Would you consider medical-assisted dying?
July 12th, 2020
I believe firmly in people's right to have physician-assisted death. I think the right to live should be the same as the right to die. It's interesting for me because I have sat with that question and I can honestly say I don't know. I would consider it. I would also consider a heroic dose of psychedelics to see if that would bring me into a space of moving through the pain and dying in what way I feel would be right for me to die, but certainly it would be something I would consider.
July 14th, 2020
I would consider terminating life saving measures or curative treatments in the case of a terminal illness. I do believe in palliative and hospice care and have witnessed many very peaceful deaths as a hospice nurse. The important thing is for each individual to examine their own beliefs, fears, wishes, etc and share that with their family or medical decision maker.
July 14th, 2020
Yes, I would. Very, very few people have severe pain when they are dying. That's a misnomer. Some people have pain, but it's controllable. When people tell me that
their mother cried in pain while dying, I am hearing a story about medical or nursing neglect. Less than one in a hundred people have trouble with pain at death.
People do need to consider how sedated they want to be. What's the balance between managing moderate pain and staying awake?
But almost everyone can—and most people do—have a comfortable death. So I don't worry about pain, but that doesn't mean that there aren’t situations in which I would feel like I'm ready to go.
I want to get as close to natural death as possible because I think there's a lot to learn in that process and a lot of surprises along the way. If I felt that natural death had nothing more to offer except distress and enormous cost, then I would certainly consider it. I consider it a deep acceptance of what has to happen. So I have no religious qualms about it at all.
July 15th, 2020
I'm not going to speak for others and I might feel differently when the time comes. I don't think any of us really know how we would feel in circumstances until those circumstances arrive.