Dr. Oz: Montel Williams Suicide Attempt
If you watched daytime TV in the 1990s, you know the name Montel Williams. But what you might not know is that his media fame and success masked a dark secret that almost brought his life to an end.
That’s because he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and the chronic pain made him want to kill himself. Dr. Oz polled the audience, and they were split 50/50 on whether people should have the right to end their own lives.
Dr. Oz: Montel Williams Diagnosis
Award-winning talk show host, actor, and author Montel Williams spent 17 years entertaining and informing audiences on his daily talk show. But in 1999, he learned he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, or MS.
“I’d get up in the morning sometimes, and I could stand in my mirror in my bathroom for an hour and cry ‘cause it hurt so bad,” he said.
Dr. Oz: Montel Williams Multiple Sclerosis
Montel was taping three shows a day, three days a week, and keeping his disease secret from his staff. It was a grueling schedule, and his symptoms intensified in the months after his diagnosis.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Montel said his pain shot from a 3 at diagnosis to 8.5 in just four months. He tried high doses of prescription medication but could not find relief.
Montel Williams Gun Suicide Attempt: Dr. Oz
That’s when he considered suicide for the first time. Montel Williams sat down with Dr. Oz to open up about his opinion that Physician Assisted Suicide should be a legal option in America.
Montel admitted that he is a military veteran and gun collector, and he sat in his closet, spreading the guns out as if he was cleaning them. It was a way to camouflage a potential suicide attempt, but the thought of his kids discovering his body was too much for him to bear.
Dr. Oz: Montel Williams MS Episode
What Montel did not realize then is that his pain level would fluctuate over the years as a sufferer of MS. Though his pain then was near the top of the chart, it is now at a more manageable level of around 6, he told Dr. Oz.
Montel said doctors didn’t know what to do for him because of the excruciating pain. He said that he thought of another way to make his suicide look like an accident. He actually jumped in front of a New York City taxi cab.
Montel Williams Taxi Suicide Attempt
Amazingly, when Montel jumped in front of a New York City cab, the driver jumped out of the cab and recognized the host. He jumped out of the car and greeted Montel by name, helping him back out of the road and making sure he was OK.
After that surreal experience, he realized that it was a blessing. He decided after that incident to move forward and figure out how to deal with his pain. That’s what he has been doing since retiring from his talk show 10 years ago.
He said that he understands that many chronic disease sufferers are in unbearable pain, and he said if his pain hits that level again, he would like to have the option of Suicide legally available to him.
Dr. Oz: Montel Williams Right To Die
“The choice of dignity in my life should be mine,” he said. If he gets to a point where doctors can’t help him cope with the pain or have determined that he is at the end of his life, he would rather die quickly than suffer through a prolonged illness.
Dr. Oz: Hippocratic Oath
“First do no harm.” That’s the Hippocratic Oath doctors take from their first day of medical school. Dr. Oz wanted to know Montel’s thoughts on how doctors can be OK with the idea of the Right To Die.
Montel said that in thinking about “Do No Harm,” you have to consider the harm to the person who is dying, in agonizing pain, but is legally required to suffer. He said families often share stories of their loved ones who struggled and died slow, tragic deaths.
Montel does not consider this to be a medical decision, but a personal choice for each individual. What do you think about this sensitive and controversial subject?