Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Life Interventionalist/End-of-Life/Death/Serious Illness Doula?

A Life Interventionalist/EOLD/Death Doula or Serious Illness Doula provides non-medical and non-legal support and education to those who are healthy or ill.

A doula should work closely with members of the caregiving and medical team to encourage communication around goals of care and what is important to you.

A doula is about defining what services are needed and figuring out how to create care around your unique situation.  A doula may be supportive in finding additional resources for needs outside of our scope of practice. A doula may assist with education, life planning, conversation, legacy work, bedside vigil presence, pre-death, post-death cleaning, organization and caregiver support.

When do I need a Medical / Health Care Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives / Living Will?

I recommend when you turn 18 years old (in the US).

How often do I need to review my Medical / Health Care Power of Attorney, Advanced Directives / Living Will?

At minimum when the Five D’s occur: (1) you reach a new decade in age; (2) you experience the death of a loved one; (3) you divorce; (4) you are given a diagnosis of a significant medical condition; (5) you suffer a decline in your medical condition or functioning.

However, I recommend yearly review.

What if I don’t have a Medical / Health Care Power of Attorney?

In the state of Arizona if you cannot speak for yourself your designated agent would be in the following order: Spouse (if not legally separated), Adult child (if more than one a majority that are available for consultation), Parent, Sibling (adult), Close friend. In the case no one is designated and you have none of the above, a Physician may be appointed.

Are Death Doula services covered by insurance?

No currently they are not covered by insurance.

Are Death Doulas licensed?

No there is no current licensing.

What is medical aid in dying (MAID)?

As per the website,, “A trusted and time-tested medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep. Medical aid in dying is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “assisted physician suicide,” “physician aid in dying,” “death with dignity,” and “euthanasia.” Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide, suicide, or euthanasia. These terms are misleading and factually incorrect.

Medical Aid in Dying, is NOT currently legal here in Arizona. MAID is legal in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

What is Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking (VSED)?

As per the website,, VSED is when a person may choose to control their own dying by making a conscious decision to refuse nutrition and hydration of any kind, including artificial nutrition and/or hydration. This option, also known as VSED, can be chosen by a decisionally capable adult who consciously refuses foods and fluids in order to advance the time of their death.

This is legal in all 50 states. However, not everyone will understand this choice and therefore there needs to be collaboration with medical professionals, legal paperwork in place, conversation with the family or caregivers. One cannot do this alone. 24-hour care will be needed during this process, and ongoing hospice care or support by a physician.

Can a Death Doula help with VSED?

Some doulas do support the process. I will engage in conversation and if possible help with coordination and communication with a team involved. I do not work in isolation with this process or provide 24-hour care.