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I have told you recently about a beautiful man who now has maybe 4 months to live. I can"t give you exact time of his death because he has yet to decide. You thought God and the human body decided when one will die from a terminal disease? If you live in one of four states,you get to pick. Oregon was the first state,then came Washington state,Montana was next, and Vermont is the last state I know of that allows Physician-Assisted Suicide.

My friend has been fighting Cancer for over 15 years. I love this man, He is funny,and very smart. He has met Presidents,sports figures and knew two of our states Governors.I was going to meet Booth Gardiner,former Governor of our state. He
died of Parkinson"s before I got the chance.

Any time your told you have a life ending disease, though it"s a long time in the future I hope. I think ,as my friend has, that drinking the "magic juice" is the way to
leave  leave this world. A party will be held, hugs all around, and then the drinking of the medicine,

I worked in a niursing home while I was going to college. People sitting in chairs,blank
looks,drool from their lips. I stood by my Uncle as he died in pain. Morphine was of no use. I held his hand and wispered how strong he was. He fought  in France
and his uniform had no more room for his medals. At the moment of death,his knees
were crunched up to his chin. He was that bent over in pain. I dare anyone to keep
smoking after they watch a man drown in his bed. Emphysema is a mean way to die.
I wish he could have just drank a class of medicine and gone to sleep. We treat
animals better than my uncle. Prisoners get lethal-injection.

46 states in America have no such law. You have to have less than 6 months to live.
You need 2 Doctors to sign the okay to get the prescription that will end your life.
You have a waiting period of 15 days in our state.

Religious folks will fight this law. I guess pain,loss of reality,tears, doesn"t matter
as long as the person is alive. Red states would never allow this law,I guess. Compassion is not part of the DNA of a Republican.

I hope all of you and your loved ones live to be 100 years old. I hope such a law isn"t needed for you. Just in case:pass a Death with Dignity law in your state.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I live in Oregon. I voted for it. (10+ / 0-)

    And I fully expect to never need it for myself.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:52:48 PM PST

  •  I've been thinking about this (26+ / 0-)

    lately - what would I do? I think in the end, end it. The reason it's been on my mind is because of a beautiful woman I knew. She faced the worst and most sudden diagnosis ever at Thanksgiving, not an inkling of being that sick, and was gone before Christmas. But she spent her last three weeks in a hospital getting pumped with chemo and probably radiation. I want to die in the flowers & sun, I hope I get to pick.

  •  I have the information (14+ / 0-)

    …on how to do this right -- if you consider yourself a sovereign individual with full human rights.

    I am merely trying to figure out how to pass it on without ending up in Moscow with Edward Snowden.

  •  I agree wholeheartedly with (15+ / 0-)
    pass a Death with Dignity law in your state.
    and wish this choice to be made readily available to all. Thank you for posting today. Peace.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:13:00 PM PST

  •  Here's a link to the description of the laws (19+ / 0-)

    in MT, OR, VT and WA:
    Physician assisted euthanasia

    A year ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. (tumor in the bronchus; malignant cells in lymph nodes). My oncologist (at my insistence) ventured his judgment as to my likely prognosis: 90% chance of death within five years; 75% chance of death within two years.

    Trust me, I've thought a LOT about euthanasia. Fortunately, I live in Washington State.

    I've lived a full and rewarding life. I have no desire to have my children bear witness to a long, drawn out death of suffering. I'll be pulling the plug before I'm but a shell of the man they've known and loved all their lives.

    I'm saddened beyond measure that 46 of our states deny their residents the opportunity to die with dignity.

    In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

    by WisePiper on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:23:08 PM PST

  •  I am for deciding when to go when life is ending. (15+ / 0-)

    To ease physical pain.

    To ease the financial obligation of medications and treatments- for not curing- or extending life, but ...just because.

    To ease the suffering of loved ones- to continue to mourn for months and months- instead of a closure for grief and recovery.

    My dog had a stroke.  She was 'put down' three days later, when no hope of recovery was there.

