Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Death With Dignity Act

Just wrote a letter-to-the-editor about a ballot question due to be voted on Nov. 6 -- the Death With Dignity Act.

I agree with the Gazette editorial (10/30/12) that gingerly supports the passage of Question 2, the Death With Dignity Act, on Election Day.

I do not support it because I am 72 or because I have any intention at present to avail myself of its legal permissions. I support it in part because I think the circumstances of the aging and the infirm do not deserve to be overridden by the moralities of those who claim to know better.

At 93, my mother once said to me without any whimpering, "I'd die if I could, but I don't know how." She was neither ill nor in pain at the time, but her body was old, her hearing was going, her sight did not allow her to read, and she had lost much physical mobility. The statement and the sentiment it expressed were not a matter of sorrow or a plea for relief. Rather, they were statements of fact: Old age is not for sissies.

To my mind, there are too many sissies involving themselves in what, after all, is a matter of personal choice ... perhaps the last significant choice a person has left. Doctors and those with 'religious' inclinations are free to steer clear of the proposed legal format. But I think those would-be arbiters should ask themselves whether the virtue of their positions were not causing harm in the name of their own self-serving 'good.' What greater expression of love for the dying could there be than, "I wish you what you wish."

I will vote for Question 2.


  1. I know it's not very buddhist, but i've got some neighbors i'd like to dignify similarly.

  2. Has there been a great deal of controversy over this?

    It hasn't had much traction in the national news.

    P. S. i agree in principal but am curious to know how a dignified death is to be realized in your state. Can it be provided for in some kind of legal document in the event that one becomes incapacitated?