Those who are terminally ill with less than 6 months to live no longer have to travel to a foreign country or hope they can find a medical practitioner in Oregon who will look the other way and let them die with dignity. Washington state …

10 Comments to
Washington State Allows Assisted Suicide

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  1. “I believe in the right to die with dignity and respect. And sadly, our society has to pass these kinds of laws to make this possible, because much of medicine today values quantity of life over quality.” You said it all. I agree.

  2. I firmly believe when all quality of life has gone and there is no reasonable expectation that the quality of life will improve then one should have the choice to end their suffering in a calm, peaceful and dignified way.

  3. I believe in life; and I believe in living. However, when a person lives in chronic pain caused by serious injuries, or disease, and the doctors fuss about writing prescriptions for pain management; then a person begins to think about ending their life because there is NO QUALITY of life left. People who live in chronic pain are looked down upon often by their own physicians. I,ve had to have 17 major surgeries following when a drunken driver crashed into my car while I was stopped at a red light. He hit me at 55 mph, he was driving a 1 ton truck and was pulling a boat behind him. The high velocity of speed, and the weight of the drunks truck and boat hit me so hard that my seats tore lose from being bolted to the floor of the car!! My car , a four door nissan sentra was lodged stuck into the metal of the truck. It took 2 tow trucks to pull them apart. Shall we talk about whiplash? My Orthopedic doctors said it was a wonder my head was not torn from my body!!! Multiple lumbar surgeries, 5 in all. The last surgery involved implanting 2 titanium rods into my lumbar spine; and taking bone from my hips to place to fuse my lumbar spine; also the doctor implanted several Harm’s cages; all to put my spine together again. I’ve also “worn the halo” following having my cervical spine fused; again they removed bone from my hips to help to fuse together my cervical spine.They repaired my torn rotator cuff; and they removed my first rib which had fused itself to my collar bone. I’ve had 5 surgeries on my r.knee, etc.etc. The end result of my health at this time…… I’ve had a lot of wonderful repair surgeries; however I still live in daily chronic pain!!! It is lessor than the pain prior to all the surgeries; however, I’m done now. I am 51 years of age. I’ve been in chronic pain now for 21 years. I do not want ANY MORE SURGERIES because I do not believe my body will survive thru any more big surgeries. I had a heart attack 4 years ago. I feel like Humpty Dumpty who sat on the wall and had a great fall, and all the kings men could not put him back together again. I am grateful for the past surgeries; but now I am done! I do not want any more medical hell. I want to have the pain controlled thru pain management medications. I do not want to be made to feel bad because I need to take the medicine to have any quality of life left. Or my other choice will not be staying in bed because my body is in so much pain that I cannot get out of bed to even take care of myself. I do not want anyone else to come in and take care of me. I want to take care of myself. I am not a drug addict. I am living in chronic pain, and I need to use the pain meds to control the pain. I have taken the same dose of meds for the past 5 years. I never over take the medicine. I have not requested a higher dose of medicine. Doctors need to realize that pain will take away the desire to live. Whether assisted suicide or killing oneself because the person living in chronic pain can no longer tolerate the level of pain, and there is no quality left to a person suffering daily. Chronic pain caused by tremendous injuries has to be treated or a physician will drive a patient to suicide. I am certain thousands of people have ended their lives because their chronic pain drove them to suicide because physician’s either refused to prescribe medication to help a patient to cope with the pain, or and the physician spent time degrading a patient because of their chronic pain;making a person feel as though they have no value in society or their lives. I can understand a physicians concern; however it is a well known fact that most physicians have a tremendous lack in education regarding patients who need pain management medication. It is my belief that they need to go back to school to prioritize specificly in pain management education. People are suffering and doctors need to provide the answer without being cruel and judgemental.Doctors need to help people suffering in chronic pain so they don’t push a person to wanting to die. I don’t mean to be ugly about doctors. Many doctors do care deeply about their patients. But so many doctors will not address their lack of education about the common need of pain management. So they end up being fearful to prescribe. God said,”My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Lack of knowledge is not a good thing in a doctor. It is so expensive to go to a doctor, and a patient expects their doctor to not be lacking in education, especially if they are injured and in pain.

  4. My dad is 92 years old. Three aneurysms were detected on his aorta. He said he wanted to live. We started with the surgeries to repair them. On June 1, 2009, he was self-sustaining – he could shower, brush his teeth, walk, heat up some soup and brush his teeth without help. He was living at home with his wife. It is now August 9th, 2009, little more than 2 months later. After three surgeries, he is now in a nursing home, a blithering idiot – he cannot speak so you are able to understand him, he is in a diaper, he is mostly blind and deaf, cannot feed himself and cannot walk. He has developed pressure wounds on his heels and calf that we suppose will eventually force us to decide if we should take his leg or let a raging sepsis infection kill him. I pray every night that the one unrepaired aneurysm will rupture and kill him. It will be quicker than watching this slow disintegration of a once self-sufficient human being. There are many nights I think that while no one is watching, I could gently put a pillow over his face and hold it there until he goes. But anything that would cause him suffering I cannot do. It would be so much easier on my family if we were able to give him an overdose and let him pass gently. If he could speak, I doubt he would tell me he wants to live like this any longer. When are we going to become a humane society? There is so much suffering for no reason. Is my father going to spontaneously recover? I don’t think so. Is this about money? Certainly not – it is about human suffering on all of our parts, him most importantly. We can’t be with him 24 hours a day to make sure he is taken care of. I know they are doing the best they can in the nursing home, but for our family, it is not good enough. Let him go…..

