A Story of Guardianship (and How to Avoid It)

By Peter Strauss, J.D.

Britney Spears, one of America’s most successful young pop stars, was 26 when her father commenced a guardianship proceeding in California (called a “conservatorship” in California) and obtained almost total control over her life and finances. While his powers over Britney, now 39, have been modified over the years by the court, she is still under his control to a great extent. A national movement of Britney’s fans, “Free Britney,” has been partly responsible for the sing of the restrictions on her life.

But this article is not about Britney or the recent movie, “I Care…


By Roshni Kavate, RN

Image by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Introducing myself as a palliative care nurse draws either a cloud of discomfort or a wave of non-stop stories. Some people don’t know what to say when I share my work with people navigating the end of their lives. And when they do there’s sadness, a yearning for the stories to be heard and spoken, and a longing for their experiences to be validated. Open discussions about death and dying in the U.S. are rare, especially in immigrant communities. …


By Sue Checchio

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

We can’t help but feel helpless when someone we care about faces the end of their life. We offer to bring meals to them or their family; we volunteer to do errands, walk the dog, or even help clean. We pray. But, we don’t often think about offering to write letters for the patient, which can bring great comfort to the letter writer and the recipient.

Letters last forever. In letters, you can say whatever you want, even if it would normally be uncomfortable for you to express your feelings. In a letter, one can convey love…


Why Do Some Consider This Option? Why Should They? What Should They Know Before Proceeding?

By Judith Schwarz, PhD, RN

Person with grey hair and brown jacket sitting on a bench facing away and looking at the horizon.
Person with grey hair and brown jacket sitting on a bench facing away and looking at the horizon.

Ruth* was 93 when she made her decision to stop everything that was keeping her alive. She was DONE! She called her son and daughter and asked them to be with her when she initiated her plan to end her life by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED). She knew she could no longer stay safely alone at home. COVID had eliminated visits with neighbors, she could no longer care for her garden or herself, yet she remained fiercely independent and determined to never go to a nursing home.

She knew about VSED because, five…

End of Life Choices New York

EOLCNY provides advocacy, education, counseling, and support to expand end of life options and improve care for New Yorkers.

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