For Discussion: Should People Have A Legal Right To Seek Assistance In Suicide?

- By Bossip Staff

A Georgia woman named Susan Caldwell suffers terribly from a disease called Huntington’s disease, and in 2008 she attempted to kill herself to end her unbearable pain. Unfortunately, the only support she had was from an organization called the Final Exit Network that assist those who are contemplating their last days.

Then, the organization went on hiatus in Georgia when four group members were charged with assisted suicide. Awash with anxiety, the 43-year-old Caldwell filed a lawsuit last week asking a federal judge to let the group assign her an “exit guide” who could hold her hand and guide her through her final hours if the pain of living becomes unbearable.

“It is not the illness I fear, it is the suffering it causes,” she said. “Final Exit Network provided relief and compassion to people like me.”

She claims in the lawsuit that Georgia’s assisted suicide law is vague and unconstitutional. She contends it violates her free speech rights because it blocks her from seeking the advice of right-to-die groups.

If that doesn’t make you feel for her then peep some of her background

Caldwell has Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that usually leads to dementia, difficulty speaking and involuntary movements. The disease, which afflicts an estimated 30,000 people in the U.S., is passed from parent to child, and there’s no cure. Most people die about 15 to 20 years after developing symptoms.

Caldwell’s grandfather and uncle had it, and her mother grew so fearful in 1985 that her children would develop it that she shot and killed Caldwell’s 19-year-old brother and then tried to shoot Susan, who was then 18, but missed.

Caldwell’s mother was sentenced to life in prison, and was diagnosed with the disease while serving time. She was released after a 1994 retrial found her not guilty by reason of insanity, in part because of her daughter’s testimony.

Do you think assisted suicide groups like the Final Exit Network should be allowed to move with impunity from the law?? If not, would your opinion be different if you had a mother, father, brother that was suffering from an incurable disease??

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Comments

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  • daisy jay

    This is a terrible idea. Who would work up the nerve to help somebody kill themselves. I see nothing but legal trouble with this. Say a person went through with assisted suicide and it succeeded. The ‘assistant’ will most likely get in trouble with the family of the deceased because – the fact is – they were a part of murder. The person took a life. This is an insane idea.

  • Karicita

    Who are we to say that someone HAS to spend the rest of their lives in unbearable pain (whether it be physical or emotional)? If someone wants to end his/her life it is that persons decision. Keeping them alive or looking down on them (for their decision) because of the loss their family and friends will feel is selfish.

  • if anything be noble

    Nope. Because when someone else helps you die, it is no longer, by definition, “suicide.” Suicide means the killing of oneself. (“Sui”= self. “Cide” = to kill … as in homicide .. the killing of man; genocide … the killing of people; pesticide = killing of pests.) If someone else enters the scene and helps kill you, it’s no longer you killing yourself. We call that murder. ..And now that we got THAT out of the way, whitefolks do anything they want to make up rules and laws to suit them along the way when they know good and doggone well that taking life is a slippery slope and before long we’ll all be offing each other and “helping” Big Momma and Grandpa Joe by murking them in the night just to get their insurance money because we “heard” them cough and we “thought” they were sick. Smh

    • Uhh yeah ok

      The difference is the intention and thought in the act.

  • TrueStory

    @ If Anything be noble

    So When a person is on their SUPPOSEDLY DEATH BED and the doctors pull the plug WITHOUT their consent is that the same as murder??

  • drenk

    YES if people want to end their pain and suffering let them.

    Its sad to see someone waste away in pain and if they no longer can bear it let them end it

  • nymphis

    WHAT IF YOU JUST SNEAK IN THEIR ROOM WITH SOME HEADPHONES AND MAKE THEM LISTEN TO KERI HILSONs ALBUM.THEN WHOSE TO BLAME?

  • liveOutLoud

    LOL @ Nymphis! good one.

  • REAL REAL TALK

    OF COURSE THE GOVERNMENT DONT WANT THIS BECAUSE THE LONGER YOU STAY ALIVE,THE LONGER THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS GETTING PAID,IF THEY WHERE GETTING NOTHING FROM THIS THEY PROBABLY WOULD SEND THE ARMY IN TO KILL EVERYONE???

