Death with dignity Act

So my biggest fear is suffering before I die. Whether it is from cancer or anything else but it's a very uncomforting feeling knowing I have no control over the event. I don't know how many people are aware of the death with dignity act but Oregon and Washington are the only states that have passed this so far. They have a website in which they explain the specifics but basically it gives the patient an option to take a prescription that is intended to kill the patient without pain or suffering. There are restrictions with this and some of them are you have to be of sound mind, have a terminal diagnosis and are expected to die within the following 6 months I believe. There may be a few more but why are these the only states that have this act? I believe this choice is up too the person/patient and should not be left up to anyone else. Including government, other peoples religious beliefs or people who do not believe this is right. We are more humane with animals, if they are sick and the owner does not want to pay for any surgeries/treatments, they can euthanize the animal so it does not suffer anymore. Why can't we do that for terminally ill people? Currently I am very healthy (relatively) and realize that this situation may happen for myself in the future. I would feel a lot better about the situation if this was an option. Maybe I would exercise this option, maybe not but knowing it's available is comforting. How do you feel about this? If you're for it or against it let me know why. Especially if you are against it, I am just curious on the reasons people would not want to have this option available.

Comments

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  • In my religion class in college, we addressed this issue. It was probably 11 or 12 years ago now. This one is going to take a long time to gain acceptance. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our population cannot separate their personal moral and religious beliefs from their political/legal opinions. So essentially, they support forcing their own morality and religion on other people. Until that overarching idea changes on a large scale, it's going to be left to progressive states like Oregon and Washington to lead the way on giving people the freedom to choose to die on their own terms.

    The best the rest of us can hope for is that we have a DNR (do not resuscitate) order in place and that we are unconscious and unaware when that order is put into action.
  • DanGruDanGru Community Member
    You're right it is just frustrating. I guess the question is what can people do about this? I'd like to see this become legal in all states, countries etc. Where to even begin I have no idea. It will take a while.
  • DanGru;8281 said:
    You're right it is just frustrating. I guess the question is what can people do about this? I'd like to see this become legal in all states, countries etc. Where to even begin I have no idea. It will take a while.
    I think there's probably a fair number of people who have your views on the issue. The more progressive states will almost always be the first ones to take up this issue in the legislature. Getting that to happen requires people to write their representatives in state government. If you find a receptive rep, that's a step in the right direction.

    I wrote my reps in TX a few times and it never really went well. The responses varied from canned form response letters "Thank you for your interest...blah blah blah" to personal letters lecturing me about how my position on the issue was wrong. One of my reps in Indiana (back when I turned 18...she has passed away now) invited me to a dinner meeting (I could not attend, unfortunately) after a letter I wrote her. So responses can vary quite a bit.
  • Even though I don't live in the USA anymore, I still get absentee ballots, and in the last year (or two?) this came up on my home state's ballot. I voted for it, but of course it failed. I understand people's apprehension. There's so much abuse in the medical care system already, and that is a place where abuse and neglect of duty can be the most troubling. Yet I still feel it would do more good than harm.

    I read an article a while back about how suicides in stem cell transplant patients are far, far higher than in the general population. I'm very afraid of that, since my partner needs one. Transplants can have terrible complications that lower quality of life significantly. I don't want it to come down to a choice between a slow, painful decline, and suicide... It's horrifying.

    I already deeply respect hospice providers, but I feel like there's an extra step that a small portion of the population could use...
  • You know, I might die from my cancer. But I would like to end it all before it gets REALLY bad. So if the doctors tell me that I'm going to die, or present me with a path that is too long and laborious to undertake, I'm going to sell my property, go on a two month road-trip and make sure I have a prescription of Morphine that's sufficient for me to overdose on.

    I'll do everything on my bucket-list, enjoy life to the fullest, then park somewhere in a prairie field in Calgary and look up at the beautiful stars while the morphine takes me to heaven.

    It sounds ideal, no? I'm not American, but I would support such laws. ^_^.
  • DanGruDanGru Community Member
    I'm glad to hear there is a lot of support for this on here. I guess I'd expect there would be. Eglantine, I was unaware of the higher suicide rates in stem cell patients and I agree there are a lot of obstacles that would come along with this. Sixtyfourthnot, if I were given my terminal diagnosis I don't think there would be a better way to go out. I agree with you 100%. The goal of the death with dignity act is just that too, it will basically overdose you so you do not suffer and can die with dignity. My job involves seeing a lot of chronically ill people whos families will not let them go. Most of them can't eat by mouth, get up to use the bathroom or even sometimes breathe on their own. That's not living, I'd rather be dead. I think that most people are just not aware of the situations and how you are kept "alive" when you are unable to do basic things like that. If more people saw this I think this act would receive a lot more support. Again, I just can't believe we will do this for our cats and dogs but not for a person suffering. I get why this is an issue, mostly religious beliefs I suppose but I will never understand it.