I have not had a strong position on assisted suicide/aid in dying until the last few years.
My grandmother, affectionately called Benny, had always been a graceful, lively, proud individual. She loved playing cards and growing tomatoes. She enjoyed being teased. She hummed and whistled, an eternally cheerful person. She smelled of the cinnamon gum that she freely doled out to her grandchildren. She was an absolute joy to be around.
Benny is dying of Alzheimer’s disease. Slowly. Painfully.
She is 83 years old and cannot carry out any of life’s basic functions. Sometimes she chokes on food and medication, as she forgets how to swallow. She feels scared and confused frequently. She does not know hot from cold when washing her hands. Recently, she locked herself in the bathroom and whimpered on the other side, as the lock was picked. She does not remember nighttime is for sleeping. Minute-by-minute assistance is required to keep Benny safe.
My parents are caring for her. They do so with love and it breaks their hearts every day.
Benny would be humiliated by her existence. She is no longer graceful, lively or proud.
I do not want to die the way Benny is; in truth, I am quite afraid of it. If terminally ill, I want the freedom to exit this world with dignity. I want the help of a medical professional in doing so. Bradley D. Williams and Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, please do not try to deny me this choice.