any space can be a 'death oasis' ~ the gathering of family and friends, the honouring of the dying person's wishes and celebrating their life as it is about to end.  Liz's contribution was utterly beautiful and moving. ( https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/research/hacking-the-hospital-death)

If I had the means, I would love to help design and build The Oasis Centre for Compassionate Dying.  The design: glass walls and skylights to allow light in and to allow for unobstructed views of the lush, green gardens surrounding the building, with art, music and a support component (group meeting/counselling sessions) for friends and family of the dying.   The Oasis Centre for Compassionate Dying would be a hospice, as well as a centre where physician-assisted death would be accessible to those who would choose to end their lives humanely and with dignity.  The hospice would be modelled after the Zen Hospice Project's philosophy of patient-centred care, caregiver training and death discussion events.

I truly believe that the more we embrace the idea that we're going to die, the more we can really embrace the idea that we need to live. 

I'm a healthy 48 year old female ~ but this could all change tomorrow.  In embracing the idea that I'm going to die, it has changed the way I now live my life.   I've begun crossing off items from my bucket list.  I have a fear of travelling alone, and flying.  This year, I'm confronting this fear (hopefully conquering it), and travelling solo to New York City and San Francisco! 

I am embracing life and living it as fully as I possibly can, so that when I am on my death bed, and as I release my last breath, I want to die with a smile on my face ~ for I have lived and enjoyed and embraced life ~ and also conquered some fears along the way. 

I am very much looking forward to the outcome of this challenge.  Let's all continue to be a force for good!

Helen :) 

View all comments