In a landmark victory for supporters of assisted suicide, the California State Legislature on Friday gave its final approval to a bill, that would allow doctors to help terminally ill people end their lives. California would be the fifth state, beside Vermont, Montana, Washington and Oregon to allow people to have a choice.
It would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminal ill patients. If you go around and you ask people my age and older, if they are afraid of death, most of them will say “No, not at all,” and that goes for me to. As I wrote last week, death doesn’t scare me, it is just a part of life. However, the way I might die, well, that’s a different story. That scares me a whole lot. I want to die in my sleep or during making love to my husband, but chances for both are pretty slim.
Chances however, that I might be kept alive by machines are high. Modern medicine can be evil, when it comes to prolonging death, because if life is not livable, than you don’t prolong life…you actually prolong death.
I watched my Sister-in-law dying last year and the active dying process took a long time and was horrible to witness. She lived in the wrong state and wasn’t allowed to die with dignity, even though she asked for it the last months before her death, when she was still able to talk. “Please, let me go,” was her plea, but we were not allowed to help her.
I have generally been in favor of the dying-with-dignity-laws. I don’t like the idea that someone else -and that includes government and any religion- is allowed to control my life and that part of my life that we call death.
It’s my life, it should be my choice and that’s all what dying-with-dignity really is. It eases peoples mind, gives them a choice.
Death-with-dignity laws are voluntary. An eligible person can request the prescription, but no doctor is obligated to provide it. Once a prescription is written, the patient chooses when and whether to fill it – or take it. Most people never take it. Simply having the choice provides people a sense of peace in the face of uncertainty and fear that their suffering might be unbearable. It allows people the freedom to die in control, with dignity.
One day I hope this law will finally pass in all states, so neither one of us will have to fear for our dignity anymore.
In loving memory of my Sister-in-law and of Brittany Maynard, who supported the death-with-dignity-movement at the end of her young life, at a time when I need to hear about it.