I want to be given the right to die with dignity

You might think it’s strange that I’m thinking about my own death when I’m in my 60’s. Especially seeing as

You might think it’s strange that I’m thinking about my own death when I’m in my 60’s.

Especially seeing as the statistics show I’m likely to live at least another 20 to 25 years.

But it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought.

There’s been a lot of talk here on SAS in recent weeks about voluntary euthanasia, and it got me thinking – if I felt the time was right, I’d like to die with dignity.

I’ve watched people – friends and family – fade away in old age and in illness. It’s such a terrible way to die, traumatic for both the person dying and their family and friends who sit back and watch, unable to do anything.

I’m healthy and strong now.

But what if tomorrow I found out I had terminal cancer? Or another debilitating condition that would severely impact my quality of life and lead to a slow, unpleasant death?

I wouldn’t want that. I wouldn’t want the last memories my family and friends have of me as a weak, sick, dying old woman in bed.

I’d want them to remember how vibrant and full of life I am.

For me, that’s why I’d want to die with dignity. I always joke with my kids and tell them to smother me with a pillow if I have to go to a nursing home.

I tell my grandies that the day I can’t get out in my garden anymore or go for my morning walk is the day I don’t want to live anymore.

It may seem many things to many people – selfish, strange, weird.

But in the end, I’ve chosen how I live my life – surely I should be able to choose how it ends as well?

Opponents of voluntary euthanasia and dying with dignity have labelled it “murder” and “playing god”.

I label it end suffering, finishing on a good note, going out on a high.

Let’s be honest, who really wants to die in a hospital bed so sick they can barely move? Or so out of their mind that they’re almost a vegetable?

Whenever I’ve visited a nursing home or aged care facility, I always look at some of the older people who can’t shower, walk or even talk on their own anymore.

It makes me so sad – sad that they were once vibrant people, so full of life and now they’re helpless and fragile. It might be “nature’s way” as some label it, but it’s not the way I want to go.

I want to die with dignity, and I hope when my time comes it’ll be a legal option for me.

What do you think? Do you agree with what our reader has written about dying with dignity?

  1. Betty phibbs  

    I totally agree . I want my family to be spared the indignity of watching me waste. Away. It should be my right to choose when my time is up. I can think of nothing better than to be surrounded by my family holding hands and slipping away.

  2. Pauline Baker  

    My sentiments entirely. I have seen the last days of my very dear husband and my so dear mother end like this. They were such vibrant happy people all through life until sickness and old age made their final days so long, drawn out and sad. I don’t want this but so many people when I express this wish are horrified. But would you let your dog suffer I this way? That would be considered unnecessary cruelty. Old customs die hard and this is making so many of our population die hard.

  3. Truth 13  

    There are two sides to this saga. While sick person with an incurable cancer with a limited time to live as well as some living like a vegetable, bedridden suffering with various problems, it may be good to give the right to die with dignity. The other side of the story is, in this country, 35% of the people are over 60 years, with anything from 20 to 35 years left for most of them to live, but having about 70% of the wealth among them, while their children & grand children living, with a burden of buying a ‘home’ and live a decent life, there MAY BE very few of them, get tempted to “dispose” the older rich close relations, only to inherit their wealth. Only last week, a TV channel showed, a daughter killed her father with the help of her son, to inherit the wealth, but found out, that man changed his last will, without their knowledge. This may not happen, most of the time, but if euthanasia is allowed, no one will know, where it will end. Recently I visited two aged care facilities, supposed to be “Five Star”, & expressive, to see two old ladies. What I saw shocked me. What brought to my mind was, one day, if I have to face the same, I would rather die, than living like that. So, it is difficult to say, whether it should be allowed or not.

    • Glen  

      I think would be inheritors sometimes do speed up the death of their relative, but if euthanasia is made legal there would be checks and balances before it could happen so in effect elderly/ infirm people would be better protected.

  4. Susan Bell  

    My mother is desperate to die, she is an intelligent, educated woman with full control of her mind. She has begged us, her children to help her die. She tried to starve herself but gave up as it was too painful. She is confine to bed 23 hours a day, Why should she be forced to live when she is tired of the daily struggle. Who can be so cruel as to take away her right to control her life.

  5. Joan  

    I was in my 40’s when I joined Dying with Dignity and Exit as soon as it was formed. To me, it is such a basic right. And it’s not about anyone making the decision except the person involved,either when the time comes, or in writing, some time before when they are still compis mentis. I’ve seen lots of nursing homes and some are excellent. I still don’t want to end up in one.

  6. Glen  

    I totally agree. We would, after all, die much more quickly if it were not for the medicines we use to keep us alive. Why on earth are we not allowed to die with dignity rather than prolong a miserable life when all the money that care takes could be better used to treat younger people with their whole lives ahead of them?
    The government reckons we pensioners are are a burden on society because we are living longer than we should so let us die as we wish.
    It is criminal to allow animals to suffer once their quality of life has gone – why not the same for humans?

  7. verena mueller  

    fair enough, i would like to be on this earth for another 20+ years, but if i go downhill in a bad way, i like to choose how i end my life! i surely don’t want to end up as a vegie, no way. so i will find a way to end it !

  8. Roy  

    I am 61. I have Meniers disease and two fractured Spinous processes in my lower neck and upper spine. I do not under any circumstances want to end up in a nursing home. I will continue to live my life to the best I can but when the time comes I hope that my family will pull the plug and let me die with dignity or at better still throw an incredible party with rock and roll blasting away and laughter as they say goodbye.

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