The Battle over the "Death With Diginity Act"
MARCH 12, 2007
I've tried now 2 times to post my comments and unbeknownst to me my account timed out each time. I lost everything I had written and I'm frustrated. I've given up writing anything related to this piece other than it was for the LA Times, West Magzine.
Death With Dignity, LA Times, West Magazine
I'm open to suggestions on how to deal with the problem of getting timed out when you are still writing. What could I be doing wrong? other than talking too much.
Alright, This time I'm posting the comments I had originally wanted for this piece, without incident. Thank you all for your advice. This assignment was an emotional and controversial one for myself. Many already know how dangerously close to death my health had gotten some 3 1/2 years ago. Having overcome my illness with a bone marrow transplant from a anonymous donor in Sept. 2004, the subject of facing death is a sensitive one for me. I was lucky, but in this story the for the Los Angeles Times, West Magazine, facing eminent death was the harsh reality. The article is about California's "Death With Dignity Act" which was narrowly defeated last summer but will be up for a vote again this year. The piece subjects around these two men, one from Oregon and another from California who are "end of life patients" who are looking for a way to die comfortably and at the time of their choice. In Oregon, where the act was passed some years ago, the law works this way. The patient, not the doctor, must administer the doctor's prescribed lethal dose of pain medication, with the doctor present. The man in Oregon does this, at the time of his choosing, comfortably and peacefully at home with his family and physician present. The other man who lives in California has to testifies in front of the California Legislature that he's nearing the end of his brutal battle with cancer and would like to die at the time and place of his choosing and with all the comforts he feels would make it dignified and not criminal. He goes on to say that if this could not happen while he was still here he would take care of it himself... "with a 9mm injection to the head". A very powerful statement and one I could sympathize with. I spent a good deal of time in the hospital getting to know very sick people as well as finding out that they have passed and even witnessing one pass before my eyes and ears. I remember thinking how unjust it was to die in a hospital you barely know surrounded sometimes by people you barely know.