End-of-life talk at Montgomery Place

By Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul
Assistant to the Editor

Bess Schenkier, leader of the Chicago branch of end-of-life advocacy group Compassion and Choices, will speak at Montgomery Place, 5550 South Shore Dr., at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.

The national non-profit campaigns for an increased range of end-of-life options and offers consultation via phone on such matters. The group does not support “active euthanasia,” which refers to the ending of a life by a third party, according to its website.

Montgomery Place residents Dorothy Scheff, 87, and Carma Forgie, 86, expressed interest in having the organization give a presentation at their building at a Compassion and Choices event they attended earlier this year.

“We want to do this, because we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said fellow resident and Compassion and Choices contributor Barbara Harrison, 79, who organized the event with Scheff and Forgie independent of Montgomery Place’s administration.

Schenkier, a retired environmental law attorney and hospice volunteer since 2000, said she planned on discussing Illinois’ end-of-life regulations and how they compare to those in other states.

“Through my hospice volunteering I spoke with so many people — patients and their families — who impressed upon me the importance of talking about seeing through your choices about how you’re going to die. Everybody’s going to die. It affects everyone.”