Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anatomy Of A Self-Murder

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - "Linda Fleming was diagnosed with terminal cancer and feared her last days would be filled with pain and ever-stronger doses of medication that would erode her mind.

The 66-year-old woman with late-stage pancreatic cancer wanted to be clear-headed at death, so she became the first person to kill herself under Washington state's new assisted suicide law, known as "death with dignity."

"I am a very spiritual person, and it was very important to me to be conscious, clear-minded and alert at the time of my death," Fleming said in a statement released Friday. "The powerful pain medications were making it difficult to maintain the state of mind I wanted to have at my death. And I knew I would have to increase them."

With family members, her physician and her dog at her side, Fleming took a deadly dose of prescription barbiturates and died Thursday night at her home in Sequim, Wash.

Being afraid of losing one's faculties, one commences with the ultimate in faculty deprivation.

I see.

Perhaps Miz Fleming was unaware of the distinct probability that death would erode her mind as well. Not being able to think like such cowards, it is difficult to tell what they were imagining so I call for balm in Gilead on this one.

I guess what really bugs me is the need to ask doctors and hospitals, and, perhaps most of all, the government to grant permission. But I suppose it isn't really the need for societal acquiescence as much as the desire to exit without discomfort, or leaving behind all that much of a mess for someone else to clean up.

Fuck that noise. I'd be damned if I asked for a note from my Mother excusing me from life. And if my Mom has no say then some stranger certainly should not. I came in all bloody and screaming and kicking up a fuss and the only thing I'd change whilst exiting would be the wardrobe selection. The women in my family, you see, expressly forbade the birthing of babies wearing boots and their finest gunbelt.

This is quite reasonable. But to not at least feel a modicum of the pain felt by them in bringing us in, would be, to me, quite craven upon egress.

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