In this space, my son Jeff previously wrote about Jane Lotter, a terminally ill journalist who, under Washington State law, was able to say goodbye under her terms by taking barbiturates when the time was right, spending the final moments with her family.
Contrast this with a case reported by Frank Bruni in today’s New York Times. He writes about a Pennsylvania woman charged with aiding a suicide. She now faces a felony charge with a potential sentence of up to 10 years. The “victim” was her 93-year-old father, who was in Hospice care with multiple terminal illnesses. He was frail and in pain, and had indicated it was time to end it all by taking Morphine while his daughter watched him exit. Bruni correctly cites the felony charge as being “a waste of public resources, a needless infliction of pain on a family already grieving, and a prioritization of a law over logic, compassion, decency.”