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Monday, March 14, 2016

Dying With Dignity

I have long been an advocate for allowing people to choose when to end their own lives rather than suffer through the ravages of some horrible terminal disease. I reject the argument of religious zealots who say only God can decide when to end a life and that humans should not alter that divine plan. My reply to them is to ask if, were they to be in a bad car accident, would they want us to call an ambulance, to not give them any medical assistance, to not save them if possible -- or should we just leave them in the street and wait until their particular invisible superhero decided whether their life goes on?

Last night, Dr. Jon LaPook did a story on "60 Minutes" that explains the compassionate argument for the right to die using the case of Brittany Maynard, a California woman who, in 2014, had to move to Oregon to acquire the legal pharmaceuticals she could ingest to end her suffering on her own terms. Fortunately, the law in California is changing, as it has in a few other states, to allow doctors to prescribe those life-ending drugs. As you watch this notice that there is no hysteria in any of the interviewees -- just love, compassion, and bravery (if the video doesn't load in your browser, click here)...


Previously on Harris Online...