This blog post is in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. This topic is similar but definitely different because the situations our different. My friend Nicole Narlock, who’s a nursing graduate, was doing a policy brief on SB128 Assisted Suicide which is up for consideration this 2016 for a school assignment. I’m thankful that she thought my opinion would be a good perspective as I have fought a long battle and will continue to fight for the rest of my life.
Yesterday the California Assembly approved it and awaits for the senate to approve it. It’s an important topic that we all should think about since it now can affect us as it possibly will be legal in the state of California and other states.
Assisted Suicide Interview Preinterview Questionairre
Please describe your health history?
Kidney failure 2005 (Dates wrong on interview 😕 my brain doesn’t work without notes)
Kidney Transplant 2010
1st Transplant rejection March 2012 requiring IVIG & Plasmapharesis
Valley Fever 2010-2015 (Still fighting)
Numerous surgeries September 2011 – April 2012. Repeat on shoulder (most recently March 2015) and chest clavicle leaving a wound vacuum for 3 months, hip surgery and spine surgery
Transplant removal 2013
Back on dialysis currently
As you know, this interview is in regards to SB128 Assisted Suicide. Assisted Suicide is coming up for consideration this 2016. Currently it is only available in 5 out 50 states and has been a controversial issue for a long time now. Please tell me what you know about assisted suicide?
This is for a patient to have the right to end their life due to terminal disease
Do you believe in the SB128 Assisted Suicide?
I’ve continued to choose to fight for my life and know without the support of dialysis and medications I would not be here. I’ve been on the fence with this issue. My religious/spiritual beliefs don’t believe in ending your own life. However, facing terminal illness you already know your fate. So there is a fine line as if this is right or wrong. I’m very familiar with the mourning process and it’s hard to watch someone die a horrible painful death. At the same time that’s why they have hospice and it’s a controlled environment to keep you comfortable. Overall you have the choice. That’s why there is an advance directive if you want to be resuscitated or not.
Have you considered assisted suicide? Why and why not?
I haven’t gotten to that point of the doctors telling me my situation is terminal. I’ve come close and that’s when I put an advance directive specifying my wishes. However, because of my long term health issues I know that it can be something that I could be faced with. If so, I don’t think I would do it this way. I feel more confident having an advance directive and my husband is very level minded to make the right decision, as he knows my wishes. I wouldn’t want to remain on life support no longer than a few weeks.
How do you think a decision like assisted suicide would affect your family? For example, would they support you?
It would be very difficult for them. When the whole issue came out with Brittany Maynard it upsetted them. It started the discussion about dying with dignity. They know how much I’ve fought for my own life and they just didn’t understand.
What makes it hard for you to decide between the two?
Mainly couldn’t because of my beliefs and my family
Whom do you believe has the right to make decisions in regards to how they want to die?
I definitely think it’s an individual’s right.
This coming ballot…would you vote for it or against it?
I’m still on the fence. I think there is so much medical support that helps dying with dignity. I do believe this is a person’s right to make this choice. I would need to read the bill and see all the pros and cons. How it will effect our health system, etc… There’s a lot to consider. Personally it goes against my beliefs. We aren’t to end our own life. However, if that is already your fate and you don’t want to go through the painful process of what is already gonna happen than that option could be available for those who chose that. I think there should be some extensive (physiological/physical) type of process to determine eligibility. My husband works with veterans and most are just waiting to die and are ready. So this is why I could support it but personally it wouldn’t be my choice.
I’d love to here your thoughts? Do you support it or not?