CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Physician Assisted Suicide Is Not For Me

It is time for a serious discussion. Colorado is now opening up the option to allow physician assisted suicide for "terminally ill" patients and this is the wrong move.

As a cancer patient I am opposed to physician assisted suicide. As a person of compassion I am opposed to physician assisted suicide.  As a child of God I am against physician assisted suicide. As a human being I am opposed to physician assisted suicide.

Let me tell you why.

First trust that I know what stands before me in terms of suffering a death from ovarian cancer or its treatment side effects. Lying in bed with a swollen belly suffering concurrent system failure. I do not want to have this pain and suffering but I know that hospice and ongoing palliative care beforehand will minimize the pain. Maybe I will be graced with a death in the middle of my dreams and all my worries are for not......but that is not for me to decide.

Humanity, life itself exists in conception, birth, and natural death. We are advanced now and have more and more resources than ever before to support a person moving from this earthly life so that their final days can be in peace with family and friends, to help them, hold their hand as they make this most precious transition.

The desire to control our lives and our bodies is so strong that we will go to immoral lengths to maintain this illusion of control, going beyond reasonable and ethical means to achieve it.

To induce premature death is wrong in every way conceivable by me.  I look at this from a spiritual view and it is obvious to me that such actions are against God's Will. From a human perspective it is cruel and inhumane to deny any living person the right to pass naturally for in this process we also are allowed very special and unique graces that prepare us for eternal life.  This process allows everyone to grow and love beyond what they could have imagined and this can be done in a way that is not unruly and unbearable. Medicine has now advanced to allow for dying in peace without prematurely killing someone before the time has come naturally.

I need you to hold my hand as I go, not counsel me on taking a death drug so that everyone else can feel better about my death. The fear of death is so strong that we as a culture have fabricated in our minds that it is "ok" to kill someone before they are ready to go as some form of dangerously misguided compassion.

To help form some sort of boundary: If a person requires super extraordinary means to live of course they need to be let go to pass from earth naturally.   If a person is terminally ill and suffering as they are on their way to die naturally,  we are obligated as children of God and in all matters of human compassion and dignity to provide the best comfort care possible so that person is most restful and peaceful as they die.

Please do not tell me that you have given up on me and that you do not want to be with me as I go in a natural way.  Please do not abandon me in my hour of need.

God created me.  God is not to blame for any suffering I endure, either now or when my time to go has arrived.  God, through the death of His son our Lord Jesus Christ, knows fully and understands every detail of pain, angst, fear and suffering.  By living the Way of the Cross with Jesus I find comfort in my own suffering.  What this means is not that it is "okay" or "easy", no it is the opposite: pain is pain.  What this means to me is that there is purpose in this suffering, for each moment that I endure any form of suffering brings me closer to Jesus who suffered for all of us.

Knowing God and loving God is the way to learning how to face our death, to face our fears and to face our pain.

We are not here on this planet to kill each other, as some sort of mercy killing. No no no. We are born to be loving and to help each other, to serve each other.  If we stay on that track we will not abandon each other in their time of death but do the opposite: We will embrace this most holy time and support that person as they pass naturally from this earth into eternity. THAT is Love!

So instead of voting to support physician assisted suicide, vote to provide more resources to those who are dying and their families to afford time off from work, to make sure their are no financial barriers to palliative medications and to increase services covered by Medicare and Hospice that allow for companion care, nurses aides and paid family leave.

On a side note: At the heart of this problem is the independent nature of the typical "American" person. If you are from an ethnic family, such as an hispanic or asian culture, there is an automatic response within these cultures to adapt to changes within the family.  They move their parents to live with children as the parents age.  This process allows for the aging to have the support they need. People are honored more than money.  Making America Great again SHOULD mean enabling families to continue to honor their loved ones, NOT just acquire wealth and property.  Richness comes from people, love, relationships and loving God.

Our "independent" culture is not prepared to increase and maintain the resources necessary to allow for a terminally ill person to die naturally, painlessly, with their loved ones able to be at their side on a daily basis.  Never give up on believing in the true value of life and the life of those you love. They deserve to die naturally, supported with care to make this process as painless as possible, so that they can spend time enjoying each drop of sun, each drop of rain, sharing memories and smiles, and to say goodbye without haste.

On another side note:  I know that people in the medical profession are probably the most hardened when it comes to experiencing angst with human suffering, I understand that.  Take advantage of all possible resources available to help you, as a person of compassion,  cope with the ongoing exposure to suffering.  Your job is very important and if you are burning out seek a chance to work in a different area for awhile. Your heart and love is important, take care of yourself if you are facing too much suffering.

Strengthen our culture of LIFE!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Food For Thought On Ostracization

Food For Thought:

I started researching this today because I saw an article about how isolation can
lead to an early death.

Being ignored is a form of ostracization, a slow social death.  Something to think about as we ignore the elderly, the sick, the homeless, those who aren't cool enough, those who aren't rich enough, those who are not "like" whoever thinks they are so important that everyone 
must be like them to be worthy of their time.  

I personally know women who have experienced this and it is unfair because when someone is on the receiving end of being ostracized, there is no two-way communication, no chance for reconciliation.  

And if you are in a position of being isolated, ostracized or abandoned, please seek counseling and participate in discussion groups, church activities, community activities and find old friends who can be there with you to help strengthen you heart.  

Prayer is a wonderful way to offset the effects of loneliness.

Peace and Blessings

George Winston Thanksgiving