An article called, explicitly, "A Life Worth Ending." Here is a son actively wishing that it were allowable to murder his mother, who suffers from dementia. He suggests putting a pillow over her face. In lieu of permission to do that, he is pretty clearly negotiating with the doctors for increased levels of some sort of sedatives for her agitation in the undisguised hopes that these will hasten her death. Meanwhile, he is planning his own suicide.
I do not know how death panels ever got such a bad name. Perhaps they should have been called deliverance panels. What I would not do for a fair-minded body to whom I might plead for my mother’s end.
The alternative is nuts: to look forward to paying trillions and to bankrupting the nation as well as our souls as we endure the suffering of our parents and our inability to help them get where they’re going. The single greatest pressure on health care is the disproportionate resources devoted to the elderly, to not just the old, but to the old old, and yet no one says what all old children of old parents know: This is not just wrongheaded but steals the life from everyone involved.
And it seems all the more savage because there is such a simple fix: Give us the right to make provisions for when we want to go. Give families the ability to make a fair case of enough being enough, of the end’s, de facto, having come.
Meanwhile, since, like my mother, I can’t count on someone putting a pillow over my head, I’ll be trying to work out the timing and details of a do-it-yourself exit strategy. As should we all.
If you don't find this harrowing stuff, you should. And please, I beg you: Don't waste my time telling me that this is all about the right to refuse invasive treatments. It isn't. Nobody is saying that the family in this story was required to have heart surgery for the mother. What I'm responding in horror to is the suggestion that if you live "too long" and lose your independence and your "dignity," you should be "mercifully" dispatched. Because that is what he's suggesting. It's not even remotely subtle.
HT: Secondhand Smoke