    What was that movie?

    They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:31:36 PM PST

  •  There are two very good documentaries (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, Pluto, irishwitch, Vet63, eyo, ladybug53, JayRaye

    on this; "Choosing To Die", and "How To Die In Oregon". I have seen another one, but can't remember the name. Basically, in that one, terminal persons that live in states without death with dignity laws, travel to Europe for an assist. Mike, your friend will pass with love and laughs, and that is the best way any of us can leave. Thanks...SSK

    "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards

    by Santa Susanna Kid on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:09:26 PM PST

  •  living to 100 would be wonderful (7+ / 0-)

    so long as one can do so on one's own terms. Otherwise, most folks would prefer the tradeoffs possible. Thank you for the diary covering an issue that really warrants honest conversations from the personal level all the way to the policy/political level.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:16:32 PM PST

  •  Warmest regards to your friend, (6+ / 0-)

    and happy memories to you when it comes time to bear them.

    I always was a fan of death with dignity. We do it for our animals, I have never understood why we don't for humans. It makes no sense. But hospitals will bilk us and our families for as much as they can. Always the greed factor sigh

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:09:57 PM PST

  •  How do you, or the 'religious folk', know the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vet63, JayRaye

    death in question wasn't on God's term?

    Humankind always  tries to pretend it controls what it does not understand.

    •  valion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, JayRaye

      Well I don"t but the folks on the Right TALK to God.........
      Really! ask them,they iwill all say God talks talks to them.
      He just kicks me in the butt. I take that as a no on the
      question of Heaven for me.Oh! well,only Republicans will be there, Thats what they tell me.
      Good question,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:57:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My best friend (12+ / 0-)

    Two months ago my best friend took his own life while I was visiting him in the UK.  

    We had been friends for over 30 years. He had always lived his life on his own terms.  But he had been sick for years, slowly deteriorating.  His doctors gave him max 18 months to live. Every day started with an hour of throwing up.  Some days ended that way too. He was losing weight, tired, exhausted.

    He spent a lot of time researching methods, because he did not want become trapped inside from a failed attempt. There is no support from the NHS. He found a place in Switzerland that helps people commit suicide, but could not get into their system.  He identified phenobarbital as a foolproof method, but couldn't get it.  He thought about ODing on heroin, but didn't want to risk failing on low-quality street smack.

    I spent hours talking with him over several months.   Got him to the hospital once, and they discharged him and said he was fine.  If he went back again they would lock him up, and he refused to go.  In the end I could not change his mind.  And in the end, I told him I respected his right to live - or not live - on his terms.

    One day he disappeared.  The police came the next day and told me they had found him in a hotel.  He had taken blood thinners, a pile of valiums, and then climbed in the bathtub and cut his wrists. Exactly how he told me he would. Including going to a hotel so I didn't have to find him. Pretty foolproof.

    I could not imagine the pain I would feel; how devastated I would be; how much my life was entwined with his; what a huge hole it would leave. I could not anticipate that I would go over and over every moment of the last few weeks, thinking what I could have said or done differently; things I never told him; missed opportunities.  I will never "get over" it. But I stand by my conclusion that it was his life, and he had the right to make his own decisions. Peace at last.

    Somedays I really feel lonely.  Boy do I miss him.

    I'm still mad about Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:10:00 AM PST

    •  J Orygun (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyo, ladybug53, JayRaye

      What a powerful,tragic sad message, I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. I bet he knew you loved him, I will never tell you your pain getts better with time:it doesn"t. You simply learn to face the fact of what happened,acceptance
      isall their is. How cool it would have been to sit by his bed,hug him as he drank the medice. I still remember holding a little girl in my arms as she died. She died with no assissit,but being next to a loved one can help.
      I hope you find peace
      Be well,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:08:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How many people firmly announce, (5+ / 0-)

    at various points in their lives, that they will leave on their own terms, only to ultimately surrender all of their promises, all of their brave words, all of their convictions, to the frightened mammal within, dying in a hospital they swore they would never die in, drugged to a degree they swore they would never permit, after enduring pointless heroic measures they swore they would never allow.

