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“A FOCUS ON DEATH WITH DIGNITY”

A short documentary film on medical aid in dying will accompany a talk by a leader in the Massachusetts death-with-dignity movement at a community death education class, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, at First Congregational Church of Falmouth on the Village Green. The Cape Cod Death Cafe will precede the presentation, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring facilitated conversation on matters relating to death, dying and mortality. Refreshments will be served.

The 15-minute film “Dying on Your Own Terms” provides a personal glimpse into the way medically assisted death works in Canada. Following the documentary will be a presentation by Dr. Roger Kligler of Falmouth, a retired physician and a cancer patient who serves on the steering committee of the Cape Cod Action Team of Compassion and Choices. Kligler is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts that seeks to allow terminally ill patients and their doctors to make compassionate end-of-life decisions without fear of prosecution.

Opening the evening, at 6:30, will be a one-hour Death Cafe — part of an international social franchise started in Europe to encourage people to talk about the taboo subject of death. It is simply a gathering in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with refreshments, allowing us to share a respectful, engaging, thought-provoking and life-affirming conversation on any topics related to death and dying. The objective is to increase awareness with a view to lessening the fear of death while enhancing life.

A Death Cafe gathering is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes, nor affiliated religious organization. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session. The monthly death education programs follow each Death Cafe and feature a wide range of topics of interest and concern related to death, dying and bereavement.

The two sessions on Oct. 14 are distinct, and folks may attend either portion, or both.

Beverages and desserts will be provided. The events are free, and all are welcome. Donations for out-of-pocket expenses and future programming are always gratefully accepted.

The events are hosted by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts and First Congregational Church of Falmouth. For more information call Heather Massey at 508-457-1612 or visit deathcafe.com.