DEATH WITH DIGNITY

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DEATH WITH DIGNITY

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    Rana Goodman
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    I wrote this editorial two years ago and have heard that Senator Parks will be attempting to introduce his “Death with Dignity” bill once again. Once again I will try to back him on this and hope he can make Nevada another state that will support it. I would love to know what you think about this topic.

      Death with Dignity:

    A bill was presented by Senator Parks in the last legislative session and it failed to make it passed the first hearing.

    He tried again this session and because of the overwhelming amount of bills, once again it failed to be heard in time to meet the first deadline.

    It might be speculated that the square dance being named the state’s official dance, or eliminating all of NRS 116 might take preference in order of importance, but I would like everyone to take a few moments and think seriously about this issue.

    If you have every lost anyone you cared about to a long, lingering and pain filled illness, you might understand the merit of this bill even if you do or do not agree with the desire of some to make use of it.

    My best friend, Jenny passed away in 2005 from cancer that had spread to her brain. From diagnosis to her death it was about 6 months and thank God she didn’t suffer too much. However, in the case of my father, I watched a tough WWII veteran, still in great looking physical shape, waste away like a concentration camp victim, and there was nothing we could do to help him.

    This commando, (England’s version of the Green Beret’) used to walk Maryland Parkway, swagger stick tucked under his arm, from Sahara to Tropicana, to Desert Inn road and home. People would stop and ask if he needed a ride and he would just smile and tip his cap and keep walking. Then he started feeling ill and his doctor put him on Prednesone. The problem was he never took him off of it. The steroid made my dad feel great and while it did so, it also ate away at his bone marrow.

    Suddenly his blood tests were really alarming and the doctor had me taking him to a cancer specialist. Of course he didn’t have cancer, but his white cells had taken over and were killing him. To make a very long story short, even after months of infusion treatments nothing could save him. He was wheel chair bound and as weak as a kitten.

    Every day I went to their home to help my mother and the care-give move him and when we were alone he would say to me “Rana if you loved me you would help me end this”…
    I would put my arms around him and say, “pops, if you loved me, you wouldn’t ask me too”…. He would look at all of his medications at the side of the bed and I knew what he was thinking, but I couldn’t make that decision.

    Several months later, after talking to his doctor (not the idiot that put him on the prednesone) we decided hospice was the only option for him. It took a lot of convincing to make my mother understand that it was the only way to stop the pain and give him peace. So finally we took him to Nathan Adelson Hospice and he passed three days later with a smile on his face holding my mother’s hand.

    She never forgave me, she made me promise never to take her there and I made and kept that promise.

    I will support Senator Parks bill when it is presented again next session. In my heart I believe people like my father have the right to make that choice for themselves.

    I have read about many people trapped in a terminal situation where they know in six month or a year they will be gone. It will be a year of hell, a year of pain filled days and a year of spending the families resources with no goal in sight because there is no cure. It seems to me that it should be their right to flip the switch, unassisted, if that is what they finally decide is what they want to do. To exit, pain free on their own terms, like some other states have given them the right to do.

    What are your thought on this?
    Rana

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