David C. Leven, JD, Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, was the Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York from 2002 until July 1, 2016. A leading advocate for patients and an expert on advance care planning, patient rights, palliative care and end-of- life issues, David has played a key role in having legislation introduced and enacted in New York to improve pain, palliative and end-of- life care, including the Palliative Care Information Act. David lectures frequently to diverse professional groups, students and citizens and is a regular guest lecturer at College of New Rochelle School of Nursing and Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. A graduate of the University of Rochester and Syracuse University College of Law, he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Public Interest Law Award of the New York State Bar Association, Public Interest Law Committee.
Judith Schwarz, PhD, Clinical Director, is an expert on ethical issues relating to patient self-determination and informed end of life decision-making. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Judith is a nationally recognized expert on the option of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) as a means for capacitated and suffering patients to control the circumstances and timing of death. She has spoken at local and state nursing conferences, and in 2014 she co-presented a workshop about VSED at the Management and Leadership Conference of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Program. She earned a PhD in nursing research from New York University, a MSN from Lehman College, and an RN from St. Luke’s School of Nursing.
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