Over the course of a few days, my mother, PCV co-founder Ginny Walters, said goodbye to family and friends, drifted off to sleep and died peacefully. She was 96.
Ginny’s extensive computing and organizational skills and her ability to write cogently and clearly were instrumental in launching and sustaining Patient Choices Vermont during the eleven-year legislative campaign from 2002 to 2013. While my father, Dick Walters, was the outspoken face of PCV, Ginny provided the backbone, editing the website, running a meticulous supporter database, coordinating volunteers and editing every piece of writing that went out the door. Even a few days before she died, Ginny was still sending me articles that she thought we could post on the PCV Facebook page.
We are pleased to report that on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 the Vermont Senate passed Senate Bill 74, which updates and improves Act 39.
PCV wishes to thank Senator Ruth Hardy for her presentation of the bill on the Senate floor and her deeply knowledgeable responses to questions. We also thank Senator Ginny Lyons and the members of the Health & Welfare Committee for their careful consideration of the bill. Thanks as well to the bill sponsors, Senator Richard McCormack, Senator Ginny Lyons, Senator Alison Clarkson, and Senator Michael Sirotkin.
Special Thanks to Willem Jewett
At the end of December, Former Representative Willem Jewett contacted PCV offering to share his story with the hope that it would help with passage of S.74. Willem Jewett was majority leader in the House of Representatives in 2013 and played a critical role in the passage of Act 39. We were very sad to learn of his rapid decline from cancer. In his last weeks, he made a priority of continuing his advocacy, while he prepared to use medical aid in dying himself. Our deep condolences to his family and friends.
In early January, we recorded this conversation which was quoted on the Senate floor, and brought the importance of S.74 to a personal level.
PCV was instrumental in connecting Willem Jewett to reporters at VTDigger, resulting in these two articles: