Brittany Maynard is a young 29-year-old woman suffering with brain cancer. Her story is hard to read about without having some level of sympathy for her and some level of agreement with her wanting the choice to choose when she will die by her own hands.
Read her story here.
I cannot imagine being in her position and having to decide these sorts of things–her family, her pain, the cost to her family, etc…
This has sparked a serious debate on human euthanasia — giving one the option of when to choose to die. This is NOT considered suicide as the method of death as it is usually decided on after medical consultation.
While I have trouble with the idea of choosing when do die, I am not in Brittany’s shoes.
We are presented with a significant challenge with this debate and here are my thoughts on those challenges.
Who decides on the applicable age at which someone can make this decision for themselves? Do we let doctors decide? The Supreme Court? The family of the affected person?
What happens with a ‘minor’ who has a terminal disease and will probably suffer before dying from this disease — who has not yet reached the age decided on above? Does that person not have this option? Do we give this option to the parents to decide for those minors? Do we let the courts decide if they can exercise this option? Is it discrimination if we don’t let a minor exercise this option?
What about people stricken with any level of dementia? They too will suffer, but who decides if they can be offered human euthanasia?
Nearly 40 years ago I watched my mother die of lung cancer. It was physically and emotionally painful for her and emotionally painful for us (my dad and our 10 siblings). I think back on that time and wonder if she would’ve wanted this option?
There is no easy answer on this, but I think before we rush to enact laws to allow it we need to consider the impact to the issues I raised above.
What do you think?
Only the toughest survive in the harsh Arizona climate. And even then, the toughest sometimes succumb to the realities of the life cycle.
The Rigors of Arizona Desert Life
Hiking through the Usery Mountain Recreation Area with my wife, Patti, I came across a cactus that had seen better days. The texture of the inside demanded my attention and made me think about the challenges life throws at us and what those challenges can do to us. (more…)
Choices, like Baskin-Robbins ice cream, come in many flavors.
Actually, I prefer Dairy Queen to Baskin-Robbins, but there was no witty way to tie in DQ with the concept of multiple choice options. DQ blizzards – in particular, Reese’s peanut butter cup – are my favorite; that’s what I choose when we enjoy a dairy-based confectionery treat.
Bowling balls, for those who live outside New England, are large spheres, about the size of a soccer ball. They are made of compressed plastic or resin and have three holes (two finger and one thumb) to make gripping a ball this size easier. These spheres are used in ten-pin bowling and are measured in pounds. Their weight ranges, typically, between six and sixteen pounds. (more…)
New Suits by Rick Forristall
The seemingly innocuous task of buying a suit takes on a whole new meaning
“Okay guys, it’s time to go,” Dad said to us, somberly. His challenges were plenty during those days – most would consider them insurmountable. This day’s required activity surely didn’t make his life any easier – spending money he didn’t have for an event he probably wished away, four hundred or ten thousand times every day.
(This is a memoir writing assignment for my Nonfiction Fundamentals course with Southern NH University.)
The Canteen Truck
(The beginning and ending of my life of crime)
Disclaimer: some names have been changed to protect the guilty – or maybe because I forgot them?
“C’mon Rick, you’re the perfect size.” Wow, that is so cool; no one ever said that about me. “Perfect size, yay! Perfect size for what?” I ask while running fast to John. John’s a big kid, three years older than me. “C’mere,” he says, wrapping his arm over my shoulder and behind my neck. His hand lands on my other shoulder. “D’ya see that truck? It’s called a canteen truck.” “You’re silly,” I say, chuckling. “I know it’s a canteen truck.” “Do you know what’s inside it?” I tell him sure I do. There’s candy, cookies, gum and Cokes inside – where we lived, near Boston, we called any soft drink a Coke back then. “Why?” “We want some,” said John.
Sobering Marriage Statistics
Did you know, according to the US Census Bureau (Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0131.pdf), in marriages starting during the period 1985 – 1989, only 66% reach their 15th anniversary? Yet what is it we focus on when preparing for the wedding day?
I see folks purposely inhaling cigarette smoke into their lungs and can’t help but scratch my head and ask, “Why?”
Why would we flee a burning house to prevent inhaling the smoke from that fire only to go outside, turn around and while watching the fire fighters risk their lives to extinguish the fire … pull out a cigarette, light up and start sucking down those carcinogens?