We come into this world naked and alone. Tied by a lifeline to our mother. We sure don't leave that way in the usa. Old and infirm of mind and body and dignity. I am all for the individual being able to choose their exit. Both my parents died a miserable horrible death . I don't want that path.
Hit me with the bus.
I have been fighting battles with the medical establishment about my 94 year old Mom. She is (or was) pretty independent. The decline at the hospital was quite stunning - lets pump her full of drugs, not feed her, or give her enough water. She just put in rehab after a short hospital stay. Finally getting enough food, minimal drugs, but they still want to do everything for her. Twice in 2 days I had to tell them to stop and that she can dress/undress herself. I understand they are in a rush - multiple patients, but very frustrating.
We are kinder to animals than to each other in this regard. Selfishly keep an animal alive to suffer because you want to avoid or postpone the grieving process, and people shame you for it. Do it to a human and they applaud it. Go figure.
Sometimes we're unkind to ourselves as well. My oldest brother wanted to avoid amputation when diagnosed with an aggressive and rare bone cancer on one leg. I begged him to follow medical advice. I told him if it was me I'd order it removed and if they wouldn't do it I'd rip it off myself and club them over the head with it. I told him we'd all chip in for a state of the art prosthetic. But while he wasn't one of those charismatic nutters, he was convinced on some level god would come through for him so he doctor-shopped until he found someone who would try to save the leg. He died five months later with a tumor the size of a canteloupe on the side of his leg. Crying all the while that god had abandoned him and he couldn't figure out why.
This is one of the most graphic reasons I see fundagelicalism as a great harm. It purposely removes empowerment and self determination and makes life more rather than less painful and then tries to elevate that cruelty into a virtue.
I've told all of my family that if my cancer comes back I will not do the treatment protocol as it is now and I'll just take the time I have left. It is much less successful than the initial protocol and a lot worse. This may change and I'd evaluate it away that time, but as it is now I would move and obtain residence in a state that allowed euthanasia with terminal illness and enjoy the time I have left.
Um, no. Try a cliff.
Sorry, being flippant, yes the campaign for death with dignity is a worthy one and so many don’t join it until it’s crux point. I’m sure your national or local groups would appreciate your support.
Having worked with people at end of life, and lost people to cancer, there is a definite point that most don’t want to live to. When you need morphine for pain every time you come around is probably too far past it for most.
My dad just died yesterday. He went in for sepsis and pneumonia and was there 11 days. The last day we forcibly removed him from the ventilator and allowed him to quietly go on his own. No pain, made comfortable, when problems began, we insisted, made comfortable! He went how he wanted. No machines.....
I think when the pain is too much no one else can fairly gage that except the person suffering. If a person has no escape from suffering but the end, that is their choice.
I, like you, am aging and the prospect of some long slow drawn out death is not appealing.
However "Hit me with the Bus" reminds me of a news story 4-5 years ago in Nor Cal. A man, terminal and awaiting a long slow death, decided no. So he booked a helicopter ride, and about 2000 up, unbuckled and jumped out.
Fell 2000 ft into the ocean and survived, was rescued, and had his condition horribly worsened, and rendered himself incapable of consent for the legal and approved "compassionate death" of CA.
SO maybe a little more thought than a random bus might be in order?
i have always believed people should have the right to choose. My favourite author Sir Pterry (Terry Pratchett) did a documentary about it Choosing to Die he wanted to go out with a glass of wine and his family around him. I heard of a farmer who was diagnosed with alzheimer's disease, the second time he was found wandering around the farm and was brought home by neighbours he knew he did not want to wait until he was completely gone. There were no options other than to check himself into an old people's home and wait for the end. He waited for a day when everyone was out, rang the police to tell them what he was about to do and where he could be found, went into the shed and shot himself. He did not want his famiy to find him and in his note apologized to the police who he knew would be affected by being the ones to first come across his body. It would have been far better for everyone concerned if he had been able to do it peacefully and with them knowing and ready. It is high time we gave people the right to make these choices. Technically there is already assisted deaths, when my mother was dying the nurses kept coming in and turning up the morphine, not enough to kill her but enough to compromise her breathing and slow down her already damaged heart. At least she was not in pain. She may have lasted a few more days without the morphine. My uncle, dying of cancer, was also put on a morphine drip and my aunt said that the nurses kept on coming in and fiddling with the machine (in all probability turning up the dosage) again not to kill him but to dull the pain the side effect was also that it hastened his death.
Many states (all the west coast ones) have Death with Dignity program. It is spreading to more states but these tend to be the more liberal ones. Good luck with any program that addresses compassion in the religious south. The is a site that helps people exit easier. It's called "Final Exit." [finalexitnetwork.org]
I'm with you. But please keep in mind the poor bus driver and anyone else who witnesses your demise. If you end it at home please bear in mind any first responder or anyone else who might find your body.
I have considered a large plastic bag over my head tied around the neck. It will at least be a clean scene for some poor unfortunate to find.