  5. I have severe interstitial cystitis with intractable pain. I am given some Lortab for this but that is all. I urinate every 5 to 10 minutes. I am totally disabled and unable to really care for myself. I am completely worthless according the our society and the medical community. I would love more than anything to be a part of the world again, but I am not due to the severity of the symptoms and the pain. Surely death couldn’t be any worse that where I am right now. In many ways I am already dead.

  6. Interstitial cystitis is treatable–even the worst cases. I know, because I was there for 20 years. IC is a neurological disorder, not exactly a urological one. You need to find a good urologist who specializes in pelvic pain syndrome. I was ready to end my life after years of agony, but life is much better now. I have been on a course of Elmiron, Lyrica, and hydroxyzine for this and it has changed my life. Now I’m just burdened with Bipolar, and that’s the thing that really makes life unbearable.

  7. I’m so glad I found this article. I too am in support of assisted, painless suicide for anyone who desires it. And I stress the word – desires it.

    Some people would rather live in chronic pain, bed ridden or immobile than end their life. And I respect that. That is their choice.

    People have to come to understand that some conditions are just so excruciatingly painful or unmanageable or they destroy the quality of your life so severely – that there really is no greater mercy – then to die peacefully and with dignity.

    Also some conditions make it impossible to work or take care of oneself. If you cannot work and your condition doesn’t qualify for disability or even if it does – it’s probably very little, after a while you run out of resources and end up homeless and even in more pain (unable to get any medical assistance), starvation, exposure to elements, exposure to violence and crime, etc.

    This is the 21st century and an individual’s freedom and dignity is what we should be promoting and protecting. And it should always, always be about quality of life, not quantity of life.

    Anyone who thinks that making a decision to end your life is easy, or is the coward’s way out – is out of their mind. Do you have any idea how scary and how horrible it is to make a decision to end your life. You have no idea. It is the scariest thing in the world. It is gives you nightmares even as you know you have no other options.

    Those that talk about ending their life but are not that serious – I guarantee you, they simply wouldn’t be able to go through with the procedure if it was available to them. Those that are very serious about their decision, and find themselves backed into a corner, are the one’s that would.

    And those that yak about “it’s never that bad or it can be managed” will never understand it, until they themselves are faced with it – god forbid – I do not wish it upon them.

    No one has a right to tell you when you can die. No one.

    I am 35 years old and suffering from severe GERD. I have debilitating heartburn and acid burn 24 hours whether I eat or not. Whether I drink or not. Even when I try to take a walk or exercise.

    The treatment options currently available, are doing nothing for me. My esophagus is deteriorating and it is very painful. I also have esophageal spasms (very painful ones) and nerve damage as the acid creeps through the wall of my esophagus and into my body and nerves that lie directly beyond your esophagus – called the vagus nerve system. My tongue looks like a raw hamburger from all the acid burn. And I can’t breathe properly because the acid has burned my lungs. I also have painful tingling in my legs and feet and sometimes in my arms and a sensation of hot liquid leaking in my brain.

    I am unable to work, my 62 year old mom has to take care of me in terms of helping me cook, shop, clean, etc. while my husband works to try and keep us financially afloat. And for what. I can’t even enjoy a weekend outing with him. I’m in a prison and he’s trapped with me and we’re going broke. Plus I’m wearing them both out – they are heartbroken – can’t stand to see me cry and scream – they are going out of their mind because there is nothing they can do. And what do you think is going to happen when my mom is unable to care for me, and when we loose our home because the bills just keep pilling up and there is only one person working.

    Everyone around me thinks I’m depressed or anxious because I’m trying to understand what my end of life options are. I’m not depressed, and I’m not anxious – I’m in just plain ol chronic pain – plain and simple – stop putting other words around it. I would love to get my healthy body back and my life back – but it’s not going to happen and this thing will most certainly kill me as it eats away my esophagus and nervous system. It will probably take a year or more. In the meantime I will suffer in chronic pain all day long, while I watch my mother and husband be destroyed emotionally and financially while I too will collapse under the physical and emotional strain of the chronic pain.

