Annual Meeting


Why do nine states with 20% of the U.S. population have it? 

Why don’t any of the rest of them?

Sometimes Kate Sargent, our president, can be rather stubborn.  The attached receipts for her expenses in connection with our just-concluded Annual Meeting program total $107.85, but she won’t turn in a claim for reimbursement to our treasurer.  This is her contribution to the nonprofit organization she leads, she says.  She let us take a photo of them when she learned we wanted to ask you for support.  “Maybe if they know our board also contributes, they will join us,” she said.

Producing our 3-hour program on Medical Assistance in Dying involved significantly more expense than Kate’s.  All of our services are free to those who need them.  We depend entirely on donations to fund our operations. Will you join Kate with a donation of your own?  Visit our website,, and click on the donate button.  Or U.S. Mail it to Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City, PO Box 7021, Kansas City, Mo., 64113.

Thank you!

The FCA-GKC Board


About the event

Sometimes known by the acronym MAID, medical aid in dying is also called euthanasia or assisted suicide. Some view it as an immoral violation of God’s natural law. Others say it is necessary, especially in extreme cases wherein death is inevitable and pain cannot be controlled.

All of those convictions will be addressed during the meeting by five highly qualified speakers.

The FCA-GKC board of directors neither favors nor opposes MAID. Our role is strictly educational.



Peg Sandeen -Keynote

As the daughter of a hospice nurse, Peg developed at an early age a lifelong commitment to the idea that everyone should have a good death. Death with Dignity allows her to act on this commitment on a daily basis by working to change laws to expand options at the end of life.

Peg holds a PhD and MSW. Her scholarly and professional efforts focus on health-related ethical concerns, particularly end-of-life decision-making, and the impact of public opinion on policy reform. She is an adjunct professor at Portland State University and Columbia University School of Social Work where she leads an advanced seminar in policy practice and lectures about health policy.

Peg joined Death with Dignity in 2005. Read Peg's personal story. 

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Fr. Thomas Curran, S.J.

The Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., became the 14th president of Rockhurst University on June 1, 2006.He oversees all aspects of University operations, with heads from the areas of academic affairs, advancement, student development, finance, and diversity, equity and inclusion serving as his direct reports.

Fr. Curran is a well-respected leader in the Kansas City community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Civic Council of Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the boards of St. Joseph’s University and John Carroll University — two fellow Jesuit institutions. Fr. Curran maintains a classroom presence, teaching a course every spring in Catholic social teaching.

(Catholic perspective)

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Rev. Melissa Bowers

Rev. Melissa Potts Bowers, M.A, M.P.S. is an ordained minister, chaplain, and spiritual director. For over 30 years she has served Presbyterian (PCUSA), United Church of Christ, and Unity churches in California and Missouri. She has been a Hospice Chaplain since 2006, ministering in hospices in Johnson and Jackson counties in Missouri; and currently serves at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care (KCHPC).  Melissa is chair of the Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association's Veterans Committee, and the KCHPC Veterans Committee.  She is a member of Spiritual Directors International, the Heartland Presbytery, Death With, Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the League of Women Voters.

(Protestant perspective)

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Mahnaz Shabbir

Mahnaz is president of Shabbir Advisors, an integrated strategic management consulting company focusing on planning, marketing, diversity transformation and education on a national and international basis. She received her BBA and MBA from UMKC. She serves on numerous boards in KC area and is past president of the Heartland Muslim Council; she has spoken widely about diversity issues facing the Asian community.

(Muslim perspective)

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Dr. John Lantos

Dr. John Lantos is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Director of the Children’s Mercy Hospital Bioethics Center. After his residency at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in DC, he served two years in the Public Health Service in rural West Virginia and then took a fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at The University of Chicago.  He taught at Chicago for twenty years.

(Medical, Ethical & Jewish perspective)


Reminder: MUST attend the full meeting for an Education certificate.  Information will be sent in an email along with the live webinar link.

Peg Sandeen, MAID keynote                                       9:15 – 9:55

Fr. Thomas Curran, S.J., Roman Catholic view           10:00 - 10:20

Rev. Melissa Bowers, Protestant view                        10:20 – 10:40

Mahnaz Shabbir, Muslim view                                   10:55  - 11:15

Dr. John Lantos, ethical, medical & Jewish views        11:15 - 11:50



The Kansas Board of Nursing approves Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care as a provider of continuing nursing education.

This course is approved for 3 contact hours for RN/LPN relicensure by the Kansas State Board of Nursing Approved Provider #LT0118-0916 and the Missouri Department of Professional Registration State Committee for Social Work.CME for Physicians, CEU for Licensed Counselors

MUST attend the full meeting - Education certificate information will be sent in an email along with the live webinar link.


At the end of this exploration of Medical Aid in Dying, participants are able to:

1. Explain MAID’s purpose, protocols, and safeguards.

2. Have a better understanding of the issues faced by legislatures considering MAID.

3. Better consider beliefs of widely practiced religions in America about MAID.

4. Express how issues raised when a patient chooses MAID are framed and evaluated through the discipline of Medical Bioethics.

The venue

The meeting originally was scheduled to take place at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, which is closed through the end of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting now will be live streamed from All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, Mo. The FCA-GKC board expresses sincere gratitude to the speakers and to the church for hosting the meeting.