    Evolution, brain chemistry, biology, not to mention a culture deathly afraid of death, do strive to make dying a tribulation, don't they?

    Assisted suicide might help a lot of people stay their rationally chosen courses, and should certainly be on everyone's menu. The State, and state-sanctioned moral bullying, should hold no sway over anyone's individual decision about how best to gracefully dance off the end of it.

    •  Qveris (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyo, JayRaye

      I agree with every word you hsve written. I have no idea
      what state you live in, Start a movement to copy the 4 states that have such a law.
      Good luck,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:12:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you saying that someone who changes (0+ / 0-)

      their mind would be encouraged to kill themselves anyway?

      •  We are hard-wired and culturally encouraged (0+ / 0-)

        to fear death, and when we find ourselves actually up against it, we tend to give in to those fears. We wind up following the same exit paths we always promised ourselves we would avoid. Part of the reason for that, I think, is the absence of reasonably comfortable, graceful, and reliable alternatives, e.g., physician assisted euthanasia. Were such options universally available, many more people would honor their lifelong pledges to exit on their own, or at least a closer proximity to their own, terms.

        Certainly my father would have. Thanks to a backwater muck of superstitious laws, death not only killed him, it was allowed to beat the hell out of him first.

        •  Qverls (0+ / 0-)

          What a powerful story. I am so sorry that happened to your Father. Maybe a law like I talk about,can help folks in your state.
          Please take care.

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:46:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Noisy Democrat (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The person has to give consent,wait 15 days before be allowed to continue. I live in an area where this law has been around for years. I have never heard Of someone
        being encouraged to kill themselves. I know this law in Oregon and Washington really well. I am saying no such
        thing,nor is anyone else.

        Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

        by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:42:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, ladybug53

    I have been living with chronic pain for more than 15 years, and I'm not even quite 40 yet. I think a lot about what my life will be like if I am lucky enough to make it to my 50s and 60s. I have a high tolerance for pain, but even I have my limits. I really, really hope I can find a way to go out on my terms in such a way that I am not in total agony and my husband isn't forced to stand by my side totally helpless as I suffer.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:21:36 AM PST

    •  moviemeister (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyo, ladybug53, moviemeister76

      I am so sorry for your pain. I have no idea what your illness
      is,norshould I. I hope you hsve looked for pain mangement
      drugs and other things with Doctors. I know many folks
      who have seen pain reduced with pain mangemant by a smart Doctor. I am not saying you havent
       gone thru all of that.
      I will be 65 in October of this year. My friend I write about
      is 67. I guess I am hoping you find other options to make
      the quality of your years better.

      Thanks for writing ,
      I wish you joy,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:21:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Honor and Truth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vet63, eyo

    There is honor in some deaths.  Therefore, there is honor in some life.  An honorable death is a promise that an honorable life will not be forgotten.  Warriors, kings, and philosophers have sought the privilege of a life culminating in a worthy, and proud death only to find themselves afraid, and alone surrounded by the accumulated worldly trinkets their wealth, wars, and educations blinded them with.  
    Greater men than I will ever know tremble at the company of enlightened beings that await another honest traveler. Another honorable death.  I hope this doesn't sound condescending, but I'm proud of your fearless truth, and what was obviously a fearless life.  I can only hope, someday to see you there.  


    by Neurofizz on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:23:50 AM PST

    •  Neurofizz (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wow,what nice words,thanks,add to your words,a guy who made mistakes. I guess that makes me human.
      Be Well,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:24:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are right. We treat animals better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Our culture fears death to such a degree, that it will do anything to keep a body alive, even if it means endless torment for the soul trapped within it.

