Each and every one of us faces the potential of a devastating physical and/or cognitive illness that may rob us of any reasonable quality of life. Most of us would hope to avoid the prolonged suffering and the indignities of incurable illnesses. The alternatives to end one’s life are limited by the constraints of public policy and legal statutes. Self-inflicted suicide bears social stigma. The not infrequent failure of suicide attempts often results in compounding the suffering of the survivor and the survivor’s loved ones. At present, there is no legal right, no statutory civil right, to permit bedside medical intervention for individuals to take control of ending their lives. Currently there is no reasonable alternative, no legal choice, to avoid spending one’s last years in constant physical and/or mental pain, to die comfortably with physician assistance at home, when desired, easing the emotional and economic burdens for patients, their friends and families.
Therefore, we believe that the right to choose bedside life-ending medical intervention must be legalized.
Is not one of our most precious civil rights—a ”blessing of liberty”-- the right to control how we die? Do we not own our own lives?
In so doing, one can look to the future with less anxiety, knowing we are not limited in how we will meet our death. Having this CIVIL RIGHT, would be comforting to many individuals and their loved ones by knowing that one has the ability to alleviate the emotional and monetary burden for themselves, their loved ones and our society.
We all will die—after all being alive is a terminal illness--let individuals have the option to meet death on their own terms. Death too late, as well as too early, is a tragedy. Death planned and assisted by medical bed-side facilitation is sad but comforting. To go quietly and gently into that “good night” at home or in other comforting surroundings, assisted by a trained physician at bedside, with loved ones at your side would provide a peaceful, compassionate and loving end to life.
WHY BEDSIDE PHYSICIAN LIFE-ENDING INTERVENTION SHOULD BE A LEGAL OPTION:
· Prevent unsuccessful end of life intervention.
· Assure comfortable competent ending of life.
· Support patient and patient’s loved ones prior to and during intervention.
· Provide intravenous life ending medications when necessary particularly when swallowing is impaired.
· Voluntary PHYSICIAN provider.
o Impartial witness acting as barrier against abuse.
o Confirmation of death.
o Provide data for death certificate.
o Documentation of end of life intervention.
o NO PROFIT/COSTS ONLY
Suicides committed by gunshot, carbon monoxide, jumping, drowning, cop and numerous other means might be converted to physician-assisted intervention eliminating the associated negative collateral consequences. Perhaps, suicide by the aforementioned means might be reduced by the knowledge of available physician life ending intervention.
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