Dying in the Age of Choice

September 2017

Coping with the Inevitable

A Talk by
Dr. Faye Girsh

Saturday, September 16, 2017
1:30 –3:30 PM

Room 111A, 
Chancellor’s Complex
UCSD Campus

Free Parking in the 
Gilman Parking Structure

Click here for maps and
directions telling how
to park on campus
and walk to the meeting room

All monthly meetings of SDIS are free and open to the public. 
A question/discussion period follows the talk.

The Talk: Many individuals have a bad death experience because they don’t know the choices available to them and haven’t discussed their preferences with their loved ones and doctors. How do you start the conversation with loved ones? In the past 30 years the law and practice have expanded to permit more control, dignity and choice at the end of life. Most of us know about advance directives, which include the POLST. What about the decision to stop or withdraw treatment? When is hospice a good decision and is palliative care the same? For a year California has had a law permitting medical aid in dying. How does that work? Is the law in Canada better? What about going to Switzerland? These are some of the areas to be discussed. 

The Speaker: Faye Girsh was the President of the Hemlock Society USA from 1996-2002 and Senior Vice President of End-of-Life Choices (Hemlock’s temporary name) from 2002-2004. She is the founder and current president of the Hemlock Society of San Diego.

While President of the Hemlock Society, Dr. Girsh started the Caring Friends program in 1998. In 2004 she was one of the founders of the Final Exit Network, which continues the work of the Caring Friends program. She continues as a Senior Advisor to the Network.

In 2003, Dr. Girsh was awarded Hemlock’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Marilyn Sequin award from the World Federation of Right to Die Societies for her service in promoting death with dignity. She served on the board of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies from 2006 to 2014, and was President and editor of the Newsletter for that international organization. She is also a member of the board of ERGO (Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization) founded by Derek Humphry.

Dr. Girsh received her doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University and served as Associate Professor of Psychology and department chair at Morehouse College for nine years. She was a Research Associate at the University of Chicago and also taught at Roosevelt and Northwestern Universities. For 18 years Dr. Girsh practiced as a clinical and forensic psychologist in San Diego. In 1996 she closed her practice to head the Hemlock Society USA in Denver. She returned in 2005 to become President again of the Hemlock Society of San Diego in 2007 and to continue speaking publicly on the right to a good death.

For the last 25 years Dr. Girsh has appeared in debates and speeches throughout the U.S., including national TV and radio. She was a speaker at the World Federation Conferences in Melbourne, Toronto, Tokyo, and Amsterdam and has spoken at law schools, medical schools, civic groups, universities, and to many audiences here and abroad.