I hate it when people write articles about friends and relatives to prove a point. I swore I would never do that. However, I am breaking my rule with this post. I think physician-assisted suicide is a timely subject in that Vermont just became the fourth state to legalize it and California could well be next on the list of states to fall.
The overwhelming need for legalized assisted suicide for the terminally---or almost-terminally ill is a myth. I am convinced that our survival instinct is so strong that the only thing that trumps it is love. Even those in the final stages of a terminal disease do not want to die or to leave their loved ones. But love is so powerful an emotion that they will consent to end their lives if they believe it to be best for those they love. That is why acceptance of assisted suicide laws is so insidious. It pits our God-given survival instinct against love, or in this case, a misguided duty to die for our loved ones.
My brother-in-law is in the final stages of ALS. The disease is moving so quickly that he has barely had time to assimilate the fact that he has it. Hospice was called in today to evaluate how to help my sister with her husband's basic needs. He knows his wife needs help, but his heart-breaking question when hospice departed: Does this mean I'm going to die?