LEGALIZE ASSISTED SUICIDE

 

On a summer afternoon in Portland, Oregon, 68 year-old Margaret Sutherland kissed her five grown children one by one, listened to her son read the 23rd Psalm, gazed out the window toward the Williamette River a final time then hoisted a glass of water laced with nine milligrams of Seconal and drank it all. Within five minutes, she was unconscious. In fifteen minutes, she was dead…just as she wished.

Cancer had already claimed one of her lungs and eaten her ribs. She had lost control of her bowels and coughed blood constantly. The pain was so intense, she could hardly walk.

Doomed to two, three or four more months of suffering before arriving at death, she also considered the hardships being imposed upon her loved ones. Sutherland decided to take advantage of Oregon’s Death With Dignity law, received confirmation of her doom from two doctors and asked for the needed prescription to end her life. When the day arrived, she put on a dress, a little make-up and said her last goodbyes to friends and family. Love abounded, suffering ended. Everyone was at peace, including Mrs. Sutherland.

How can anyone argue with that?

Early in the Bush II term, the so-called “states rights” president dispatched Attorney General John Ashcroft to issue an injunction against the new “state” law to prevent any more suicides. . That decision was overruled by a federal judge citing a Supreme Court ruling in 1997 which concluded that states had the right to legalize physician assisted suicide.

When that ruling came, the people of Oregon voted “yes” to a state referendum — two times — which legalized Death With Dignity. Specifically, a patient must be a resident of Oregon for six months, able to make conscientious decisions, and be diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than six months to live. The bases were covered to prevent abuse or frivolous deaths.

The only other nations that legally permit doctor assisted suicide, are Belgium, Switzerland and Netherlands.

We are supposed to be a compassionate society. What are we waiting for?

Twenty years ago in Florida, 74 year-old Roswell Gilbert shot his wife of fifty years in the head to end her long suffering from arthritis, severe osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. The shooting was an act of love. He was sent to prison for life. Had a Death With Dignity law been in existence, Mrs. Gilbert could have exercised her choice, and Roswell would never have set foot in a prison.

During my tenure in Homicide, I investigated two or three hundred suicide cases. All were tragic. I saw kids who shot themselves over parental strictness, drug addicts who could not handle life any more, bankruptcy, alcoholics out of control, love affairs gone wild, jealousy, rage, fear, guilt…the emotions ran the gamut. But the most compelling scene, was finding two elderly people embraced in the back seat of a Cadillac, inside a closed garage with the ignition on but the gas tank depleted from the engine running all night. They had been married 55 years. The woman was terminally ill; the man wouldn’t live without her. It was their choice.

We are a nation who constantly champions the rights of people…rights to free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to choose life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in any way we want, so long as it is legal. But we do not champion the rights of those who suffer. We say…take medicine! Hang on as long as you can. Let nature take it’s course, no matter the agony. Rights? What rights?

Florida is home 3.1 million people over 65, or seventeen percent of the state. California has slightly more, but their overall population is double Florida’s. As time passes, we will see the median age of Florida rise as more seniors retire from the north to soak up the winter sunshine. Down the road, some will be destined to great pain as they battle terminal illnesses, but have no choices other than the field of medicine. Why? Because we say so.

I’m one of those who considered Dr. Jack Kevorkian a national hero, a trailblazer who had the guts to stand up to conventional moralists and help people who pleaded for an end to torment. Perhaps someone else come along and champion the rights of the suffering and spearhead a drive for more laws all over the country like the one in Oregon.

I realize that more religious people will argue that it is against God’s will as prescribed in the Bible, or that miracles can always happen. That may be true. when it comes to endless pain, I’m a chicken, and death doesn’t scare me. I fully respect those who elect to exercise the right to die.

If I ever learn that I have a terminal illness and doomed to nightmarish torture and agony, please do not tell me about pain management, or hospice care, or psychological counseling. Please don’t preach to me or make me take pills and more pills. If Florida hasn’t come of age, I’m moving to Oregon in plenty of time so I may follow in the idyllic path of Mrs. Sutherland, or that couple in the Cadillac. And like Mrs. Sutherland, I’ll do it, not only for myself, but for the people I love.

