Star Tribune: "Bodily autonomy should apply at life's end, too"

An excerpt from Compassion & Choices volunteer Tara Guy, whose Op-Ed was featured in Minnesota's Star Tribune. You can read the full story here (subscription required):

"The right to make decisions about your own health care seems like it would be a foundation of our society. Unfortunately, patient autonomy is too often infringed upon from the church to the courtroom to the emergency room.

I know this from personal experience. My bright and sunny friend Doris was diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer in 2010. We had been best friends for more than 30 years. We shared the birth of children and grandchildren, the death of parents and, always, laughs.

Sadly, battling cancer would not be her only health challenge. After major surgery, and two courses of debilitating chemo and radiation, Doris was struck by a reckless driver while on a walk. She suffered near-fatal injuries.

After nearly three months in the hospital, she returned home. Her life was filled with even more pain, but she soldiered on. During this time, still dealing with traumatic injuries, her cancer returned. Doris's remarkable energy and will began to flag. She confessed to me that she was exhausted — she had witnessed her two sisters die of breast and ovarian cancer. Encouraged by loved ones, however, she agreed to one more round of treatment."