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Our Mom Deserved More Choices

Liz Parker Gagne and Jeff Parker live in Massachusetts, and recently shared why they support the Massachusetts Death with Dignity initiative on Dignity 2012's website.

Our mother passed away this summer at the age of 63 after suffering through a long battle with brain cancer. By the end of her life, after many treatments and attempts to cure her, it became clear that there would be no improvement. She desperately wanted to live but her illness was causing her unimaginable pain.

She required 24 hour care, could barely communicate, could no longer feed herself, and forgot how to swallow. We eventually moved her into a hospice residence, where she continued to suffer painfully until her body finally gave out.

Our mom did not want to endure constant suffering and did not want her two-and-a-half-year old grandson to see her in so much pain. We believe that our mom deserved more choices than what she was given, that she deserved to have the option to live her final days with dignity, surrounded by her family and enjoying her time with them; not wasting away before them.

We are voting yes on Question 2, the Death with Dignity Act, because we believe people should have more choices in how they live their final days. There's no mandate, no requirement, just an option to make a different choice from hospice or palliative care. We would have missed our mom no matter when she passed, but to see such a strong, loving woman suffer needlessly for so long was horrible, and we wouldn't wish it on any other family.

Please, join us in voting YES on Question 2 in November, and together we can make sure our loved ones don't have to suffer like our mom suffered; together, we can help give terminally ill patients another choice.

Posted on October 23, 2012 in Massachusetts, New England, Personal Stories


Posted by noogle (not verified) on October 30, 2012 at 08:02 a.m.

this is such a sad story my heart goes out i cannot understand why people are not allowed to die with dignity .......we all die is pointless and painful and frightening to think that people are allowed to die in such pain ......euthananisia should be be compulsory but people should have the choice it take away such much misery i can only see advantages on every side i will do anything i can to help change the laws on this topic

Posted by Debra McKnight (not verified) on December 3, 2012 at 07:46 p.m.

For cancer patients who are not satisfied with their current treatment, know that you can get a second opinion. Sometimes, another oncologist may know of treatment options that can help you. If you are unsure where to go for treatment, you can look online for good cancer treatment centers in your area. This is a great resource:

Posted by Sonia (not verified) on January 18, 2013 at 02:24 a.m.

Your quotes on mom's slow and painful departure sadly reflects what a lot of people have to go through. It affects not only the patient but the family and friends around them. Unfortunately most of us will have to see something like this. So for those lucky ones whose mom's are still with us, take some time to think about how lucky you are. I found for them. Use them and make sure you tell her how much she means to you. She won't be there forever. It's sad that Liz and Jeff now have to remember the good times to cast shadows over those lingering last days.

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