A Preventable Tragedy

It was all too foreseeable; all too common; all too tragic.

A 64-year old Florida veteran Thomas Schultz, acting as caregiver simultaneously to his terminally ill 80-year old wife and his cancer-stricken 50-year old stepdaughter, called 911 to report he was overwhelmed by the double burden and had resorted to murdering both women before turning his gun on himself.  “We are in an impossible situation with no way out.  Please send someone to secure the residence, ” he explained to the 911 dispatcher.  He concluded sadly “I have to go.  I’m fixing to shoot myself.”

It is not difficult to envision a completely different outcome, if Florida had a MAID legislation in place.  His terminally ill wife and stepdaughter could both have invoked the law to die peacefully, bloodlessly, fulfillingly at home while their stepfather/ husband together with their friends and other family members provided comfort and support.  Instead of having a loving but desperate husband/stepfather forced to use a gun to achieve the inevitable end and then in guilt turn the gun on himself, there would have been a joyful, spiritually uplifting ceremony in complete legality.  The wife and stepdaughter would have died after self administering the medicine they had requested; the husband/stepfather would have been by their side.  And a sense of release and peace would have prevailed.

Those who preach sanctimoniously against MAID think that somehow denying to people a desired route to end suffering and hasten the inevitable will keep them alive until God calls them  And yet time after time, we see the opposite: instead of a peaceful, spiritually fulfilling end, there is bloodshed brought about by desperation.