Suicide is Painless

I wrote about chronic pain and the war on pain meds we struggle with in America the other day. And the (hidden) ugly truth about the cost of all of that. Because what needs to be said is that for every “addict” (I use the term very loosely here) or chronic pain/illness sufferer that overdoses, there are many more that take their own lives.

Suicide is not selfish, although it’s easy to call it that. It’s not easy, it’s not painless, and it’s not the quick way out. Suicide is the result of pain, fear, and the inability to see out of the darkness. It is desperation, the nightmare of untreated PTSD, unrelenting pain, or overwhelming darkness.

But it is also a basic human right.

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If you’ve ever read more than one of my blogs, you know I love my Grey’s Anatomy. It’s my comfort food for the soul.

In season 6, episode 18 “Suicide is Painless”, Owen is struggling because Teddy asked him to be the second doctor to sign off on her patient’s request for a “good death“. Or, put another way, an option not to suffer. The chance at a more compassionate passing.

As of June 9th, California will join four other states in believing a terminal patient has the right to die. Only Oregon (the first state to allow that), Washington, Vermont, and Montana offer terminal patients the same thing that every state, city, and county in America believes we can do for our pets.

Two years ago, we took my dog to the vet, and gave her the chance to pass peacefully. We did not want her to suffer, and when it was clear that she had reached the end of her life, we allowed her to pass away quickly and peacefully. But, because I don’t live in one of the five states that allows physician assisted death for terminal patients, I don’t have that same right.

“But, Xun….people and dogs are not the same thing!” You’re right. But Dera was family, she was loved, and she was important to us. And we didn’t want her to suffer. So why, as a patient with an inoperable brain tumor, do I not have the same access to compassion and lack of suffering?

Know-Your-Rights-Tattoo-Angelina-Jolie

Know your rights. Believe you deserve compassion.

Owen: There will be a moment… when she dies her face will relax… and all that pain she was in will be gone. And you will feel relief. Relief for her, relief for you. You will know with absolute certainty that you did the right thing. You have to hold onto that moment because all the rest of it is just your own garbage.

7 responses

  1. I certainly advocate one’s decision to die with dignity, and I’ve discussed this with my husband if it comes to that with either one of us. I argued this with my mother for a week straight, because “it’s wrong to even think like that”;). Even though she went through the awful death of her mother, metastatic colon cancer that quickly spread to her brain, she said she could never make that decision. I told her it’s not up to her, it’s the patient’s decision. She’s a social worker so the Hippocratic oath applies, but in extraordinary circumstances, making a person live through hell does way more harm than good. She doesn’t have to agree with me, but I know what I’ll choose if I reach that point. I may have to relocate, but I’m used to that. 🙂

    m.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/assisted-suicide-legalization-california-kevin-drum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like we’re on the same page. I found a link to advance directives for each state since I don’t live in any of the states that believe assisted suicide : http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3289
      And like you, I’m not afraid to relocate. Thank you so much for reading! And for speaking out!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great post, Xun. One of the reasons I chose to move to New Mexico was because it was a right-to-die state. That is, until the state appealed. I’ve been waiting for the state’s Supreme Court to make a decision for over a year. But those rights are for terminal patients only. Unlike in Canada, where their courts just decided it was for everyone.

    Thanks for that link, Kara. I would “like” your comment, but I don’t have that option on Xun’s website. I’d just like to point out that some hospitals are refusing to honor DNRs, especially those run by the Catholic religion. In some states, you need to hire an attorney to complete a DNR form, but here in New Mexico, I don’t think you need one.

    I wish there was another term besides suicide, which carries so many negative connotations, like it’s a sin. I don’t believe in sin, so that’s not a problem for me. But it takes an enormous amount of courage, which I don’t think I have. Still, it brings me a little comfort to know that I have this option, even if I have to take care of it myself, without the help of doctors. (Doctors suck.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your insight. And your contribution to the discussion. Know your rights and know how that relates with the state you currently live in.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RKTuDYp6M8 out of all the deaths I’ve seen or caused this video broke me and filled me with such a beauty that I never felt around this subject. much love –danny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must be difficult to have a job assisting others into death. But it’s the courage of all the people in that video that brought me to tears.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There was such beauty and compassion in that video. So kind. So sweet. So beautiful. Thank you Danny! Thank you for sharing, thank you for reading, thank you for coming along with me through my journey! ~ much love~

      Like

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