“Assisted Suicide…” Should we have the right to die on our “own” terms? Brittany Maynard, a young attractive 29-year-old woman had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that only gave her about 6 months to live. There was no cure and a lot of pain and discomfort awaited her if she had taken the opportunity to just “die naturally.” She started a cause simply called “Die with Dignity” where she picked the date and method for how she would die. Naturally, there were “hot” debates over this, because many felt that life events should be determined by “God” and “not man.” For those of you who do not know the story, I invite you to check out the link below:
This issue hits very close to home for me, because I have actually seen “many” people deteriorate before my eyes due to terminal illnesses that could not be reversed. I once worked in a senior citizen complex where I witnessed “many” go through the final stages of life. I also experienced it with my own family. For me there is a “huge” difference between “life” and “quality of life.” If you are lying comatose and a machine is doing the breathing for you, then in many instances that might be considered “life” to some but not necessarily “quality of life” to the ones suffering. I have heard “many” people mention “God’s Will” and I am one who firmly believes in it as well. It is because of this that I will now take “this” stance: I “fully support” the right to “die with dignity.” Years ago my grandfather was dying from cancer. He was heavily medicated and when I went to see him he kept rambling about a lot of things that didn’t seem to make any sense at all. There was one phrase in particular that he kept on repeating though, and each time he said it I ignored it because it didn’t seem to have any rationalism behind it. His exact words were, “When are you going to shoot that squirrel?” I think to most people that statement would not be taken seriously, and I was feeling the same way about it. After “several times” of him repeating these words, I just asked him directly, “Pop, why do you want me to shoot that squirrel?” His answer left a huge whole in my heart. His response was “because the squirrel is in too much pain.” It took “every ounce” of strength I had to walk away without pulling “each and every plug and IV” he had in him. I was sad, I was terrified and I was “angry.” My grandfather had more than enough sense to know that what he was experiencing may have been considered “life” but it surely wasn’t “quality of life.” When my own mother was dying from ovarian cancer, I watched her deteriorate slowly. It was painful at times to see, but she died with dignity and handled it about as well as she could. She knew what was coming, and she was prepared for it. She was more concerned about us seeing her go through this than she was about herself. However, nothing can prepare you for the pain when it enters the final stages. My grandmother told me that she wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on a dog when she was informed that she was about to die. I realize that a lot of people invoke that we should “never tamper with God’s Will,” and I agree with all of them. However, there is a catch to this from “my own” perspective. If any of us want to attempt assisted suicide, then if it is truly “God’s will” for us to live, then “nothing” will kill us. In other words, God will make it so that your attempts to end your own life will be “unsuccessful,” thus giving you a “God given second chance” to live on. I am sure a LOT of people will take issue with what I have just said, but if you have seen people suffer the way I have seen them then you might want to consider a “change of heart.” We ALL have “dates with destiny” and “no one” on this planet will “live forever.” This woman knew what she was about to encounter and she knew that her “quality of life” was about to take a substantial turn for the worse. Why should she have to suffer through all of that just because other people want her to? For those advocates of “life” I applaud your cause, and I would “love” to see you promote that cause when it comes to “all the inmates currently on death row.” If you are an advocate for life, these inmates would “love” to hear from you. As for those who are sick enough to die anyway, our lives are our own, and while others can tell us how to live it, they can’t experience the same exact issues as we do. Granted, some of them might be dying as well, but “pain levels” may not be the same when it comes to our own bodies. I applaud Brittany Maynard for being “brave enough” to set her own “final curtain” and alleviate others from watching her writhe through pain and agony. I would not want my own kids to see me go through that transition. “Everyone” is different and if you have an opposing position I would “love” to hear from you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly and Robin Roberts