41 Responses to LEGALIZE ASSISTED SUICIDE

  1. Joyce Robinson July 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    Well, as you might know by now, I think religion has messed up peoples’ minds and clear-thinking. Of, course a person ought to have a right to end their life if they desire. If our goofy president can send millions of YOUNG

  2. Joyce Robinson July 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    I think religion messes up peoples’ minds to think clearly. If Bush can send YOUNG and healthy people off to war to be killed, then how can people who support that be opposed to ending a painful or useless life–especially that of an advanced-aged person–with the permission of that person?!!

  3. Jack & Helene Stevens July 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    I don’t agree with your bottom line BUT

    you absolutely have valid thoughts…………

  4. Joe Haymes July 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    People who are so opposed to Legally Assisted Suicide simply have not given the subject enough deep thought. None of us on this earth can escape death forever. Even Jesus Christ accepted that fact. It is no fun to sit, or lie, and contemplate death, but perhaps more of us should. I can see situations in which I would choose death over the alternative which might include things none of us wants to bear, things happening to us and,or, to people we love.
    Most of the great heroes we have all read about chose death because the product of their death was unmeasurable good for others. That, alone, tells me that it is sometimes a good thing to choose a dignified, assisted suicide.

  5. bjb July 9, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Those who have not endured the effects of chronic long term pain, watched a loved one suffer through Lou Gerhigs disease or worse have absolutely no idea how merciful death can be. I absolutely, positively agree with Marshall. Those who do the suffering should have the choice, their choice, not that of the government. May I suggest if anyone who reads this does not have a living will made out and other final wishes clearly defined, do so. I have come to have great respect for the quality of life that I might have in the future than the quantity.

  6. Helen Bennett July 9, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    I absolutely agree with you, Marshall. A person of sound mind does have a right to choose to die. But what about someone with Alzheimer’s? The woman who was shot by her husband would not have had the right to suicide, assisted or not, unless a different standard applied.

  7. Donna Klamm July 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    As president of the Hemlock Society of Florida I would like to have people change their concept of a person ending their life due to a terminal or debilitating illness. One who meets that criteria is NOT suicidal. It is a decision that is made with great thought and planning. One can say a final goodbye to family and friends in their own home and die peacefully. Let’s call it Self-deliverance but not suicide, which is a spontaneous, irrational act. Let’s work toward getting an Oregon=type bill passed in Florida.

  8. Bill Kienstra July 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    I also am amazed at the absurdity of outlawing assisted suicide, while sending young men off to die for others. Wasn’t it an American hero who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” What more important fundamental liberty is there than my own ability to make my own life choices? Whose putting the shackles on me? My government which is trying to export freedom to other countries. If the law is based on interfering with God’s right, are they not imposing a religious belief on all of us? And while we’re on that subject, if God makes all the life/death decisions, wouldn’t statistics on accidental miscarriages make God the biggest abortionist? Are we trying to impose religious beliefs on women who want the freedom of choice? One thing for sure, the government ought to clean up its own act before enacting morality on others!

  9. Jim July 9, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    As a native Oregonian, I’m very proud of their stand on doctor-assisted suicide. Don’t we still need to change the laws so that insurance companies will pay death benefits to survivors of suicides? Or is that already happening and I’m just not aware of it? My Dad had to die suffering because of an insurance company’s tight-fisted policy.

  10. Renay July 9, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    I agree. It’s called “compassion”

  11. Nancy July 9, 2008 at 7:52 pm #

    I agree–When Pain becomes the only feature in a person’s life, there is no Quality–I have seen too much in my career and in my personal life to advocate “Life at Any Price”–Death with Dignity–N.

  12. Frank Piloto July 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    I was a staunch opponent to Dr. Kevorkian in fact, I hoped he would have gotten life w/o parole. I have always believed, and still do, at least for me, that I will go the day G-d says, come over. Therefore, I do demand that I be kept alive until that day comes, no matter what.

