Rep. Gordon's story is so touching. It is hard to see those we love suffering, as it is hard to suffer. Since that was the last conversation he had with his father, suicide was not necessary as it was illegal and he must of died very shortly thereafter. Your tender care for your father through his suffering is admirable; the though of you ending his life would be so incongruous with your great love for him.
Let us imagine another man and woman around the sick bed of an unconscious person. The man says, "Yeah, when my dad croaks I'll be getting what he loved more than me...his money."
"Cool," the woman replies. "All I have to do is sign?"
"Yep, and then you'll get the cash."
"Did you get two docs to sign on?"
"Finally. My dad's doc wouldn't do it so I called Compassion and Choices. They hooked me up with another doc into this suicide stuff. Paperwork is all set."
"Great! Let's get the drug and get it into him."
The so-called "safeguards" are not safe at all.
We must care for the lives of our loved ones until their natural death--ease their pain, suffering with them. That is what it means to have the strength to really love someone and not turn away in our weakness because we cannot bear it. Our world will grow in compassion to all because of it, as Rep. Gordon exemplifies. Let us not misplace that compassion from caring for life to ending it.
What is most remarkable about Judy Cranney's 'no' view is that her entire essay is an exercise in industry promotion and market share. It all but screams, "No, because we want our industry to be the only available option. No, because WE WANT A MONOPOLY."
How blithely she dismisses as 'reluctant' anyone who resists getting frog-marched into the hospice industry! She ends with the duplicity of SAYING she wants to allow patients "to make informed decisions on how they would like to spend their last days" while she works tirelessly to deny them the right to act on those decisions unless they suit her industry's bottom line.
The person seeking to end their life is doing so because they see no worth, no value in their life. Usually they are expressing depression. The worst thing the physician can do for them is to agree that their life has no value and no meaning. Yes, intractable pain is overwhelming and that is what they are trying to get away from. We have medicines to relieve that pain, but usually it is not just pain, but suffering that is so unbearable. Suffering is different from pain and can often be alleviated by a therapeutic intervention by a trained therapist such as those found in hospice.
Oregon, The Netherlands, and other places have seen laws enacted to allow physician-assisted suicide with "all the safeguards" against abuse, and yet there is rampant neglect of these safeguards, and actual murder of many innocent patients. We can do better than just eliminating these problem patients, be they end-stage cancer or pre-natal, or other terminal illness. No doctor, true to his oath to preserve life, fight for life, and carry out the mission he/she undertook could act under such a heinous bill.
"To cure, sometimes; to relieve, often; to comfort, always."