There is a crippling fear that comes from knowing how and when you are going to die.
This afternoon I met with some legislators regarding the end-of-life options act introduced by representative baumbach a few years ago. Looking around the room it felt so empty. I could feel the ghosts in every open space in the room. You see, many of my friends, supporters of end-of-life options, have lost their fight and no longer have a voice. And so I was there speaking not only on my own behalf but for them. My life expectancy is much longer than many, people are dying as we argue if this legislation should be put into effect.
I do not want to die; I want to live. When it comes to be my time, I do not even know that I would use this option. But I do know that I should have the right do have it as an option.
This is not a political argument: people are dying right now as I speak. This is a civil rights argument. My, and other people’s, rights are being infringed upon because some people “don’t think it’s right”. I am not here to argue the fact that you have the right to consider it not being right. You just don’t have the right to tell me how I might live, or die, that decision is up to my doctor and I to decide.
Death is a part of life. I have the right to decide my medical treatment while I am alive, then why should that be taken away from me upon my death?
I have a number that I want you all to remember. That number is zero. I want you to know that zero equals the number of complaints Oregon has received in the 20 years since their Medical Aid in dying law was implemented.