    However, when my Mother in Law, ( Of Blessed Memory), was afflicted with Lou Gherig’s disease 3 years ago, I saw a woman full of life and brio degenerate into a human rag who couldn’t eat, swallow, speak, move, and do anything she had always done.

    I have seen two of my friends die of AIDS. Nothing compares to Lou Gherig’s disease, nothing!

    Only after seeing her suffer as she did, I came to understand and appreciate Dr. Kevorkian and others like him. While I still believe that I will be kept alive no matter what, I have grown to respect those who choose otherwise.

  13. phyllis July 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    i now a woman who so believed in this that you had read many books on the subject to be certain of it. now that she is 93 years of age and has lost her memory she can not do to herself what she had so completely beleived in…

  14. Sue July 9, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    We are kinder to our animals than to other human beings in that we put animals out of their misery when the time comes. It’s a horrible death to die without dignity. If people really understand God and the bible, they will know that suicide isn’t the sin that old wives’ tales have lead us to believe. I’ve written a book on suicide if anyone cares to order it at http://www.angellovepublishing.com. I even have a letter from the Pope that suicide isn’t a sin. as for insurance companies, you’d think they’d rather pay the benefits than the cost of care. we need to become a more compassionate society. we’re only keeping people here for our selfish selves and not for their good. I say yes to euthanasia.

  15. Dan Townsend July 9, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    Marshall, my impression is that all totalitarians (Eric Hoffer’s classic “The True Believer” is my guide), are simply the absolute worst busybodies in creation.
    Taking ownership of our bodies, whether that of the rape victim who can’t face a future with the burden of raising the rapist’s child, or that of a victim of terminal illness wracked by unremitting pain, is no damn business of anyone but ourselves. The busybodies of course, whatever their agenda, are intent on stealing our bodies along with everything else they can get their filthy hands on. Right on Marshall, Dan Townsend

  16. ROBERT L. ELLIOTT July 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    IF YOU HAVE A TERMINAL ILLNESS, NO PROBLEM, WHERE’S YOUR FAITH. ON ALMOST ANY TELEVISION STATION THERE’S PREACHERS LIKE PETER POTOFF, BENNY HINN, ROBERT TILTON AND THE LIKES SELLING MIRACLE WATER, MIRACLE CLOTHS AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS TO HEAL THE SICK. DRINK SOME MIRACLE WATER AND PRAY WITH YOUR FACE STUCK IN THE MIRACLE CLOTH OR SEND TILTON A FEW DOLLARS AND BANG, YOU’RE HEALED. THROW AWAY YOUR CRUTCHES, GET OUT OF YOUR WHEEL CHAIR AND DANCE AROUND THE ROOM, HALLELUIAH, PRAISE THE LORD, I’M HEALED, I’M HEALED. MAYBE HAVE BENNY HINN SLAP YOU UP SIDE THE HEAD OR BLOW ON YOU AND AS YOU FALL, YOU’LL GET UP OFF THE FLOOR TO THE CHEERS OF EVERYONE IN THE CONGREGATION SCREAMING THAT YOU’VE BEEN HEALED.
    SEE, YOU DON’T NEED TO KILL YOURSELF AND DO SOMETHING RASH. GO SEE THE ABOVE MENTIONED FRAUDS, I MEAN PREACHERS AND LET THEM SAVE YOUR LIFE.

  17. Bill Solen July 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm #

    Again, good job Marshall. While I see many valid points being made in the responses, I disagree with the correlation between soldiers going to war and “Self-deliverance” (thanks Donna for the correct terminology). “Going to war” preserves our right to LIVE free and “Right to die” preserves our right to DIE without suffering. Apples and oranges.

    I totally agree with Marshall and ‘bjb’. I’d no sooner stand by and watch my dog suffer every day with an incurable illness than I would watch my mother suffer. That’s one of those things many folks like Frank Piloto have to personally suffer through in order to open their eyes to reality.

