DENVER — She wants to live, more than anything. But if her brain tumor returns, Megan Igel wants the freedom to end her life.
A state ballot measure here in Colorado could give her a measure of control: It would allow physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill adults who request aid in dying.
Supporters have raised more than $5 million and a September poll found 70 percent of voters back the measure, which would make Colorado the sixth state to allow assisted suicide. (The Washington, D.C., City Council is expected to approve a similar measure later this month.)
We should have the choice. When I die, if such illness that would effect my months or days, I wouldn’t want to be drugged up where my loved ones could not enjoy my smile, hear how much I love them, give them the hugs they need. Dying with dignity explains itself. I’ve watched too many members of my family die, in pain, full of medications where they would not wake up, not remembering who you were if they did. I want my mind and choice before I would pass to enjoy my family and give them the best and most of all the support they need for the day I choose to leave the world. I find a choice is less depressing to a choice of putting your loved ones through too much and to watch the torture of death. Devastating to children , family and friends. The choice shouldn’t be made under depressive behavior, but when you are at peace and accepting your destiny.
During the 2016 Elections, Colorado added a new proposal that would allow a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness to end their life. Proposal 106 was approved by an alarming vote and will be set in order in January of 2017. Proposal 106: Colorado End-Of-Life Options Act states that a person who is eighteen (18) years or older, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and only has six or less months to live, who is mentally stable, who has consulted with two separate physicians, and who can properly self-administer the fatal drug, can indeed take their own life with a prescribed pill.
Conservatives who oppose this bill argue that there are not enough safe-guards in place. For example, patients pick the pill up from the pharmacy and take it home. What if it is not properly stored? Could a child get ahold of this medication, could somebody else who is depressed and suicidal get ahold of this pill, could the person lose this pill? What happens if this patient is being pressured by their family members because they will receive a substantial life insurance policy? Being told that you have an illness and there is no hope for you at all, will surely depress a person. All hope and all gladness can most definitely be stripped away. That is most likely when a person will be at their lowest point, which in any other case, is when psychologists try to step in and discourage suicide. Conservative opposition has also brought out factors with health insurance companies. It will get to a point where insurance companies will not cover expensive end of life costs, but they will cover this inexpensive drug, so you can end your life. Doesn’t this seem outlandish? Some health care providers have stated that they have come up with new ways to help a person progress their death, if the patient desires this. They are able to take off their oxygen when their time is limited, to allow their body to deplete oxygen levels naturally. Patients are also able to refrain from consuming fluids, this will cause the digestive system and other organs to slow down naturally. Natural death is the way we were created to pass away and taking matters into our own hands seems so wrong. Pain and suffering is something that people have to go through to understand it fully. However, there is always hope and there is always peace. These are two things anyone can understand.
I am dying of cancer with 50/50 chance. I am not depressed because I accepted the facts, hope for the best and pray I’m the 50 percent that survives. You can only make the decision in your right mind; I want the choice before I cannot. I guess unless you are dying, you really could not speak on this. I understand should you loose the medication, but again, if your in your right mind, a person would be careful and extremely careful with children, my family does not care about life insurance, money cannot buy moments of enjoyable life together. My family knows and understands my chances and try to enjoy every moment they can with me as I am right now. I don’t want that taken away to a hospice or hospital or morphine.
Let’s learn from our neighbors to the north. See this article: http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/euthanasia-learn-from-canadas-mistakes/18778. Also from our neighbors in Belgium and the Netherlands and …
False advertising disqualifies Prop 106 as it simply allows non voluntary euthanasia. The Colorado promoters of assisted suicide are guilty of false advertising. Their bills do not deliver as promised. If they are really supporting individual choices and rights they would provide an ordinary witness to the self administration of the lethal dose. Without a witness they are allowing forced euthanasia. I learned after caring for my wife’s last 18 months of declining autonomy. I learned that you can work on 4 hours sleep. I am focused on how this Prop 106 is written, it’s omissions and how it could be administered to my wife.
Colorado Prop 106 provides no ordinary witness to the “self-administration of poison”.
Even as the promoters have inundated us with their chant that the lethal dose “must be self-administered” and mentioned it 9 times in their 11 page Prop 106 they do not provide an ordinary witness to the act. That omission effectively eviscerates all of the so called safeguards. The difference between having a witness to “self administration” and no witness is that one honors individual rights and the other is non voluntary euthanasia. A promoter was once asked “why don’t you just legalize euthanasia?” He said “the public is not ready to accept euthanasia.”
The process seems to be full of requirements on the front end up until the script is written. Then an heir can pick up the script and administer it without oversight. Know that only 2% of the doctors have attended these events in other states.
Even the front end “requirements” have fatal flaws. A predatory heir may be a witness to the initial request along with a staff member of the facility. Does that sound like good public policy?
The rest of the family is not required to be contacted. And everyone involved gets instant immunity. The death certificate is falsified by this law which makes it impossible to prosecute a murder when the death certificate states the underlying illness is the cause of death. There really is no transparent reason not to post poison as the cause.
This bill Final #145 Article 48 provides that a predatory heir can facilitate the signup process, murder the individual and receive immunity all before the rest of the family is notified. This is neither reasonable nor prudent public policy. This is dangerous public policy that puts the entire population (all ages) at risk of exploitation by the medical-industrial-complex, organ traffickers and predatory heirs.
