An option owed to patients, family

Sunday November 4, 2012

Suicide is the end result of what doctors would state is a deep state of depression caused by external factors which leaves a person with the belief that there is no other option but to take their own life. The problem is that they are not terminal; if they do not commit the act they will not die.

Question 2 should not be stated as doctor assisted suicide, but rather, should a person who is terminal have the right to be euthanized? Euthanasia in Webster’s dictionary states: the act of causing death painlessly, so as to end suffering.

We as a race like to think of ourselves as humane, when our pets (which almost everyone considers a beloved member of the family) becomes sick to the point of suffering, we do the "humane" thing; we euthanize them so they can forego this pain and suffering. If you’ve had to put a pet down and have been there during the procedure, you would have seen a painless and peaceful process. Why, then, when we refer to ourselves as the highest form of intelligence on this planet, are we unable to grasp this concept upon ourselves once all options have been exhausted.

I have watched two of my family members succumb to cancer after all the options were taken to beat this disease. Operations, chemo, radiation etc.; in the end the doctor’s final words, terminal, we have done all we can. From this point on it should become the patient’s prerogative to have this final option, an option not available to patients now.

This is not about sudden death caused by a heart attack, aneurysm or accident; this is about a prolonged process of some diseases that slowly takes the life, and in many cases, painfully. The pain and an guish that the families endure during this process cannot even be fathomed unless you have personally gone through it, and in the end there was nothing about this that was dignified.

I would like the option open to me to make this decision so that when the time came and in a dignified manner, I could say goodbye to my family and friends, and not be so out of it because of all the pain killers in me (to relieve my pain and suffering) that I do not recognize these people who have meant everything to my life.

Do not look upon this as suicide, for it is not. It is the means to minimize a person’s pain and suffering along with alleviating extended pain and suffering by the family. This is euthanasia, not suicide.




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