Suicide is traumatic for the family and friends left behind. They often have intense feelings of failure as well as grief.
And it’s no different for those who have lost a loved one through assisted suicide.
“Death with Dignity” is a phrase used by proponents to describe the suicide act of terminally ill patients generally assisted by a physician who provides the knowledge and means to commit the act.
And “Death with Dignity” legislation sanctioning medically-assisted suicide is spreading across the United States.
Most Americans Oppose Physician Assisted Suicide and its Consequences
Five states have legalized assisted suicide and 19 are considering Death with Dignity legislation this year.
This is in spite of a recent poll indicating 61% of Americans do not support assisted suicide and also have concerns on related issues including:
- Fewer life-saving options offered at end of life
- Risk to elderly in nursing homes
- Increased likelihood depressed people will take their lives
- A wrong medical diagnosis
- A doctor’s misconception of a patient’s state of mind
- Assisted suicide as a cost-saving measure for health care decisions
- Pressuring patients to take their life so as not to be a burden
Using Positive Phrases and Acronyms to Create Confusion
Just as the phrase “Death with Dignity” is used for assisted suicide, acronyms MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) and POLST (Physician’s Orders Life-Sustaining Treatment) are being used for legislation legalizing assisted suicide.
Pro-euthanasia group Compassion & Choices (formerly The Hemlock Society) advocates POLST/MOLST. Hemlock Society founder Derek Humphrey authored Final Exit, a “how-to” guide for assisted suicide which spent 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Humphrey’s first wife died from an intentional overdose of medication while fighting breast cancer, and his second wife committed suicide while in remission from breast cancer.
Stay informed about your state’s legislation on physician assisted suicide.
Elect state political leaders who will work to protect the ill and the elderly in your community.
“I have had the most loving feelings taking care of him this last part of his life. It’s drawn us ever closer in a way I never would have anticipated.” This is how Heidi Mayer described the privilege of caring for her husband Bud following his terminal diagnosis.
Watch the full 2-part videos “Physician-Assisted Suicide Part 1 & 2” from our Emmy® award-winning television program Facing Life Head-On here.
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