I hope my father dies soon.

And while I'm at it, I might want you to die a painful death too.

I'm entirely serious on both counts.

My father, age 86, is on the final approach to the long dirt nap (to use his own phrase). His mind is 98% gone, and all he has left is hours or possibly months of hideous unpleasantness in a hospital bed. I'll spare you the details, but it's as close to a living Hell as you can get.

If my dad were a cat, we would have put him to sleep long ago. And not once would we have looked back and thought too soon.

Because it's not too soon. It's far too late. His smallish estate pays about $8,000 per month to keep him in this state of perpetual suffering. Rarely has money been so poorly spent.

I'd like to proactively end his suffering and let him go out with some dignity. But my government says I can't make that decision. Neither can his doctors. So, for all practical purposes, the government is torturing my father until he dies.

I'm a patriotic guy by nature. I love my country. But the government? Well, we just broke up.

And let me say this next part as clearly as I can.

If you're a politician who has ever voted against doctor-assisted suicide, or you would vote against it in the future, I hate your fucking guts and I would like you to die a long, horrible death. I would be happy to kill you personally and watch you bleed out. I won't do that, because I fear the consequences. But I'd enjoy it, because you motherfuckers are responsible for torturing my father. Now it's personal.

I know that many of my fellow citizens have legitimate concerns about doctor-assisted suicide. One can certainly imagine greedy heirs speeding up the demise of grandma to get the inheritance. That would be a strong argument if doctor-assisted suicide wasn't already working elsewhere with little problems, or if good things in general (such as hospitals and the police) never came with their own risks.

I'm okay with any citizen who opposes doctor-assisted suicide on moral or practical grounds. But if you have acted on that thought, such as basing a vote on it, I would like you to die a slow, horrible death too. You and the government are accomplices in the torturing of my father, and there's a good chance you'll someday be accomplices in torturing me to death too.

I might feel differently in a few years, but at the moment my emotions are a bit raw. If I could push a magic button and send every politician who opposes doctor-assisted suicide into a painful death spiral that lasts for months, I'd press it. And I wouldn't feel a bit of guilt because sometimes you have to get rid of the bad guys to make the world a better place. We do it in defensive wars and the police do it daily. This would be another one of those situations.

I don't want anyone to misconstrue this post as satire or exaggeration. So I'll reiterate. If you have acted, or plan to act, in a way that keeps doctor-assisted suicide illegal, I see you as an accomplice in torturing my father, and perhaps me as well someday. I want you to die a painful death, and soon. And I'd be happy to tell you the same thing to your face.

Note to my government: I'll keep paying my taxes and doing whatever I need to do to stay out of jail, but don't ask me for anything else. We're done now.

[Update: My father passed a few hours after I wrote this.]

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+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
I appreciate your candor and share your feelings.
58 years ago my Uncle George died of rabies, strapped to a metal gurney. The quick death granted the animal that bit him was, of course, withheld because he 'might' have survived. The ultimate torture, the ultimate betrayal of that oath to "first of all, do no harm" was 30-some hours before his brave heart gave out: those Cold Bastards cleared his broken throat of the blood accumulated from his ceaseless screaming, because he might have choked. Nazi physicians visited atrocities on their victims, in the name of 'research'; Florida physicians visited atrocities upon my Uncle in the name of 'God' perhaps, or 'Decency'. I find no difference between their actions, nor the actions of those who tortured your Father and the relatives of so many others.

I only hope this era of physician-assisted torture passes quickly & our descendants will write with appalled shock in their history books about the barbarism that this is.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
Scott--My condolences. I went through **exactly the same thing** in 1985 with my father. I have not EVER forgiven 'the system' for the torture my father endured. I have voted accordingly, ever since then.
Nov 26, 2013
Read my comment again. In no way did I suggest that I support legislation against doctor-assisted suicide or any other kind of governmental restriction on dignified end of life. I have been through a situation almost identical to Scott. But I also do not wish harm to people simply because they're stupid. If I've learned anything from the death of my parents, it's that life is far too short and fragile to let one's heart to be filled with hatred of people whom I consider ignorant. I love them all: the "enlightened" people, the misguided people, the flawed people, and even you.
Nov 26, 2013
Thank you for sharing, Scott. I know how hard this was for you. Your blog entry on euthanasia is right up there with the likes of !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%* - written after the Bush v Gore decision.

Thank you for your courage, wit, and directness.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
Very sorry for your loss.

When my mom got sick we were fortunate that she had a relatively restrictive (e.g. "no IV antibiotics") written advanced directive.

However, even with the above she lived several years in a condition where I'd never want to be (bedridden just a few years after her diagnosis with a rarer form of dementia).

She developed regular infections once bedridden, which responded well to oral antibiotics, but in retrospect those treatments extended the time she spent suffering by several years.

Since hindsight is 20/20 I will be modifying my directive to specify "no antibiotics" (oral or IV) if I have received any type of dementia diagnosis - I have no desire to put my family through, for years on end, what I had to witness.
Nov 26, 2013
Everyone should have the option of a Final Friend. The fact that it's illegal is just one more offense organized religion is guilty of.
Nov 26, 2013
Scott, you are spot on with this. My mother is in an Alzheimer's facility and it is costing my father ~$8,000/month for her care. She would not want to live like this if she knew her condition.

