The Right to Die With Dignity, Yes or NO?

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The Right to Die With Dignity, Yes or NO?

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    Rana Goodman

    I lost my father in 2003 after a lengthy decline, he had been constantly in pain and became more frail each day. During that time, he said so often, “if you loved me, you would help me end this.”  My reply was always the same, “if you loved me, you wouldn’t ask that of me.

    Just a short year or so before he fell ill,  he would often be seen walking down Maryland Parkway, shirtless, “swagger stick” under his arm, still as fit as when he left the British Combined Op’s, the U.K.’s equivalent of the USA’s Green Beret’. However, after being left on the drug, Prednisone for far too long his blood was mostly white blood cells and the doctors could no longer reverse the results.

    Finally, the family agreed that hospice care was the only option we had left for him and several days later he was finally at peace and finally pain free.

    In my senior years I have lost so many friends to Cancer, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and more. These losses heightened my interest in the law in California, Colorado, Oregon, District of Columbia. Hawaii, Maine. New Jersey and New Mexico that have adopted Death with Dignity and other similar laws for their states. All allow the patient to decide their own destiny, with certain restrictions.

    In my discussions with people, the common statement is that such a law can lead to “a slippery slope” of misuse. However, those states require many safety rules to avoid miss uses, for example the signature of a physician, life expectancy of no more than 6 months, mental competency of the patient and the ability to administer the medication themselves. Only the patient can ask for the prescription for the “end of life” drug that will give eternal sleep peacefully.

    Some time ago we asked our readers to fill in a petition with their feelings about this issue. More than 500 of you responded positively and we headed up to Carson City. I’m sorry to say the bill never made it to the floor that year, however in 2023 Nevada Legislature will be back in session. We would love to have your thoughts on pursuing this bill again, my “go bag” is ready if our seniors give the word.

    We won’t be debating the issue on the 17th of October, however we would love to have your opinion, after all, we have always said “seniors vote”, shall we take the movement back to Carson City or are you against it? If you are, please share your reasoning with us.

    On October 17th The Vegas Voice is sponsoring A Political Ballot Question Forum at Sun City MacDonald Ranch from 6 to 8 pm. There is no charge for admission so please reserve your seats so we can make sure there is adequate seating for all.

    Rana Goodman

    Emailed by Peggy D.

    Dear Rana…

    I live in a Sun City development but am fortunate enough to receive the “Vegas Voice”.   I relocated here 3 years ago from California and am just now learning there is no law for Euthanasia or, the Right To Die in Nevada. I simply can’t believe it.

    I too, was with both my parents in their final days and yet they went more peacefully than many.   I worked for a private, Catholic Liberal Arts College in Northern California and was finishing my Communication degree back in 2000.  My final paper was on “Death and Dying” reviewed by an ex-Christian Brother with a Ph.D. in biology, who felt as strongly as I did about the right to die.

    I no sooner wrote my paper than my own husband at the young age of 60 dropped dead of a massive coronary.  Again, I didn’t have to watch any of my beloved family suffer in pain but I certainly feel strongly about having the RIGHT to die on my own, in my own way should the situation arise.

    I applaud your efforts in moving forward with pushing for this legislation.  It is indeed, “cold in the valley of the shadow of death” as a writer wrote not so long ago.  -But to be able to decide for oneself when either chronically or terminally ill, is probably the most significant choice any of us can make.  I too, want it to be mine.

    Thanks for your words…


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