I read a blog today… the Matt Walsh Blog. He was talking about “dying with dignity” and the well publicized decision of a young woman that has chosen this path after her terminal brain cancer diagnosis.
In one way he had a point. What is dignified about suicide? And choosing to die with dignity because of a cancer diagnosis... what does that say about the millions with terminal illnesses that fought until their last breath to live… did they not die with dignity? I feel like the publicity over this woman and her decision is all wrong. I don’t deny her the right to choose the path she has chosen. I do however, resent the fact that it is being glorified by the media. That should be something between her and her family.
Now she has chosen her “death date” of November 1st. She chose that date because her husband’s birthday is October 30th. She has chosen to take her euthanasia pills with her family present, music she likes, in her bedroom she shares with her husband, in their bed. I hope the pills they have given her are potent. I have watched people die and even if the mind is gone the body will instinctively fight to live. If the heart and lungs are strong they will keep beating and breathing until they just wear out. Unless it is instant I don’t see anything dignified in the dying process.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire this woman’s courage and her decision to avoid the worst scenarios for her family as she slowly succumbs to her terminal illness and at some point becomes a full time painful and emotionally draining care giving job for her family, all the while they are witnessing her slow and painful death. Because it is her mind that will be affected, she could end up unknowingly hurting the people she loves the most. I understand the worst case scenarios and I understand the difficult decision she has made.
Because this has been covered so extensively by the media, this “dying with dignity” is permeating all levels of society- including the most influential and emotional – teenagers. My 13 year old has asked me about it and I have told her exactly what I have written here. This decision is not an easy one and not to be taken lightly. She actually asked me if it was suicide. And I was honest when I said – technically yes… it is. Her immediate reply was exactly what I expected her to say “does that mean she can’t be forgiven and she will go to hell?”
I was stumped… all I could say was “Honey, that is between her and her God and it is not my place to judge her decision because of her extenuating circumstances” What else could I say?