Guest Post–WW2 Vet on Right To Die

November 29th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Dear OOBonomics Nation,

In response to my 9/28 San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed on the right to die, I just got this email today  from Australia (I guess the internet is a bit slow over such long distances).     If anyone wants comments forwarded, I will do so but I can’ t assume he wants his contact info posted.  The note was quite lenthy so I am excerpting only the second story he told.

The second was a mate who served with me in the second world war, who had always expressed the wish not to be confined to a nursing home.  His doctor put his arm around him one day in my company and said to him “Don`t you worry Tom when the time comes I will ease you out.” This gave Tom great peace of mind.  However the time came when Tom had to go into a nursing home and he was given medication to control him from wandering at night and crying out (disturbing other patients).  He deteriorated very quickly, became incontinent bowels and bladder, was bedridden, was unable to communicate and did not recognize anyone. When I approached his doctor for help, he said sorry I cannot do anything for him now as all medication in a nursing home has to be recorded. Tom was allowed to lie in his bed in this state for 15 months, Surely you must agree with me that this was an extremely cruel fate to impose upon someone who had served his country with distinction?

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