    I have a great deal of respect for people like Donna Klamm and her realistic perspective on this issue.

  18. JOHNNY MCKAY July 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    I ALWAYS THOUGHT OREGON WAS A NICE PLACE TO LIVE AND IF EITHER MY WIFE OR I HAD A TERMINAL ILLNESS!!! GO DUCKS.JOHNNY MCKAY

  19. Mary L. Powell July 10, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    I so strongly agree with a person’s right to die. Why would you say that you’re interfering with God’s plan when you take your own life in a dire, painful situation with no hope for improvement. Aren’t you taking God’s authority away when you go to great lengths to preserve your existence? About Hospice. I have been a nurse for Hospice and I have experienced their plan many times on behalf of others in the dying process. Yes, it is a process just like healing. You can only come under Hospice’s care when you have given up measures to prolong your life. They offer support and comfort, whether it be from drugs or personal contact, during the dying process. You need to read their “Five Wishes” document which can supercede your present living will. It is a thing of beauty and recognized in about forty of our states. It is past time to recognize how beautiful a death can be if we will allow it to occur.

  20. Pete Forrest July 10, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Bravo, Marshall. I join the majority of respondents who applaud your position. Let each decide the manner of our demise.

  21. Celia July 10, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    I’m with you on this–all the way.

  22. Steve Gure July 10, 2008 at 10:03 am #

    Marshall,

  23. Steve Gure July 10, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    Marshall, again I am in total agreement with you. No one is forced to do anything against their beliefs or conscience. On the other hand, should one hold another opinion, then one should be free to exercise his choice. As a police officer I witnessed suicides that you described. It always affected me deeply.

  24. Bob Swan July 10, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Marshall,
    A lot of people who have responded make valid points that are emotion oriented. Life is far more complicated and the time/date of a person’s death is even more complicated. I don’t profess to have the answers—just my beliefs. I don’t think anyone wants to see a loved one suffer, but where do we draw the line? How about the beautiful teenager who gets into a car accident and ends up a quad—blowing on a straw to move her wheel chair and breathing through a tube in her throat? Do we end her suffering–knowing she is probably going to live forty or fifty years in that condition? How about the newborn with the terrible deformity and a life expectancy of maybe two or three years? Do we end that sufffering? My sisters, brothers and I were very fortunate when our mother died—she was three weeks shy of her 88th birthday. Got sick one day and ended up in the hospital. She died on the 10th day. She suffered some, yes—I can still see the damn tubes hanging out of her and the needles and all of the other stuff that goes on in an ICU and I wish I could have spared her from that. But, we were also able to watch each day as a different bodily function shut down—knowing that little by little, she was getting closer to death—until finally, on the tenth day at 12 noon, her heart stoped beating and we all said so long mom. The point I’m making is that it was’t her time on the sixth day or the seventh day or the eighth day—the big guy up stairs wanted her on the tenth day and not before and she finally let go. My heart goes out to all of you who may have witnessed the prolonged, agonizing death of a loved one, but I have to keep my faith and trust in the Almighty—-He calls the shots—I just hope I’m ready when he taps me on the shoulder.

  25. Gloria July 10, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Washington state will vote on a ballot measure to legalize aid in dying this November – the Washington law would mirror the Oregon law.

    Visit http://www.itsmydecision.org to make a donation to support this effort.

  26. Lou Diecidue July 10, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Marshall,
    I could not have said it any better then the lady name Sue. It’s just the right thing to do. You know how many we have seen put a gun in their mouth because they could not take the pain any more, and it’s almost always done at home for some family member to find. No one knows how much pain is too much except the person feeling it.

  27. Ed Hensley July 10, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    Marshall,

    In the matter of Medically Assisted Legal Suicide, I agree most with a well known &
    respected medical leader in pallitive care
    and end of life issues, Dr. Ira Byock.

    I have had the honor of meeting Dr. Byock
    and attending an “End of Life” seminar he
    gave in Escondido, CA a few years back.

