Dying with Dignity is Living

crying angelCanada’s Supreme Court heard arguments last week in a case that would allow Canadians to end their life “on their terms.”

My mother died in 1996 from ovarian cancer. That entire year, my sister, brother and I shuttled back and forth from our homes, away from our families to sit beside her bed, waiting for her to die. My mother never left any place quietly or quickly and her final exit was no different. What I found during that year was an entire medical community that appeared exasperated by my mother’s desire to prolong her life. It wasn’t just her, either, all around her were people that weren’t dying quickly enough for the staff. Each time she was given a blood transfusion or maintained an IV drip, I would inevitably be told, “It’s only prolonging her suffering.”

My mother “suffered” knowing that her time was short. Now comes Canada’s agenda to legalize “physician-assisted suicide.” Putting “physician assisted” before “suicide” doesn’t negate the suicide part, nor should it be the public telling doctors what is legally acceptable in the form of care for the terminally ill.

I know death. He came to take away my mother and then my father a year later. They will never come back. What is the rush to death? I watched a video of Lee Carter, the daughter of Gloria Taylor, the woman that launched the suit now being heard in Canada’s Supreme Court. I’m annoyed by the female news anchor’s clear bias toward suicide, but what is more disturbing is Ms. Carter’s obvious disappointment that her ill mother almost didn’t make it to Switzerland to be able to commit suicide because she was deteriorating so rapidly and nearly died. What?

The British Columbia (B.C.) Civil Liberties Association filed the Canadian lawsuit now known as the ‘right to die with dignity’ on behalf of several B.C. families.

Why is it considered undignified to die of natural causes, after fighting to live, just a little longer? I will never understand the rush to death. In the end, it is just that, the end.