Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series: California End of Life Options with a Focus on Aid in Dying, Catherine Eliaser, LMFT and Stefanie Elkins, MA

  • Fri, November 11, 2016
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Corte Madera Town Center, Room 201 - 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925



Friday, November 11, 2016



Catherine Eliaser, LMFT 

and Stefanie Elkins, MA


Mental health professionals work with clients on a wide variety of issues regarding  death and dying.  Becoming knowledgeable about the California End of Life Options Act can offer your clients additional support and information about all the continuum of care options at the end of life.  This now includes medical aid in dying.  Presenters will provide an overview of the California End of Life Option Act which came into effect on June 9, 2016.  This important piece of legislation  allows a mentally capable, terminally ill adult with less than six months to live to request aid-in-dying medication from their doctor for self-administration to bring about a peaceful death.   


Information about the clinical competencies involved in all end-of-life choices with particular emphasis on aid-in-dying, the implementation of the law in Oregon and models for normalizing and integrating end-of-life choice into standard medical care will be discussed. Information about the organization Compassion and Choices will also be discussed.   

Upon completion of this presentation therapists will:

  • Become educated on the CA End of Life Option Act and the requirements of aid-in-dying laws.
  • Possess knowledge, resources and tools that Compassion & Choices offers
  • Become knowledgeable  regarding data from Oregon's Death with Dignity Act 19 years of experience and updates on the implementation efforts regarding CA End of Life Options Act .
  • Become  aware of the importance of self exploration regarding one's own acceptance of medical aid in dying and conversations around death and dying. 

Catherine Eliaser is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Rafael. She works with couples, individuals and families, focusing on grief and loss, life transitions, adoption related issues, divorce, and parenting.  In addition, she is a clinical supervisor at New Perspectives (Bay Area Community Resources) where she supervises MFT, Psychology and CSW interns.  Catherine is a volunteer with Compassion & Choices and involved in educating the community about the End of Life Option Act which came into effect June 9, 2016.  She is passionate about the right for every person to be able to end their life with grace and dignity.


Stefanie Elkins, MA, MM, CA Medical Outreach Manager, Compassion & Choices has a 20 year career in the non-profit sector successfully managing community-based programs, cultivating and developing strategic partnerships, and actively engaging volunteer leaders in healthcare environments.  As CA Medical Outreach Manager at Compassion & Choices, Stefanie worked on the monumental CA End of Life Option Act that went into effect on June 9. Currently she is focused on educating and engaging physicians, healthcare professionals as well as healthcare systems on access of medical aid in dying as an end of life option.


Prior to Compassion & Choices, Stefanie was Program and Outreach Director for Leeza’s Care Connection. Her work focused on educating and empowering family caregivers for those with memory loss and/or chronic illness.  This experience ignited Stefanie’s passion to advocate for families and healthcare professionals to have important conversations regarding end of life options. 


Stefanie holds MA in Management specializing in Human Services and a MA in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University.  She also has a BA in Social Relations from UC Riverside.

Time: Networking is from 11:30 to 12:00 p.m. Presentation begins at 12:00 pm and ends at 1:30 p.m.

Cost: Free for Marin CAMFT members, $10 for non-members.

Location: Corte Madera Town Center, Room 201 - 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925 (map)

Information: For more information about the Friday Lunchtime Program Series and about joining the Committee, please contact the Chair, Gabriel Rabu.

Continuing Education Goal: Marin CAMFT is committed to offering continuing education courses to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice. Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation. 

Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be in writing and received by the Director at Large for Programs no later than ten days before the program. There will be a $25.00 administrative fee to cancel registration for any program. The refund will be sent within ten days of the request.

Accommodation for Special Needs: The special needs of persons with disabilities will be accommodated. The Program Committee will endeavor to assure that continuing education program materials, content and venue selections will meet the special needs of the disabled and that reasonable accommodation will be made. A request for accommodation can be made to the Director at Large for Programs, who will work with the Committee and event venue to meet the need.All instructors will read and adhere to Marin CAMFT’s stated policies.

Marin CAMFT encourages those who attend its events to respect the fact that some individuals may have allergies to fragrances and pet dander. We ask that you refrain from introducing these elements into our meeting room. Registered service animals are welcome, of course. 

Grievance Procedure: Marin CAMFT will respond to complaints in a reasonable, ethical and timely manner, when submitted by program attendees in writing to the Director at Large for Programs.

Anti-Discrimination Policy: Marin CAMFT shall not discriminate against any individual or group with respect to any service, program or activity based on gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or other prohibited basis. Marin CAMFT does not require attendees to adhere to any particular religion or creed in order to participate in training. Marin CAMFT will not promote or advocate for a single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to harm clients based on current accepted standards or practice.

CEUs: This workshop meets the qualifications for 1.5 CEUs for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs and LPCCs. These will be provided by Marin CAMFT (CEP # 56895), which is approved by CAMFT to sponsor CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs. Marin CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program and its contents Contact Laurie Buntain, Director-at-Large for Programs for more information.

Marin County Chapter of CAMFT                  

PO Box 9065 San Rafael, CA 94912-9065     

(415) 459 3484

Marin CAMFT is approved by  the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT Provider #56895) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs

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