Physician Assisted Suicide Part 2
Oregon and Washington have legalized physician assisted suicide. Terminally ill patients in these states can choose to end their life with a legal dose of medication. In order to qualify to be assisted in your own suicide, a patient must be told they have six months or less to live, a resident of Oregon or Washington, and undergo proper psychological evaluation.
There are a few weaknesses regarding the requirements to be eligible for obtaining a script for lethal drugs. One major problem cited by Dr. Toffler, a family practice physician and professor, is found within the “six months to live” rule. Dr. Toffler says there is no exact science to determine how long a terminally ill patient will actually live. A patient might be told they have six months and end up dying naturally in 18 months.
Two of our guests know there is no limit on how long a life might thrive once diagnosed with a terminal illness. Dr. Bud Meyer was told he was terminally a year a half ago. Brad met with him to discuss the reality of death and his view on life during his last living chapter. Rheba de Tornyay lost her husband after his quiet fight with cancer. Rheba says he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and given six months to get his “things” in order. She and her husband spent the last 28 months of his life realizing no one can put a deadline on life. Rheba said that last chapter was certainly a challenge, but one of the most rewarding periods of their married life.
In this episode Brad continues his report on physician assisted suicide, taking a hard look at the benefits of pain management, palliative care, and seeking out Hospice agencies to care for an individual who is terminally ill.