    Dr. Byock contends that:

    “Both sides are wrong in suicide debate”

    I could not agree more! Please see >>

    http://dyingwell.org/bothsides02.05.htm

  28. John Krysakowski July 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    I find it profoundly moving that, with the exception of one person, all are in total agreement with your views. I suspect that if a nationwide poll were taken, and the question properly put forth, an amzzing number of people would vote in favor. Great insight into a very emotional subject. And I agree.

  29. Ed Hensley July 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    I find it profoundly sad that so many see
    Dr. assisted suicide as a quick fix, to the
    major and growing problem of end of life pain. While I agree this should be a state
    by state decision, the Oregon Death with
    Dignity Law is largely sybolic feel good law. For anyone who wonders why the Vermont
    House soundly rejected Dr. Assisted Suicide
    just last year, read Dr. Ira Byock’s 2007
    testimoney, as an individual, to the Vermont
    Legislature. Both sides are wrong in the
    assisted suicide debate & all the hot air in
    both directions ignores the real problem.

    http://dyingwell.org/downloads/ByockH44Testimony03-01-07.pdf

  30. rayvan July 10, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    My first exposure to suicide was studying about it in Psychology class in college. Florida Southern College being of the Methodist persuasion the subject was slightly biased toward the Godly approach: don’t do it because of the grief passed on to loved ones and, from a practical standpoint, a magical cure might be found soon after that would have zapped the terminal illness in the bud. Another point remembered was that the suicidal person would be trying to thwart God’s Plan (probably both words were entirely capitalized). If God wanted the person to linger on in pain indefinitely who was the suicide attempter to interfere with God’s Plan?

    Awhile later, while lamenting the truth I had learned about my true love; she exercised mink-like traits and I was totally crushed upon learning she also liked to perform her mink talents with an old flame named Chuck. I was supposed to be the sole committed recipient of her minky favors. At the age of 20 or so inexperience and naiveté caused me to think suicide until another mink appeared on the scene. Where had those suicidal thoughts come from? Probably from Hollywood who had cast suicide in a poetic light for the thwarted lover, cast aside in despair by the thwarting lovee, in some widely touted romantic movie. It was very real at the time but it sounds pretty lame now.

    My next experience was in an unlikely scenario. I was an insurance claims investigator and was assigned to check into a claim in a small town in Polk County, FL. A family man had committed suicide and the Home Office claims examiner had reason to question the local decision. He wondered if it could be accidental and the company would owe twice as much death benefit as was due to death by suicide. The local authorities had declared it to be suicide and I proved through a thorough examination of his financial, family and health subjects there was no reason for it to be ruled suicide. Late at night the man heard an unusual sound behind his house. He had run outside with a shotgun in the darkness, tripped and fell, discharging the shotgun against his chest, dying instantly. The investigating officer stubbornly refused to revisit the facts and to get the verdict changed to accidental death. This, like the romantic nonsense previously outlined, is a true story.

    The years ticked away and for awhile I was meeting “Bob” every Sunday for a game of middle-aged men’s tennis. After settling up the paltry bets we would have a cold one at a nearby convenience store. One Sunday he started telling me the most intimate problems he was having with his wife. I was embarrassed for him and tried to but him off diplomatically with something philosophical like, “problems are just like a–holes; we all have them.” A few days later I saw Bob’s obituary in the paper; he had done himself in. At his funeral the preacher aimed his words at me and practically everybody else in attendance. We were not to feel guilty. Bob was a sick man and he had been in counseling, to no avail. Most of us still felt guilty.

    In a previous marriage my mother-in-law developed an inoperable brain tumor. Her husband had some bucks at that time so the health care establishment proceeded to do what they do when they can. A system was set up to keep her alive indefinitely being fed through a tube in the stomach. I can relate to Marshall’s description of the man who went to prison for fatally shooting his seriously ill wife. My late father-in-law became obsessed with reading and hearing about such a case in Pinellas Park but alas, they were both in a nursing home and nobody would take a revolver to him. She outlived him by 5 or 6 years and most of the years they were in a nursing home they shared a room but she did not recognize him or anybody visiting.

