Sunday, September 23, 2012

End of life medication

In Electionovember (this is not a political post), Massachusetts residents will have the opportunity to vote on End of Life Medication. There are several requirements to the law:
  • Must be an MA resident
  • Must have been given less than six months to life
  • Must be capable of making and communicating medical decisions
  • Must voluntarily make a wish to die and make an informed decision.

I will vote for this. First of all, I think it should be an option. If you are dying and in pain and there is no hope, why can't you say 'that's it' instead of lingering in pain for a few more weeks? If you disagree, you do not need to make the choice to do it.

The problem with these laws when they try to pass them, is people start saying 'well I would never do that' and people come out of the woodwork saying my neighbor's hair dresser's cousin's friend was given 3 months to live and 20 years later they are still here. Everyone has the right to their own beliefs and this is a law that would allow people to make a difficult decision if they wished.

What if you had something like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's which is irreversible and incurable and you knew you were destined to die over a period of months or years and you could make the decision while you were capable that you wanted to be prescribed end of life medication when you got down to the bitter end? If you know your lot in life is to die a slow and painful death, wouldn't you want a way to avoid the pain if you could? We do not know what is in our future and we could all end up in that circumstance. I think we should be allowed to have that choice if we choose to.

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