Friday, January 28, 2005

The Right to Die...( your participation is appreciated)

In my many years living with HIV/AIDS, I have seen many things. When I was diagnosed, the bedside table book of choice was "Final Exit" a how to guide to suicide. Many of my friends made use of this book, some of us just stood there and shook our heads. That was years ago, and I haven't seen that discussion arise in many years of living with HIV at least in the United States.

As I am in an Applied Ethics / Morality course this term and this topic has come up on CTV news tonight I want to ask you for your opinion. The old man suffering from a terminal lung disease went on television tonight to annouce that tonight he was going to take his own life, after having a "Living Wake" with friends and family. Then he was to have a steak dinner, go home, sit in his favourite chair, and suffocate himself with gas, while his family stood by and watched.

The man had decided that his life of pain was going to come to an end, on his term at a time of his choosing. What are your thoughts?

The report made the 6pm and 11 pm CTV news here in Montreal. I suppose that at this time he is dead already, but that report did not come by news at 11:00pm. So I will ask you what your views on this issue are. I understand that it is legal here to take ones own life. Do you agree? or don't you agree?

Do you think that taking ones life should be allowed, and if you were asked to support someone who decides to make this decision, would you and could you? What is your view of suicide and or assisted suicide.

I know my position on this issue. I would like to know what you all think.

I should add my view: I do support suicide and assisted suicide. As a patient who has dealt with this ( Death ) issue personally, I don't want any life prolonging measures, and if i get to that point where i am sick, demented and lying in my own shit, then I am gonna check out. I've seen this disease i carry to it's sometimes horrific end. and before i ever get there, i'd be gone. My DNR is set, and all my physicians are aware of my conditions. It is much better accepted here in Canada, but had i stayed in the U.S. I had those provisions taken care of as well.

It is funny, those of us who have been re-classified as long term non-progressors, there was a time, when we had the "plan B" bottle ready at a moments notice. I have seen the reports about Switzerlands very liberal assisted suicide clinic on Tv a few times in the past few years, as the Dr. Kevorkian issues came up in the U.S. I am just glad I don't live there any longer.

I had friends that took the step on their own initiative to end their suffering. And you know, Aids patients were never made a spectacle of where I came from. Rather they be buried and forgotten. Sad though true.


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