    REAL REAL TALK

  • if anything be noble

    When doctors pull plugs? That’s not how it works. Even a family member (a husband) might say pull the plug but if another family member (a mother) says keep the patient alive, there’s a battle. (See Terri Schiavo) No, there are all kinds of legalities involved in this country in ending life. Shoot, a person can’t even end their own life in a US hospital unless there’s a signed DNR in place telling the hospitals do not resuscitate me/ let me die, otherwise the hospital will work will all they have to bring them back to life. Doctors have taken a Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Intentional ending of life is done only after all measures to keep people alive have been exhausted and medicine shows the person will not recover in spite of medical help. Doctors don’t just pull plugs in this country without the patient’s or family’s consent. … Now if you’re a homeless amnesiac illegal from Guatemala with no family here and you get hit by a bus and it’s costing the hospital tens of thousands of dollars a day to keep you alive and they could use the bed… Um… *throws legalities out window*

  • nursedred

    Oregon and Washington state both have legal euthanasia there is no slippery slope because the laws are very specific. The right to die is very personal and i cant say if its right or wrong or if i would do it if i was dying a slow painful death but i think you should have the option with no judgement

  • if anything be noble

    *butchered sentence* … Correction… “The hospital will work with all they have to bring them back to life.” And before the entire Black medical community comes in and tells me “I’m a strong Black woman and I work hard and I clean bedpans and I’m good to my patients,” I’m not suggesting you don’t work hard and aren’t strong and are in your homeless patients’ rooms injecting them with antifreeze. All I’m saying is depending on people’s money, value to society and status, there is a vast difference in the quality of care they get in this country and the perceived need to keep them alive.

  • Educated Goon

    Listen… If white people want to kill themselves… I support them 100%. As a matter of fact, I will help finance their suicide.

    • daisy jay

      People like you kill me. Now why would you say something like that? You know that if a white person had said something like that about blacks, you’d be ready to start a war. Just because you may be a victim of racism sometimes, that doesn’t give you the right to do the same. That’s stooping to their level. I want to believe that you’re a real man, therefore you should act more like one.

      This goes to EVERYBODY. I wouldn’t dare say something about another race because I know I’d be angry if it was done to me. Once you start being mean towards another race, you lose the right to even make a SYLLABLE about how “the white man” treats you. The end.

    • Educated Goon

      I never complain about how the “white man” treats me. Whites are beneath me..As far as I’m concerned they are inferior mutated snow monkeys. Descendants of Neanderthal Cavemen. They are beast… and I actually pitty them. They are quite pathetic. That is all.

  • http://lukescorner.net/ LukesCorner

    As long as a person is mentally stable and aware of their decision and that theres no turning back,, then they should absolutely be able to do it legally.

  • http://what? I gets down like that

    Educated Goon, I thought you loved white people Sir, from what I gathered???? Now not so much hey?

  • AvA

    I guess you forgot about Dr. Korvorkian he did the same thing. I don’t agree with this I think its sick & people go through the motions. Clearly she didn’t want to die when her mom tried to kill her.

  • Delight23

    self righteous mofos always want to tell somebody ELSE what to do, but are the first ones to scream THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY, with the ACLU on speed dial. 🙄

  • De'Style

    YEP!

  • anonymous

    It’s the individuals decision. This decision happens everyday.

    Individuals tell loved ones if their only survival is to be hooked up to a machine then let them go (DNR). My mother was one of those individuals.

    Respect their decision.

  • Scoopy

    I believe you SHOULD go to jail for a**isted suicide. If an individual wants to k*ll themselves…then do just that.You have made a conscious decision to go to h*ll. May GOD have mercy on your soul.

    • pudding foot

      Where does the bible say your going to go to hell for killing yourself?

    • miamac

      hogwash

  • Honut Sinti

    Comment not posted!!!

    • miamac

      mine either!

  • Sanriobaby =^.^=

    @TrueStory, Karicita, Lukes Corner, and anonymous

    CO-SIGN 100%!!!

    Who are any of us to say another should have to go through the rest of thier lives in dibilitating pain with no real quality of life or dignity? Unless you are in that type of position, you don’t have the right to judge, only GOD and even he has mercy. At the end of the day, that decision is btwn that person and thier maker.

  • d

    Why shouldnt you have the right to die if you are suffering. Why prolong suffering if you can end it quickly and painlessly.

  • ManchesterUKer

    It is the person’s right to end their life

  • 2Sweet

    People should be allowed out of their misery, period. I have seen people die slow, painful deaths (I’m talking 20+ years). It’s just sad and downright tragic. I believe in quality of life…if I can’t live my life to the fullest b/c some medical condition is hindering me, then it’s a wrap.

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