Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dying and death

There is true rot in a state that regards those who want to kill the sick as more compassionate than those who want to treat the sick, but that is what the state California could become — rotten — if the Sacramento [sic] enacts a measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide.
So begins an intelligent article by Debra J. Saunders about the push in California to pass an assisted-suicide law, based on the same one they have in Oregon. Assisted-suicide is an awfully slippery slope and I have two comments on the subject. First, I keep thinking about the old, old story of a young boy heading to the river who meets up with his father. On his father's back is a basket, and in the basket is the aged grandfather. "Father," says the boy. "Where are you taking grandfather?" "Shhh," answered the father. "Grandfather is too old to work and is getting sick. I am taking him to the river to end things quickly." The boy thought for a moment. "That's fine, Father, but be sure to bring the basket back, since I'll certainly need it at some point for you." Second, I had a friend many years ago who died of AIDS (long before the AIDS miracle drugs). He confided to me early on that he had a stash of meds, and was going to help himself out of this life when his sufferings got too great to bear. And his illness was miserable. He got every horrible disease that afflicts AIDS sufferers. Eventually, his whole body seemed to be decomposing. And yet he never touched that stash. Every assault on his body turned out to be something he could bear, and life still continued to be worth more than an easy death. Eventually, he died from the disease itself, surrounded by family and friends.