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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