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Death with Dignity is a Life Choice
Posted by Guest Blogger on December 16, 2010
I was with my brother, Robin, in Seattle often in the past five years as he came to terms with his T-Cell Lymphoma. It was one of my life's greatest gifts to share the last month of his life. He asked me to be his voice. I would like honor Robin's wishes.
(Colleen currently lives in Wisconsin and is sharing her brother's story as part of our "You Are Not Alone" series.)
After experiencing end of life with two very close family members, I embrace Death with Dignity. I was the primary caregiver to both my elderly father in Montana and my brother in Washington state. Washington state has Death with Dignity; Montana does not.
At the end of my father's life in Butte, Montana, he was begging for more pills, amazed he continued to awaken morning after morning while I changed his diapers, bathed him, fed him and tried to keep him comfortable day after day.
With his dignity gone; he was ready to die. There was no quality of life left in his 89-year-old leukemia stricken body, and he knew it. Without a Death with Dignity law in Montana, there was only palliative care, waiting, and promises the end was near. The end came in July of 2008.
My brother and I came to an agreement that July. When his life was at its end, I would assist him with his death with dignity choice. At the time, he was in remission from T-Cell Lymphoma. We both knew when the lymphoma returned for the third time, his quality of life would quickly be swept away.
It was not until May of 2010 when T-Cell Lymphoma silenced Robin's long-term goals. With organs ravaged by cancer, he had control over his death with Washington's Death with Dignity law.
Death with Dignity was exactly what it states. I stayed with my brother through the end of his life and his death. Robin was able to leave this world on his terms, complete with dignity and control over his final days, his consciousness, and his death before cancer silenced his world into a coma.
Posted on December 16, 2010 in Personal Stories
Defend dignity. Take action.
You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.