Assisted suicide relieves suffering

October 17, 2014 6:16 PM

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Assisted suicide relieves suffering

I'm always amazed when an intelligent adult, in this case columnist Debra Saunders, has the temerity to pass judgment on another adult for making a choice regarding one's own life. The choice is assisted suicide, legal in Oregon (among other states), and gives a terminal patient the right to choose if or when to end his or her life via prescription medication. The 29-year-old female subject of Saunders' column has terminal brain cancer with a prognosis of less than six months to live. This patient chose assisted suicide rather than to languish helplessly, waiting for "natural" death with its many unknowns. Saunders opined that perhaps this patient "sees this choice as a way of beating back at death." It's safe to assume Saunders has not witnessed the end-of-life suffering of a terminal cancer patient whose pain or anxiety is not adequately controlled (both very real possibilities).

Saunders invites us to ponder "what happens to sick people who don't have her youthful spirit." I'm puzzled by the meaning of that question. However, I would invite Saunders to visit any nursing home filled with countless patients who are beyond managing their most basic bodily functions; can no lon...

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