    But some are not able to do that. And it is true, that current forms of pain management are a joke. You can take strong drugs – and even then not have pain relief. And talking to psychiatrists and psychologists – doesn’t relieve pain. Don’t kid yourself about it. If you want to try it – stab yourself in your leg with a pair of scissors, leave them in there for a week while you go to work, do your chores, etc. Then after 5 days walk to a nearby psychologist or psychiatrist and let me know if talking with them about the pain you’re experiencing relieves your pain.

    I think it’s time America looks seriously at the impact it’s decisions have on those who suffer. It’s time that you place yourself in their shoes and really take a hard look at how scary a decision to end life really is for someone/anyone. And if you are still not convinced – like I said, stab yourself in the leg with a pair of scissors and get back to me.

  8. I have severe interstitial cystitis and already live between this world and the next. My day is always spent trying to get the pain under control. Pain mgmt as it currently exists in the US is a joke. I am given Lortab and one Kadian pill a day, plus I am on 5 different bladder spasm meds a day, anti-depressants, Lidocaine patch and Flector patch and get meds. put into my bladder each week. It has taken my career, my joy and my will to live from me. No one would let an animal suffer like this.

  9. I am living with chonic severe pain in abdomen and and now soles of feet swollen and are in pain. since I have been injured surgically in the abdomen , I should not have to put up with the pain and medication does not help and surgeons are too coward to help. one does not have to have cancer .
    this is too difficult to put up with daily and at nite.

  10. I stand with those that say anyone suffering, and in pain, and will be for the rest of their life, should have the right to say no more pain and suffering please.

    More surgeries mean more damage, more pain, to my inside and add to more problems I am now having. MY CHOICE IS NO MORE SURGERIES, TO CORRECT PROBLEMS THAT THEY SAY WILL CAUSE FURTHER DAMAGE TO OTHER PARTS OF MY BODY, BOWELS , INTESTINES, AND MORE.

    hOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO BE A STATE CITIZEN OF THE STATES THAT WILL ALLOW A DOCTOR TO GIVE MEDICATION , i PREFER TO BE PUT TO SLEEP LIKE THEY DO WHEN THEY GIVE SOMEONE A SURGERY, STOP MY HEART , WITHOUT ME FEELING PAIN.
    a WAY TO LEAVE THIS WORLD WITH DIGNITY, AND FEEL THANKFUL THAT i HAVE A CHOICE TO CHOOSE THE WAY i WANT TO LEAVE THIS WORLD, SOME DO NOT.

    i BELIEVE IN JESUS , NOT JUST BELIEVE , i KNOW JESUS! SUFFERING AND PAIN AND SLOW DEATH WAS DONE BY THOSE THAT GOT ENTERTAINMENT WATCHING PEOPLE DIE SLOW, PEOPLE IN POWER AND EVER SOME RELIGIOUS LEADERS. SLOW DEATH IS CRUEL. AS i CALL PEOPLE THAT WOUL SAY ANYONE SHOULD SUFFER SLOW DEATH.

    DOCTORS SHOULD ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL AND TELL SOMEONE , DEATH IS APPARENT WITHIN A YEAR ETC, LESS OR MORE. mY HEART BROKE WHEN DOCS LIED AND A WOMAN’S FAMILY THAT TOLD HER SHE WAS GOING TO GET BETTER , KNOWING SHE HAD LESS THAN 3 MONTHS TO LIVE.

    i SAT LISTENING TO HER, AND COULD NOT TELL HER, THE TRUTH. aS SHE SPOKE OF WHEN SHE GOT BETTER WHAT SHE WAS GOING TO DO. she never got off the bed. They all lied to her. NEVER IN MY BOOK, (MY VIEW IS GOOD TO LIE TO SOMEONE ESPECIALLY ABOUT HEALTH AND DEATH OR ANYTHING.

    iT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW FOR SOMEONE THAT IS DYING AND IN PAIN , THAT ANY DOCTOR PUTTING THEM TO SLEEP AND OUT OF PAIN NO MORE, SHOULD EVER BE SUED.
    2 DOCTORS AGREEING, 1 FAMILY MEMBER, AND SOMEONE NOT FAMILY SHOULD BE ALL IT SHOULD TAKE WITH KNOWING THE CONDITION OF HEALTH OF THAT PERSON.

    SHOW MERCY NOT CRUEL AND EVIL, TO SOMEONE IN RIGHT STATE OF MIND THAT WANTS TO DIE WITH DIGNITY.

    i AM A HUMAN BEING, AND YET AN ANIMAL CAN BE PUT TO SLEEP, WHEN THEY ARE IN PAIN , HIT BY CAR ETC, BUT i CANNOT.

    i do not want to go through more surgeries they have already said that will cause more damage and pain to other parts of my body that surgery has already done. I am weak, and I wasn’t yelling with caps , I am not going back to correct my errs, with small letters.

    HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO BE IN A STATE BEFORE THEY SAY YOU ARE A STATE RESIDENT? IN OREGON, WASHINGTON?

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