SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California health officials reported Friday that 374 terminally ill people took drugs to end their lives in 2017, the first full year after a law made the option legal.Is death a sticky wicket? Sure -- there are facets heaped upon facets. But since dying is the only visible option to anyone's life, could we please stop making it a profound or unusual event, whatever the cause or method?
The California Department of Public Health said 577 people received aid-in-dying drugs last year, but not everyone used them. The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined they have six months or less to live. They can self-administer the drugs.
1. Old age comes as something of a surprise. This is not surprising when you stop to think that it has never been tried before. Old age means a weakening of connections and capacities. Often pain is involved as well. Sure, it's surprising, but it's not THAT surprising.
2. The Dhammapada, a popular Buddhist text of the words attributed to 'the Buddha' observes, "All fear dying./ All fear death." OK, it may be scary. But scary or no, death doesn't mind.
3. Is suicide selfish and messy? Maybe so, but dying in your sleep is just as likely to leave a mess for someone to clean up as a .38 bullet.
4. I am sick of people who are not yet very old telling those who are old how they can improve or extend a long-lived life. With fewer and fewer capacities and connections, the one thing the elderly can, enfin, claim for themselves is this life. So ... stay the fuck out of it! Like 'anti-abortion' supporters who seem to be no where in view when it comes to caring for an unwanted baby, anti-death trumpets seem to go silent or wussy when it comes to options other than death. Volunteer, travel, visit grand-kids, collect stamps, get religion. Go ahead if that makes you happy, but don't make a rule to legislate what is none of your fucking business.
5. Ascribing blame won't wash. The empty place in others' hearts won't wash. Life isn't dancing among the dandelions for your benefit alone ... or maybe it is. So...
Shut up and dance. Life takes the starch out of living, but the elderly have often done their starchy stints and it's time to hang out the laundry to dry.