Drs: Fighting For The Right To Die + End Of Life Options Act

The Doctors: End Of Life Options

The Doctors shared that a mother and a high-powered attorney named Christy seemed to have the perfect life until a devastating diagnosis took her by complete surprise. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer a year and a half ago. She’s been a vegetarian and an active swimmer her whole life, so she thought she was in great shape. She went to bed the night of her daughter’s 20th birthday party and woke up the next morning unable to understand several words when trying to read. She went to the emergency room and knew something was going on.

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She was told she had a golf ball-sized tumor in her left lung and there were three more tumors in her brain. Her initial prognosis was 2-3 months. She turned and apologized to her daughter, knowing she would be leaving her without a mother. Christy woke up the next morning and knew life was different. She’s tried every medical treatment out there, including 12 months of chemotherapy and radiological brain surgery, but living for 13 months took “great effort.”

Drs: Fighting For The Right To Die + End Of Life Options Act

The Doctors spoke with a mother and attorney who created the End of Life Options Act to give the terminally ill the right to control their death. (sophiea / Flickr)

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The Doctors: Fighting For End Of Life Rights

The last time she underwent chemotherapy, she sat there and cried for four and half hours, knowing she was getting a treatment that no one knew for sure would work. It was then that she realized, because she loves the law, she wanted to change it. She spent a decade enforcing the law and another decade upholding it as a civil rights attorney. She didn’t want anyone to go through what she knew she was going to have to go through at her death.

She decided to speak out in favor of aid in dying. Because her death is already certain medically, there’s no need to add to her or her daughter’s emotional suffering, by not “having peace at her death.” She hopes and prays that she can do the right thing for the thousands of people who are terminally ill and can’t speak for themselves.

The Doctors: End Of Life Options Act

The Doctors welcomed Christy to the show and applauded her for fighting her disease as well as fighting for other people. Christy said it’s important for people to understand that the End of Life Options Act is just one of the options when you get to the end of your life. She said the second that she realized she was going to leave her daughter without a mom, that the memory your child is going to carry for the rest of their lives is very important. She said she doesn’t want her daughter’s last memory of her to be of her in excruciating pain. The Act gives terminally ill patients in California the ability to die peacefully, and quickly, with their family.

Christy shared that her daughter has to be the most giving, loving, unselfish person because she is sharing her with the world in the time that she has left. Her daughter has told her that what she’s doing is important because no other child should have to see their mom die the way she’s going to have to witness her dying. She’s giving all her last minutes with her mom to the world. Dr Jennifer Ashton said her medical opinion is that we’re very behind other places in the world in that “we tend to treat our pets with more compassion at the end of their life than we do human beings.”

Dr Ashton said Christy and her daughter have truly taken a difficult time and made something good out of it. Dr Travis Stork said it shouldn’t be so controversial and then reported that the End of Life Options Act has actually passed the California State Assembly and is now on California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk and he has less than a week to sign it or veto it. If it passes, it will go into effect next year.

The Doctors: Understanding End Of Life Rights

Dr Travis wanted everyone to understand the Act that allows patients to seek aid in dying. If they’re given less than six months to live by at least two doctors and submit a written request. They also have to possess the mental ability to make their own decisions. Dr Travis said he was sorry for what Christy was going through, but admired her for what she was doing for others. He wished her the best in the time she has left and said he can only imagine the kind of woman her daughter was going to become, because of the woman that she is.

How do you feel about end of life rights? Are you thankful that Christy has pushed the End of Life Options Act forward? Are you hoping that the Act will pass?

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