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A New Sort Of Consultant: Advising Doctors, Patients On California’s Aid-In-Dying Law
Kaiser Health News

Few people have the unusual set of professional experiences that Dr. Lonny Shavelson does. He worked as an emergency room physician in Berkeley for years — while also working as a journalist. He has written several books and takes hauntingly beautiful photographs.

Now, just as California’s aid-in-dying law takes effect this week, Shavelson has added another specialty: A consultant to physicians and terminally ill patients who have questions about how it works.

“Can I just sit back and watch?” Shavelson asked from his cottage office. “This is really an amazing opportunity to be part of establishing policy and initiating something in medicine. This is a major change … [that] very, very few people know anything about and how to do it.”

Shavelson is the author of the 1995 book, “A Chosen Death,” which followed five terminally ill people over two years as they determined whether to amass drugs on their own and end their lives at a time of their choosing. He was present at the death of all of them.

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