I am sorry for the loss of your father. At least he is no longer suffering.
Nov 26, 2013
Sorry for your family's loss. Glad your father's suffering is over.
Nov 26, 2013
Sorry for your loss & your suffering I agree with your anger and venting. I was a hospice nurse I only wish you could have had someone like me or my coworkers to manage his pain & your suffering.You both deserve better.Patients have the RIGHT to be pain free up to and including Death.As to the politicians ruling us their constituants with their iron fist, i agree with you.The decision was your fathers and the family to honor, and the government has not part except to document time.The BEST we can do is take our family Home with the help of Hospice . With there guidence and support we can manage our familys pain and suffering with minimal gov. interferance. wish you a gentile furture remember you father and let your family and friends in to share with you
Nov 26, 2013
Physician-assisted euthanasia is only a partial answer, because the patient must have his full mental faculties when seeking the assistance, and when self-administering the "hemlock."

What's needed is planning while cogent. He should have appointed you his agent/proxy, and told you his wishes under various !$%*!$%*!$%*!$ Then you would have had the legal power carry out his wishes. One of them could have been to refuse food and fluid under the !$%*!$%*!$%*! he was in. This is painless when done under proper hospice (palliative) care. For more, Google "advance health care directive," or "living will with durable power of attorney." Or go to www.finalexodus.org for more details and all options. Bill Simmons
Nov 26, 2013
There are a lot of comments about government denying our right to have a dignified death. But why should this be surprising? We have been busy giving government power in every area of our lives. The bigger that government gets, the more power it has — in every area. It's time to wake up and stop feeding the government power machine. Limited government is the only way to go.
+31 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
Someone I know raised a possibility that seems to have escaped all of us: could a living will have prevented this tragedy? The being forced to stay alive while being a mental vegetable part I mean. Or dont living wills cover situations like your fathers? Thats a serious question.
Nov 26, 2013
First, I'd like to say that I'm sorry for your loss.

Your blog post doesn't state whether your father had the faculties to decide if he wanted to commit suicide. Assisted suicide requires consent. If that isn't the case you are talking about euthanasia.

euthanasia != assisted suicide

I do support assisted suicide. However, I don't support children murdering their parents without the parents consent. I hope that isn't what you meant in your blog post. However, it isn't clear.

Nov 26, 2013
So sorry for your loss, especially in light of what you wrote about the unnecessary prolongation of your father's suffering. When will this nation learn just how horribly wrong is such torture?
-101 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
I guess I can take this strip off my daily read list, since it is written by an admitted sociopath who wants to murder me.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
Spengs writes: "About halfway through there was that whole 'death panels in medical care' campaign. My mom, who isn't always hooked into the most reliable info sources, asked me if I'd heard of them. I said, 'Geez, Mom, you know that's a bogus scare tactic, right?' It was a great relief when she said, 'No, I think we NEED them!' Yes. Yes, we do, because there is a time when that's a reasonable thing to consider."

Okay, so at least you now concede that the "death panels" charge was NOT "bogus" or a "scare tactic," right? Well, that's progress, at least.

My experience has been that those who claim that the "death panels" thing is outrageous, dishonest and stupid usually say with their next breath, "But, y'know, it's actually a good idea!"
Nov 26, 2013
I registered just to let you know that I consider myself an enemy of the state. This is barbaric and needs to be dismantled.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
I feel your pain Scott. Literally and figuratively, I have been there. My mother finally died 2 years ago after a most debilitating Alzheimers trajectory. What made it hardest for me, was her implanted defibrillator that kept re-starting her heart again and again as I sat on her bedside. The palliative care she received was stellar except for the fact that they refused to discuss calling her Dr. to turn it off. He probably wouldn't have, in any case due to the fear of prosecution. So it goes.

As I sat there near the end, having watched her die in pieces over a 4-year period, I was convinced that her mind had long-since departed. I sang her a child's lullaby from her youth just in case, and she suddenly sat bolt upright in bed, looked at me with total understanding in her beautiful blue eyes and fell back into bed, dying minutes later. Would I trade that moment for a more dignified and shorter death? No, I don't think I would. Selfish maybe, but that's my choice.
Nov 26, 2013
I am sorry for your loss and your father's pain and difficulties. I am also sorry you feel such pain and hatred. Your post shows why it is best not to make policy while one is suffering. One cannot have a clear mind at such a time. Policy around life and death issues is always a matter of tradeoffs. In this case, one must be willing to trade the suffering of some people for the possible wrongful deaths, even murder, of other people. Some people are unwilling to make that trade. They do not deserve contempt, hatred or death threats for their views. Other people like yourself want to make that trade. That also does not deserve contempt, hatred or death threats. They are two diametrically opposite views, both with negatives and positives. There is no perfect solution and no perfect world. Sadly, your solution does not alleviate all suffering. No solution does.
-184 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2013
I am sorry that your father and your family had to go through that. Fortunately, his pain is gone now. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father.

I share your hatred of the government and the system of control and greed which has produced such a poor understanding of doctor assisted. If I am ever in that situation, I hope that I am able to escape government control and do I as wish with my body.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to get involved and help change this nation's understanding of doctor assisted suicide. You are smart and capable and have the ability to use systems to create change.
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