Four Tuesday afternoons from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
May 16, 23, 30 & June 6, 2023
Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick


All events are in-person. Seating is limited; reservations are not accepted. You may arrive up to 15 minutes before the program begins to get your seat. If all seats are taken, we will close the room. Please call 725-4900 or email: with any questions.

Summer Wisdom is sponsored by Thornton Oaks Retirement Community in Brunswick, Maine – Thank you!

MAY 16: The Death with Dignity Law: Medical, Legal and Ethical Considerations, Part I—Jon (“Jim”) Oxman and Ned Claxton
Using the 2019 Maine legislature bill, LD 1313 – An Act to Enact the Maine Death with Dignity Act, and current statute as a starting point, we will review the 30-year history of that legislation and the legal foundations of the current law. From the legislative perspective we will include consideration of the testimony by advocates and opponents related to the bill and a summary of Maine’s experience with this law so far. From the legal perspective we review some of the key state and federal judicial rulings and statutes that relate to this topic and their contribution to our current understanding of the law. Throughout these discussions we are hoping to elicit questions and promote discussion of the ethical issues that arise in this medical/legal/ethical arena. Jon Oxman is a practicing attorney in Auburn and a partner, for over 50 years, at Linnell, Choate & Webber, focusing on workers’ compensation and medico-legal issues.  He has been a member of the Human Ethics Committee of Central Maine Healthcare for several decades and has been a frequent presenter in medico-legal matters in several venues.  He was, from about 2005 through 2021 an adjunct assistant professor in the UNE Masters Program for Physician Assistants.  In the late-1980’s he was counsel to the injured party in the matter of In Re: Gardner, which established the right, in Maine, to withdraw treatment in a case with the victim in a vegetative state.  He has served as a guardian and conservator for several persons. Ned Claxton moved to Maine in 1978 to co-found a primary care practice. He worked at Family Healthcare Associates until 2001, when he left to become the program director of the Central Maine Medical Center Family Medicine Residency. In that role he became a hospital leader. After leaving the residency in 2009, he assumed a series of senior physician leadership roles at CMMC until he retired in 2018. During those 40 years, he served on the Ethics Committee and the hospital board. After a year of campaigning, he was elected to the Maine Senate and served for 4 years before retiring in 2022. He served on the Committee on Health and Human Services during that time and was the senate chair of the committee for the last 2 years.

MAY 23: The Death with Dignity Law: Medical, Legal and Ethical Considerations, Part II—Jon (“Jim”) Oxman and Ned Claxton
(See above entry)


Maine Death With dignity

Maine Death With Dignity Resources

Five Wishes

Maine Hospice Council

Advance Directive form

Multiple Advance Directive forms:

MAY 30: Fifty Years’ Worth of Observation on the Local Area, the State, and the Nation—James Tierney

Jim will speak to us today for no more than a half hour about a range of contemporary social issues including the polarization of our society, the pernicious impact of dark money in our electoral system and the increased importance of state government as opposed to the federal government.  In doing so he will leave plenty of time for questions and use our own Town of Brunswick and the changes Jim has seen in it as a metaphor to analyze our current challenges and what they portend for our future. Jim Tierney is a first generation American and a graduate of the Brunswick public schools after which he attended the University of the Maine where he graduated with Highest Honors.  After two years of high school teaching in Auburn and moving to Durham, Tierney graduated from Maine Law School during which time he was elected to the Legislature where he served for eight years.  He soon opened the law firm initially titled McTeague, Higbee and Tierney where he and his partners represented labor unions and injured workers. From 1980 to 1990 he was our Attorney General. After leaving office Tierney developed a unique practice where he teaches and advises state attorneys general on a wide variety of ethical and structural issues. In the 1990s he was a high placed adviser to the attorneys general who sued the tobacco industry and in 2000 was Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Florida in the case of Bush v. Gore.  Tierney began his teaching career at Columbia Law School and then moved on to both Yale and Harvard Law Schools where he now teaches along with Harpswell resident and former Maine Solicitor General Peter Brann. Tierney remains active in the counseling of attorneys general and during the summer of 2020 was in virtually daily contact with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison during the trials arising from the murder of George Floyd.  Tierney is currently under contract with the newly elected Attorney General of Arizona. Tierney lives in Brunswick with his wife novelist Elizabeth Strout and remains in daily contact either in person or virtually with his closest friends from the Brunswick High School Class of 1965.

JUNE 6: Healthcare Transitions: Leading through 40 Years of Change—Lois Skillings
CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING OF THIS LECTURE Skillings recently retired as the president of Mid Coast – Parkview Health after 43 years with the organization.  During her presentation, Lois will share her leadership story and experiences helping the team lead the organization through mergers and advances in healthcare delivery and economics through the years.  Her background as a registered nurse and passion for improving the health of the community brings a unique perspective to her leadership roles, and her presentation will provide an inside view of the changing dynamics of healthcare for today and tomorrow.


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