I encourage people to read the Oregon model bill before taking a, or expounding on their position. We will agree no matter our starting position that this Prop 106 does not deliver.
This bill is not the one.
MTaas dot org
I heard an old Tracy Chapman song a few days ago. It’s a song I have always loved for its simple message and heartfelt delivery. It could have been cheesy, but instead its simple beauty hits me like a slap to the face every time I hear it. Line after line of truth, followed by the repeated deeper truth of “all that you have is your soul.”
Just before I heard the song, I had heard a report on the local public radio station about a bill in New York that, if passed, would make New York the sixth state in the nation to allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives by taking a prescribed dose of lethal medicine. The reporter interviewed supporters and opponents of the bill and allowed each a few sentences to explain their positions.
If that reporter were to have asked me my opinion of the bill, I would have said New York State should adopt the bill immediately. For my reason I would simply sing the refrain from Tracy Chapman’s song: All that you have is your soul.
It is easy to go long stretches without considering the fact that you yourself will one day die. As a child the idea is so remote and unlikely as to be almost impossible to truly consider. At some point, someone close dies and if we are old enough when that happens for the first time, we can’t help but come around to the thought that one day we will also be dead. But then, if you are like most people, you shove that thought aside and get on with life.
Which is the right thing to do. Living in fear of death as a young person is unnatural.
But then you hit middle age. Maybe a friend dies young and you go to the funeral. Your own inevitable death looms a bit larger, but still you put those thoughts aside. You have work to do, a life to lead. Your own death might become something you start to plan for a bit—you write a will, you look into insurance—but still it is more hypothetical than immediate.
Maybe while lying in bed one night you broach the subject with your spouse. You talk a bit about your wishes—burial or cremation? Big memorial service or small gathering of close friends and family? Heroic measures or pull the plug? But again, you quickly make a light joke of it by calling dibs on getting to go first. Then you change the subject before turning out the light.
And then a parent dies. It knocks you flat. One, because your mother or father is gone forever. And two, (if you are honest) because your own unavoidable end rises up in front of you in a way you cannot deny. There will come a day when you will no longer be. And your children, if you have any, will feel as lost as you do in the aftermath. As far as we can tell, humans are the only species whose members carry with them an awareness of their own impending death.
Which means we also have the opportunity to plan ahead for our own death. Of course, many of us die in a way that does not allow for much planning. We have a heart attack; we have an accident; we have a stroke. But a fair number of people die of diseases that kill slowly and painfully over time. It is precisely circumstances like these that allow for us to have conversations with people we love about our exact wishes. People lie in bed in the dark side by side and say things like “If I ever get to the point where I am being kept alive by machines, I want you to pull the plug.”
And states throughout the country have recognized the power of these spoken wishes time and again. If we are beyond the help of modern medicine with no signs of conscious mental function and no likelihood of ever coming back to consciousness, our loved ones can ask that our wishes be honored and we be allowed to die.
But what if we are not that far gone? What if, instead, we have a fatal disease and we are taking inevitable steps toward our own death, but we are still conscious and able to feel pain? In five states you would have the option of asking a physician to help you die. In 45 states, you would be told the choice to live or die is not yours—it is the state’s.
And this is where I come back to Tracy Chapman and “All That You Have is Your Soul.” I believe that when you are born there is one thing you own and that is your own self. It can be easy to believe we own many other things as we grow up, fall in love, get jobs, have children, and accumulate people and things. The house we live in, the car we drive, the partner we marry, the children we have—-all of these can come to feel like they are ours. But really, they are not. These things come and they go and in the end there is nothing you can do to stop them.
In the end, the only thing that is yours is your own soul. And if you are at the point where medical science is useless and you are tired of constant pain and the indignity of being unable to feed yourself or wash yourself or even get yourself to the toilet and you decide you are ready to die, you should be able to ask a doctor to prescribe you a lethal dose of medicine so you can have one least measure of control over your own life.
The Medical Aid in Dying Act was introduced in the New York State Legislature this week to provide for this very control. I will write to my state legislators right away to let them know I support this bill. In the end, whose life is it? Mine? Or New York State’s?
I understand why for people coming from certain religious traditions, enabling suicide by prescription is anathema. But I really don’t understand the position of those claiming to speak for disabled persons to oppose this law. Disability and terminal illness are not comparable, and there is absolutely no suggestion from advocates of these laws that anyone other than the individual in question make a determination as to whether their life is no longer worth living.
Personally, if I ended up quadriplegic, I would almost certainly believe my life no longer worth enduring … but neither does that indicate that I think others in the same situation should reach the same conclusion (I emphatically don’t think everyone would or should), nor does it have anything to do with this law, unless in addition to being quadriplegic I was also in terminal decline. It is the terminality of one’s medical situation that is the determining factor in this law, not any other aspect of it.
I would also say to those disabled persons advocates – I agree that no one has any grounds for telling a disabled person the value of their life, but neither do you have any grounds for telling anyone else the value of theirs. I should be as empowered to determine that the further value of my life is not worth the cost in pain and suffering as any person is to insist that theirs is.
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