Events & Publications

Past Events

October 14, 2018 (10:30 a.m.) – Phyllis will present a talk titled “Search For Meaning By Extending End of Life Choices” at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth Street, Bellingham WA 98225. An optional one-hour workshop follows her talk. This is open to the public.

February 24, 2018 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) – SEARCH FOR MEANING FESTIVAL: Seattle University Campus.
Search for Meaning is Seattle University’s annual community festival dedicated to topics surrounding the human quest for meaning, and the characteristics of an ethical and well-lived life. Hosted on the university’s campus, Search for Meaning draws over 50 nationally and internationally acclaimed authors and artists for an interactive, introspective experience. Phyllis Shacter is one of 50 authors who have been chosen to speak at this event.

June 2018 – Dr. Karen Wyatt is a retired hospice doctor, author, public speaker and host of the online program called “End of Life University.” (EOLU). Over the past several years, she has interviewed me several times. This year she is hosting a new Reading Group called A Year of Reading Dangerously! For the entire year of 2018 the group will be exploring death, dying and the afterlife by reading books that challenge their assumptions and push the boundaries of their belief systems about these “taboo” topics. You’ll receive an email each month with a new book selection and a downloadable reader’s guide.” My book, Choosing to Die, will be the June book. You can participate in the months that appeal to you. Sign up here (it’s FREE and there’s no obligation): Here is a link to the webpage for the group: Enjoy this unique and special experience hosted by Dr. Karen Wyatt.

October 27, 2017 (6:30 – 8:30pm) – Book Presentation based on Choosing to Die. Learn more about expanding end of life choices based on Phyllis’ personal experience. Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Ave., Pt. Townsend.

October 08, 2017 (1 – 3pm) – Presentation on Expanding End of Life Choices at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St., Ferndale, WA 98248.

September 27, 2017 (11am – 12:30pm) – Workshop on Expanding End of Life Choices at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St, Bellingham, WA 98225.

August 25, 2017 (10am – 10:45am) – Book reading and sharing of Choosing to Die at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St, Bellingham, WA 98225.

August 03, 2017 – Death by Design podcast: Episode 32: Phyllis Shacter, Author/ Advocate of VSED. Applying her vast experience as a storyteller to her passion, Kimberly C. Paul is radically changing the way people face end of life. The concept of “Death by Design” is to inspire individuals and their families to create a blueprint for an inevitable journey that reflects the beauty of life and the positive destination of end of life.

July 26, 2017 – Live podcast interview on Good Grief with Cheryl Jones on’s Health and Wellness Channel

June 11, 2017 @ 4PM – Book reading and sharing of Choosing to Die at Village Books, 1200 11th Street in Bellingham, WA.

April 9, 2017 – Book Release Celebration at the Center for Spiritual Living Bellingham.

April 2017 – End of Life University (EOLU) – third interview with Dr. Karen Wyatt. In this 30 minute interview, Dr. Karen Wyatt interviews Phyllis as they talk about Phyllis’ story and new book, “Choosing to Die.”

October 28, 2016 – The Western Washington University Palliative Care Institute hosted Death Happens: Let’s Talk About Your Choices at the Center for Spiritual Living Bellingham. Click to view a video from the event “Family Support Perspectives: VSED (Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking)” presented by Phyllis Shacter.

October 14-15, 2016 – Featured speaker at Hastening Death by Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: Clinical, Legal, Ethical, Religious, and Family Perspectives at Seattle University School of Law

September 21, 2016 – End of Life Choices: One Local’s Story with Phyllis Shacter as part of the Whatcom YMCA Senior Socials & Speakers Series

September 26, 2015 – “Alzheimer’s: Perspectives, Realities, Choices”. Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

September 15, 2015 – “Not Here By Choice” presentation. Blooming with Boomers Conference, Lynnwood Conference Center

June 12, 2015 – Live KSVR Radio Interview

May 16, 2015 – Alzheimer and Dementia Forum, Pt. Townsend, Washington

May 11, 2015 – Live KPTZ Radio Interview, one week prior to Pt. Townsend, WA presentation

May 05, 2015 – “Speaking of Dying” film presentation in Bellingham, WA; participated on the panel after the film

April 16, 2015 – “Speaking of Dying” film presentation in Seattle; participated on the panel after the film

March 14, 2015 – Second Live Interview With Dr. Karen Wyatt on End-Of-Life University (EOLU)

February 02, 2015 – Presentation at Skyline At First Hill (Retirement Community)November 07, 2014 – Featured Speaker at the Washington State End of Life Coalition

October 23, 2014 – Live Interview with Dr. Karen Wyatt on End-Of-Life University (EOLU)

October 8, 2014 – Showed TEDx online talk and facilitated discussion at “Art of Death” Conference in Bellingham, WA

October 2014 – End of Life University (EOLU) – second interview with Dr. Karen Wyatt. On this second interview, Dr. Karen Wyatt interviews me and Arline Hinkley from End of Life Washington. The conversation centered around the Death With Dignity Law, and perspectives about the right to die and physician aided dying.

March 2014 – End of Life University (EOLU) – first interview with Dr. Karen Wyatt. The first interview was about Alan’s and my personal story and how we navigated his illnesses and choices.

November 25, 2013 – TEDxBellingham Presentation

Publications and Newspaper Articles

August 31, 2018 – “The Last Thing Mom Asked” The New York Times article by Sarah Lyall. Ms. Lyall is a writer at large for The New York Times.

September 2017Art of Dying Magazine, Volume 1 and Volume II. Although the first volume was released at the end of 2016, it is timeless. The second was released in September 2017. In this exquisite magazine, the first of its kind, John Wadsworth, founding editor and creative director, has designed and published stories and ideas about death and dying.

April 05, 2017 – “Choosing to Die – A Love Story for The Ages” Cascadia Weekly article by Amy Kepferle

Summer 2016 – Project MUSE, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics: The National Inquiry of Bioethics (NIB) published an issue that included much information on Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED). You’ll find interesting and useful perspectives in this issue.

October 22, 2016 – “The VSED Exit: A Way to Speed Up Dying, Without Asking Permission” The New York Times article by Paula Span

October 9, 2016 – “When life becomes unbearable, stopping eating and drinking is an exit strategy” Bellingham Herald article by Kie Relyea

Fall 2015 – Letter to the Editor by Phyllis Shacter, fall issue 2015, Tikkun Magazine (scroll to bottom of page), about VSED and her husband’s choice to VSED rather than live into the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

September 23, 2015 – “Scary Statistics: PERSPECTIVES ON ALZHEIMER’S” Cascadia Weekly article by Phyllis Shacter

September 21, 2015 – “Wife explains how Bellingham husband chose to die” Bellingham Herald article by Dean Kahn

June 2015 – Publication of interview in “Whatcom Watch” in Bellingham, WA