To Serve and Protect
Yesterday, March 5, 2013, on the Diane Rehm radio show, I heard the following: "It is not your place to do this. It is God's place."
The man making that statement was Representative Krayton Kerns, of Montana. He was speaking of medically assisted suicide. And, he has put his money where his mouth is.
"House Bill 505 was introduced Feb. 15 by Rep. Krayton Kerns.
This bill would undo the rights afforded under Baxter and weaken the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act by threatening physicians with imprisonment for answering a patient’s questions about a variety of death-hastening options, potentially including withdrawal of a ventilator or feeding tube. HB505 would send us to prison for 10 years for providing the choices that the Montana Supreme Court and the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act afforded."
Can you imagine imprisoning doctors for being humane?
Humane Choice Was Death
All I could think of when hearing this, was my late father. At the end of his life, he was totally out of it mentally; having "brown-outs" daily (unable to control bowel movements), and thinking he was back in the 1950's, when he and my mom were sweet-hearts.
It was heart-breaking.
Day after day....watching the formerly bright, funny, sarcastic, greatest-laugh-in-the-world husband and father; vegetate as this out-of-his-mind, drugged-up diaper-shitter.
I would have given anything to have my dad back. But he was already gone. The most he had to look forward to was an infinity more of bad smells, crazy fuzzy thoughts, and the recognition that he did not know who he was.
Even at this moment, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
I only know that the day his life ended, he was at a Hospice: A wonderful place, full of compassionate volunteers. That morning, the nurse called us saying "his fingernails are turning blue".... apparently the sign; his time was almost up.
We said our goodbye's to a man who knew not who we were.
After it was over, and my dad left his body, my mother took me to the Hospital and had me sign a consent form, so she would never,ever have to exist as a comatose, barely conscious drug reciprocal; costing the tax payers a ton of money in the process.
My mom gave me the power to take her life, should she become a living, breathing lump.
And you can do the same:
Do Unto Others
Who Decides What is Life?
As you can imagine, when I heard this man on the radio telling the audience that the decisions to make on my father's life were not ours, but God's.....you may well understand my outrage and anger at the presumption of this fellow; how dare he tell me and my family what to do!
I resent him trying to make laws on the back of my hurt and wounded heart.
Can anyone tell me why my dad is any of his business?
If anything, keeping my dad alive as a vegetable would have cost the society much.... and for what? To keep his body alive, that is all.
As far as I'm concerned, that is one of the cruelest uses of the religious state I have seen.
We are Not a Vessel of the Church
You have every right to believe as you like, but please do NOT lay it on me!
I Speak for God
In case you were wondering about Kerns: Yes, he is a garden variety Tea Party Boy:
In 2009 he successfully sponsored House Bill 228, a controversial castle doctrine bill supported by the National Rifle Association, which, among others, allows a person at home to use deadly force in the face of any perceived threat.
Planned Parenthood of Montana criticized Kerns in March for a blog posting in which he discussed Sandra Fluke's congressional testimony over contraception funding and a bulldog making $1,000 a month for "stud services".
Our country consigns into it's Constitution the separation of church and state.
Let us not lose our diligence on this issue.
Whom or what to believe in has no part in the running of a country that is based on freedom.
Let us strive to strengthen; not loosen, that ideal.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2013 Leslie McCowen