    The conclusion I have reached is that the self-appointed arbiters of our morals have decided it is not right to commit suicide. In the foregoing commentaries it has been mentioned we are considered civilized if we have an animal euthanized and uncivilized if we declare we have the right to decide when we want to end our lives. I feel it is unfortunate Dr. Kevorkian has a name and face which remind some people of Dracula or Dr. Frankenstein. If he had a name like “Hershey” or “Camelot” and the appearance of a Clark Gable-like fellow his cause would have been more successful. He would have been hailed like the hero he was and not sent to prison like some cocaine dealer. My wife and I have an understanding in this area and we have Living Wills. We have granted each other Durable Powers of Attorney (the power extends beyond disability of the grantor). I can relate to the couple in the Cadillac described by Marshall. What finer way to “go” than to be in the arms of the person you love, who loves you in return.

    We are members of the Hemlock Society and I urge all of you to look into this fine organization.

    Thank you Marshall for opening up this great subject. Hope you don’t charge by the word…

  31. Jack MacLean July 10, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.
    JACK

  32. FJM July 10, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Marshall,
    Sign me up, Marshall – I have seen too many of my immediate family suffer and lose their quality of life, as I have also heard the stories of my friends and their loved ones.

    Hopefully when Bob Swan is tapped on the shoulder, he will be at the “Town Athletic Club” doing what he likes best.

  33. Rich Moore July 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    It is unusual when I agree with Marshall to the degree I do in this case…totally. There is no reason for this to be withheld from all of us except for the far right wing nuts that want to tell us what we can drink, smoke, sniff swallow or breath, and how much pain and suffering we should endure so THEIR idea of proper conduct can be mollified.

    I would rather take the warm and fuzzy way out than moaning and suffering in pain…and anyone getting in the way of my relief can go to hell and take their nosy nonsense with them.

    Bush the murdering traitor has ZERO regard for states rights..none whatsoever. Recall that he promised to allow states to decide medical cannabis laws and then promptly lied as usual and sicc’d the DEA thugs on sick and dying patients in the 12 states that have decided by voter majority to allow it. Bush and Cheney are the worst criminal scum of the century and their names will be reviled in history as war criminals and murderers.

  34. Ed Hensley July 12, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    Actually Mr. Moore, far more level heads
    than either the Church or the far right wing nuts you identify from your arm chair
    helped shoot down a 4th try, in as many
    years, by the California Legislature to pass
    a Dr. Assisted Suicide Law. In California,
    Assisted Suicide is opposed by the American Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association, the California Disability Alliance, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens, La Raza Roundtable of Santa Clara County, and the Sacramento NAACP, as well as numerous other organizations representing the poor, uninsured, and people with disabilities.

    I will agree with you and Marshall that the
    Bush Admin was operating as Jack Booted Thugs, in opposing the Will of the People of
    the State of Oregon, on Assisted Suicide.

    I reserve the right to oppose Dr. Assisted Suicide in the State of California, while I
    acknowledge the right of each state to decide this vexing question for that state.

    For anyone truly interested in both sides
    of this vexing argument, visit this site >.

    http://www.ca-aas.com/getthefacts.asp

  35. Ed Hensley July 12, 2008 at 12:42 am #

    Related Breaking News:

    CA Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act

    M.F. ~ Now this I support fully & am pleased to see Berg-Levine push for a law that will do much more good than the Dr. Assisted Suicide Bills they have pushed (unsuccessfully) ever year for 4 years, in the California Legislature. I will follow this Bill, AB2747 & stay in touch.

    California Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act

    The California Senate Health and Judiciary Committees voted June 25, and June 26, 2008 and passed the Terminal Patients’ Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act, AB 2747 (Berg-Levine). The Act would be the first in the nation to provide terminally ill patients with a full disclosure of, and counseling about, all available legal and ethical end-of-life care options. The Act also requires that health care providers who do not wish to comply with a particular patient’s choice must refer or transfer the patient to another provider …more….click on >

    http://www.compassionandchoices.org/righttoknow/

  36. bjb July 12, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    What terrific input from your informed readers and contributors, I thank them one and all. bjb

  37. Gloria July 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    The Catholic Church hierarchy has provided nearly two-thirds of the funding to oppose death with dignity – just as they oppose all issues of choice.