    I am so sorry for your loss and I hope your uncle finds peace.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 06:14:00 AM PST

    •  GreenMother (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyo, GreenMother

      Your a gifted writer, The clairity about this subject is spot on
      from you. Thanks for your kind words about my uncle.
      His own sons never served in the military and I did. He and I were close. His sons have not said one word to me in
      15 years.
      Be Well,

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:37:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a client years ago (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, eyo, Noisy Democrat

    He had somehow contracted HIV/AIDS, which brought him to me for a will and power of attorney and all that. He was also a Vietnam-era vet with a back full of shrapnel, which gave him a lot of pain. When I brought up Living Wills, he said "Oh, I'll never need that -- I won't let it get to that point." He told me he had a loaded revolver with him at all times and wouldn't hesitate to use it when things got too bad.

    When the end came (the HIV/AIDS got him), he died quietly in his own bed, with his two daughters and his baby grandson at his side. He never used the revolver, but having it as an option seemed to allow him to live with more dignity, as a choice. I was glad for how it turned out, mostly for the sake of his daughters.

  •  My father's natural death (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was one of the most powerful and rewarding experiences of my life. I took care of him for four months as he was dying of colon cancer and was by his side when he died in his own home. He told a friend, a couple of weeks before the end, that it had been worth going through all of it "because I got to know my daughter." I'm so glad he didn't deprive both of us of that experience by taking pills to end it all before the "indignity" of natural death. (We talked about whether he would want to do that, but he didn't. In California there's no official assisted suicide, but it would've been easy to give him an overdose if he had wanted it.) I worry about a society in which people think that natural death means loss of dignity and should be avoided.

    I'm also concerned about creating a society in which taking a cup of medicine is seen as standard, natural death is seen as a huge burden, and people are pressured not to "put the family through all that."  In the final weeks of my father's life, my mother -- his ex-wife -- called me up to literally scream and yell that I was an idiot for putting myself through all this, and that it was wrong of him to let me take care of him, and that I should put him in a nursing home and let professionals handle it. I have friends who've also seen shocking amounts of pressure put on dying people and their loved ones by relatives, social workers, medical professionals, etc. It's very easy to imagine a day when someone like my mother would be screaming, "Why is he being so selfish, making you change diapers when he could just take a pill and this would all be over?!" It's easy to imagine a parent taking the drugs in order to "avoid being a burden" without even knowing what they're depriving their family of. I think we need to consider and discuss those concerns very seriously before we jump on the bandwagon of assisted suicide.

    •  Noisy Democrat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Noisy Democrat

      Nothing in life "is a one size fits all." situation. No one can argue with you unless that person has been to EVERY case.
      This law is NOT for everyone. This is just an option for the family. I don"t mean to take a thing a way from your experience. The problem is,it"s YOUR situation. Other folks
      may have a different situation. My Uncle died in agony.I promise you,that he would have jumped at the chance to go another way. Every case is different. Let folks decide.
      Trust me,safeguards like an independent  nurse  can be there.
      Thanks for sharing your story

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 01:02:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is that "let folks decide" seems to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        assume that there won't be pressure, manipulation, crazy families, etc. Before we go down the road of making it normal in society for people to avoid the "indignity" of natural death, we need to very seriously consider how we're going to safeguard people's right to a natural death without pressure.

        I have no idea how a nurse would prevent a family from grinding away at someone, guilt-tripping them into thinking that they're being "a burden," telling them about how "C'mon, diapers and loss of control are things of the past -- no normal person now suffers all that indignity!" I had to listen to my mother carrying on about how it was "wrong" not to dump my father in a nursing home, but I think it would've been even worse for me if my mother had been screaming that he should just kill himself -- and if her point of view was backed up by widespread, commonly accepted practice. I'm very concerned that we're not doing nearly enough, as a society, to support people through the natural death process, and I'm concerned about rushing to normalize suicide as a way of avoiding dealing with it.

        •  Noisy Democrat (0+ / 0-)

          100% of people never agree on everything. The people in Oregon and Washington have hundreds of cases that show
          no abuse. Clearly your against this practice,and I respect
          that. Even IF it becomes law in your state. You never have to use it.
          God Bless,

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:35:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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