April 18, 2012 at 12:23 am (dr. oz, dr. phil, dying, euthanasia, how does it feel to die, living, living will, Terri Schiavo, the bad cripple) (death with dignity, dr. oz, dr. phil, dying, euthanasia, living will, terri schiavo, the bad cripple)
while we were gone the dvr was running. on these long nights where sleep is more than elusive and even with 400 channels there is nothing to watch! just before chris goes to the dentist i turn on the recording of dr. phil. this was not your every day dr. phil. for once he did not give any advice. the only commitment he made was to say he would not want to live the way this mother’s adult children were living. both of this woman’s children suffer from a debilitating disease. it all began when they were very young, it gradually took them away from what most of us would consider a life worth living. this is a question each person must ask and answer for themselves, what does it mean to be living? video was shown of her adult son and daughter. both have feeding tubes and can not eat even puree food. the bags are hung and over several hours each receives all the nutrition needed to sustain life. the son has not eaten in 17 yrs and the daughter has not eaten in 5. the mother asserts that they do not have any pleasure and may not even have pain.
the mother does not go to visit her children regularly as it is so upsetting to her. this is understandable and until someone walks in her shoes please don’t judge her. she was accompanied by her attorney, he was dr. kevorkian’s lawyer. obviously he is an euthanasia advocate. the problem here as i see it, she let the feeding tube be inserted when she had the option to withhold feeding for them. now she wants to give them a lethal injection to end their life. many would say she should have then and could now remove the feeding tube. she doesn’t want to see them suffer any more. it may also be a factor that she is getting older. does she worry who will care about them when she is gone? they are blind, maybe deaf and have little brain activity if any. one woman in the audience just kept saying “these are your children.” well she knows that.
since most states consider ending your life with dignity illegal ,the only way to legally end their life is to withdraw the feeding tube. a slow torturous death at best. to ask her to watch her children die this way seems cruel and unnecessary. the same argument was made on the dr. oz show. many disabled individuals see this as a slippery slope and after watching this show I have a new understanding of what mr. peace tried to share with me. since the feeding tube was inserted at the time and there was full knowledge of what lay ahead for these loved ones it seems to have reached a point of no return. this is not like teri schiavo since she had made it known to others what she wanted and her husband just carried that request to its end. as children they could not say we do not want to live this way. they depend on the kindness of loved ones and indeed strangers. the law allows her to remove the feeding tube and yet not make the end easy and loving.
the question for me is if for some reason my own family was faced with the decision to take steps to keep me alive would they be able to say no? even dr. phil made the observation he would not want to live under the conditions that these two people are. why aren’t we having more discussion about this? how do you have this discussion with those you love? is there a segue to, do you think I have the right to end my life with dignity? it is not an easy conversation and yet one that could make things easier.