Archive for Choices

Dying in California Has a New Option

A new path to consider...

A new path to consider…

California residents with a terminal illness have a new choice.

Starting on June 9, 2016 the End of Life Option Act (EOLOA)* offers a death with dignity.

No it doesn’t!

It’s suicide sugarcoated with clever phrases. Taking your life is immoral, unethical, and—especially for people of faith—a sin of immense proportions.

Without a doubt, the EOLOA will prompt varied reactions: embraced, vilified, or misunderstood. But it is the law.

Oregon became the first state to legally allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed medication in 1997. I lived in Oregon when Measure 16’s Death with Dignity Act appeared on the 1994 ballot. After considerable prayer and thought, I voted against the measure. It passed with 51% of the vote (and was later affirmed by 60% of the voters).

My “no” vote reflected reluctance about giving doctors so much control. Rationally, I understand. Doctors are trained to objectively examine patients. Yes, human mistakes happen, but a physician’s conclusion informed by tests, technology, and experiences are as good as we can get for a diagnosis. Nonetheless, another side of me didn’t want this decision to prioritize the medical. Death is a natural part of life. It is often better understood emotionally and spiritually.

With the EOLOA, patients are required only to inform physicians of their plans. No one else will know a patient’s intentions unless she or he chooses to share it. Read More →

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