The story is all too familiar: on July 13, a 77-year old man telephoned 911 to report he had killed his suffering 71-year old wife in a mercy killing.
“I shot my wife. She’s very ill, and I’m going to shoot myself,” he told the 911 operator before the call was disconnected. He noted she had been suffering for a long time and his was an act of euthanasia, a mercy killilng.
One wonders if this tragic ending could have been averted if NC had in place a MAID law, allowing the wife to die peacefully at home, without forcing her husband to take the extreme measure of killing her and then turning the gun on himself. One wonders if the couple could have availed themselves of the new provision of Oregon law which allows out of state residents to apply for and obtain a MAID prescription and fly home to take the medicine, surrounded by family and loved ones. One wonders if the wife could have used VSED as an alternative once her disease became overwhelming.
NC law, like the law in every state, does not recognize euthanasia as a defense to a charge of murder. The husband was probably aware that his mercy killing of his wife would lead inevitably to his arrest and prosecution. Instead he sacrificed his life in order to bring peace to his suffering beloved wife.
There is a better way--we hope this tragedy will persuade those who doubt the need for MAID legislation that action is needed now.