    In Oregon, in 1997, the Catholic Church hierarchy contributed $1.7 million in an effort to defeat death with dignity. It didn’t work.

    If you believe that all people should have the right to make their own end-of-life choices, then please support the YES on 1000 campaign in Washington State.

    Go to http://www.itsmydecision.org to make a contribution and find out more about the proposed death with dignity law in Washington. Help us bring more choices to more people, starting in Oregon, Washington, and California – maybe your state is next!

  38. Ed Hensley July 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    Hey, if your in a hurry, just get a one way
    ticket to Switzerland, where assisted suicide has been legal for over 200 years
    and this nonsense of time to think it over
    has been dispensed with. I go to a neutral
    news source, on Swiss problems with this:

    Swiss minister calls for stop of “death tourism”

    http://www.chinaview.cn 2008-07-14 06:22:42 Print

    GENEVA, July 13 (Xinhua) — Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has called for a stop of “death tourism” — the practice of people traveling to Switzerland to die, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

    “Today somebody can come to Switzerland and already the next day can have an assisted suicide through one of these assisted suicide organizations. This should not be possible,” Widmer-Schlumpf told the German-language Sonntags Zeitung newspaper.

    Under Swiss law, active euthanasia is illegal but assisted suicide is not. With the latter, the patient has to carry out the final act himself. Several Swiss organizations offer assisted suicide service.

    Widmer-Schlumpf would like to introduce a period of reflection between the first contact made with an organization and an assisted suicide. During this time the person would undergo counseling from the organization or a third party.

    She also called for assisted suicide groups to be financially transparent and to ensure that they had the necessary documents. She also criticized the use of helium for deaths.

    Her remarks came after the government announced earlier this month that it would be reviewing the rules for assisted suicide.

    Editor: Yan Liang

  39. Ed Hensley July 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    MY FINAL POST on Assisted Suicide!

    I offer this, with both respect and admiration for Derek Humphry and his late
    wife Jean, to bolster my opinion that no
    real need exists for legalized Dr. Assisted Suicide. IMHO, a “Right to Know – End of
    Life Options Act” such as CA AB 2747 above
    (my 7/12 post)is a better answer here.

    “Final Exit” by Derek Humphry

    Detailed illustrated advice on how to bring terminal suffering to a peaceful, nonviolent end. This video produced by journalist and author Derek Humphry, is a great companion to his book ‘Final Exit.’ Humphry, who founded the original Hemlock Society, provided the direction and spoken voice in this video adaptation of his famous ‘how-to’ book which was the #1 New York Times nonfiction bestseller in 1991. This guidance is for the possible use by a terminally or hopelessly ill competent adult who wishes to avoid further unrelieved pain and distress.

    Final Exit on DVD Video Chapters:
    Part 1 – Jean’s Way
    Part 2 – What Kind of Death?
    Part 3 – Ask a Doctor Discreetly
    Part 4 – Morphine: A Patient’s Best Friend
    Part 5 – What Makes a Graceful Ending?
    Part 6 – Plastic Bag & Helium Methods
    Part 7 – Last Bits of Advice

    Available in DVD & VHS at the ERGO Store
    http://www.finalexit.org/ergo-store
    $20 + shipping • 46 min • NTSC • English • 2006
    Directed, written & narrated by Derek Humphry

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCqmj69XyGk

  40. Jay Huff July 16, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    Marsh,
    Thgis comes late, but I agree with you 100%.
    Jay

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  1. Bookmarks about Suicide - September 14, 2008

    [...] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by jackysee on 2008-09-13 LEGALIZE ASSISTED SUICIDE http://www.marshallfrank.com/articles/?p=79 – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by kBasarab [...]