It is not just about ending pain

It is not just about ending pain

Pain ranks near the bottom of a list of patients’ concerns in the first two states to legalize physician-assisted dying, Oregon and Washington, which provide the most complete details about people’s motivations. Only 25 percent of the 991 Oregon patients who died after taking lethal prescriptions from 1998 to 2015 were concerned about pain or had inadequate pain control, according to reports filed with the state by their doctors.

More specifically, an assessment of 39 patients with terminal Lou Gehrig’s disease reported a loss of autonomy and all of those who used the prescription to die (30) reported a loss of enjoyable activity. Read article “ALS Patients Seeking Physician-Assisted Suicide – Why They Do It” 

Mary Klein, a 68-year-old resident of the District who is fighting advanced ovarian cancer, said she wants choices at the end of her life. Although Klein says she may also enroll in hospice care, which focuses on the needs of people with six months or less to live, she wants to have an alternative if the services don’t meet her needs. “I want to have the option to control my own body and control my own life,”

Read National Post article 25 October 2016 “Death with dignity isn’t just about easing end-of-life pain”

Read Kaiser Health News article 26 October 2016 ‘Terminally Ill Patients Don’t Use Aid-In-Dying Laws To Relieve Pain’