right to die

9MARCH 2009

Montana lawmakers
won't tamper with
court ruling physician-
assisted suicide is a
constitutional right –
for now…

Oregon Law:
Cut to chase, Oregon's
death with dignity statute -
word by word. 

1MARCH 2009
Final Exit Network:

Assisted suicide
in Georgia still
facing KKK-type
clods using stings
to create havoc...

Video: Final Exit.

A national, rational
authority's sad sad
personal story of
assisted suicide;
his campaign for
assisted suicide laws...

Position paper:

Death with dignity
must become law
in all states...the
time has come...

Dr. Jack spent
8 years behind
bars making
humane point
for this nation.

 dr.jack kevorkian
Dr. Kevorkian bio:

He's a pathologist
with legit history
in medical circles,
certainly a pioneer
sadly dubbed a nut
for this nation.



Death With Dignity

...remember Lou Gehrig? A scenario...

Time has come to recognize physician-assisted suicide

Death with dignity.Physician-assisted suicide. It is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland. These three countries authorize physicians to actively assist in the death of their patients.

What are we talking about? Here is a likely scenario. Tom is an adult man. He has Lou Gehrig's disease. It is causing his muscles to shrink and weaken. He has progressively less control of his movements. It is hard for him to speak and to breathe. Tom's doctor diagnoses the disease and says Tom is terminally ill. A second doctor confirms the diagnosis and prognosis. There is no cure.

Tom has less than six months to live. He is miserable – on many levels. He is on a sort of death row – not of his own making. He has no quality of life whatsoever. He suffers unbearably. He is becoming progressively more helpless. He must rely more and more on his wife to tend to his needs. Tom's young children watch him transform before their eyes from their strong beloved father into a weak, helpless, hopeless creature. It is pathetic to witness. The cost of medical treatment is astronomical – way beyond the means of this working class family.

Tom is of sound mind. He is competent. He has all his mental abilities. Perhaps that is the cruelest part of this scenario. He knows exactly what is happening to him – and he hates it. Things are horrible now, but he knows they will get worse, much worse before it is finally over – before he becomes totally paralyzed and dies.

Suicide is legal in every state from Alabama through Wyoming. Where archaic laws against it still exist, they are not enforced. In short, Tom
pill bottle
could blast his brains onto the bedroom wall with a shotgun or bloody powerful .45 calibre handgun. But Tom does not have the stomach for that. He is a peaceful man. He does not even own a gun. Besides, he does not want to traumatize his wife and children with such violence. What a heartrending last image to behold – the gory stuff of family nightmares.

Tom is too far gone. The truth is that he is so far into his progressively debilitating disease that he does not have the physical ability to off himself with a gun. Can't do it. Impossible. The truth is that Tom cannot end his life without help.

Who will help Tom die before he becomes a whimpering vegetable? As much as Tom's wife hates to see him suffer, she cannot end his life or even assist him to die. She wants Tom's suffering to end, but she cannot do the deed herself. Besides, it is a felony. In my state of Indiana, she would be convicted of Assisting Suicide and sent to prison for up to 8 years – away from her children. That is not an acceptable option.

Tom wants to die. He wants to die with dignity. He wants to move his date of death up a few days, perhaps a few weeks. He wants his family doctor to help him die - the same doctor who brought him into the world and who cared for 35 years of his medical needs.

Tom and his doctor have a good doctor-patient relationship. Tom trusts him. Tom wants him to prescribe a lethal dose of medicine that will allow him to peacefully pass on – in a humane and dignified manner.

Shouldn't Tom have the right to make this choice? Shouldn't Tom's doctor have the right to provide this ultimate last service for his patient – upon request, and after taking all precautions to avoid any sort of abuse?

Not in Indiana. Not in New York. Not in California. Not in Texas. Not in Florida. Not in 47 states.

Yes, if Tom lives in Oregon. Yes, if he lives in Washington. Yes, if he lives in Montana. These three progressive states have laws that respect the right of a human being to both live and die – with dignity.

Kudos to them.

When will the other 47 states catch up? When will they recognize Tom's constitutional right to privacy - his right to exercise free will in this very individual and very private last matter? When will they give the Toms in our country the right to determine their own destiny with respect to difficult end-of-life choices?

When will YOU have the right to choose death with dignity based on YOUR values and beliefs?

Soon, I hope.

lady justice EDITOR'S NOTE: C. A. Nix has a prosecutor's awareness. She has a prosecutor's perspective. In all she writes, she represents the People of the United States of America.
All inquiries:

© 2009 C.A. Nix