Assisted death to end sufferance
by aisha on December 3, 2017 - 11:10pm
In this article, we learn from a report by the Department of Public Health that 111 people died after the California’s right-to-die law got implemented. On June 9th of 2016, the End of Life Option Act took place. It allows citizens of California 18 years old and over to ask for euthanasia from their doctors if they are expected to die in the next 6 months and are suffering from their illness. The statistics show that between June 9th and December 31st of 2016, 258 people started this process, 191 people got the lethal medication prescribed to them, in which 111 of those people died after ingesting the drugs that they were prescribed under EOLA according to their physicians. The majority of the patients, 65 to be exact, were cancer patients, 20 had neuromuscular problems, 10 had other illnesses, 9 had heart disease, and 7 had lung-respiratory disease non-cancer related. In California adults can take part in the End Life Option Act if they have less than six months to live. This patient must undergo some steps and requirements first. The patient must make two requests verbally with their doctor with a minimum of 15 days apart, along with one written request. The patient must then declare the request 48 hours before taking the medication. They must be able to manage it themselves, without the help of their physician, or family members and friends. Lois Wolk and state senator Bill Monning do not believe this is considered suicide. They say the difference is that the person is already dying. They are not making the choice to die, their illness leaves them no choice. This simply allows them to chose when, and it gives them autonomy. In fact the death certificate lists the cause of death to be the terminal illness, not suicide or the use of the End of Life Option Act. This articles presents us the story of 29 year old Brittany Maynard who had brain cancer. She had been through many procedures to have it removed, but when it came back, doctors told her she had only 6 months to live. She told CNN that she did not want to die, but she was dying, and wanted to die “on her own terms”. She and her husband moved to Oregon which was the first state to pass the law. She applied for the lethal medication and put in in her cupboard until she decides it’s time. On November 1st 2014, she had a seizure in the morning and went for a walk after it had passed. However, when she got home she told her husband that it was her time. She wrote a goodbye letter on her Facebook, took the medication and went to sleep. She died with no pain. To me this story was extremely touching, and it made me realize even more than before that assisted death is practical if a patient is suffering from a terminal illness. If you already know that you are dying, might as well chose to die feeling no pain at your own time.
Should assisted death be legalized across America?