NROP: Romeo and Juliet – one thing to avoid in assisted suicide.

When I first started reading the article that inspired this post, William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” came to mind. It was not because of the trouble two people faced because of their love, but because of the way they died. Even though Juliet was just sleeping, Romeo drank poison because he could not stand the thought of living without his beloved. Once Juliet woke up from her temporary slumber and saw dead Romeo next to her, she stabbed herself in the heart with his dagger. They died “together.” Some think it is romantic, I, that it just highlights how some people are too haste in their decisions.

In this modern-day tale, a wife helped her husband commit suicide and then overdosed herself. As with anything else these days, the popularity of this story stems from a social media post. The daughter of the deceased posted a photo of her parents lying next to each other in hospital beds after the overdose. At first, I was surprised because I could not fathom who would want to post such a profoundly intimate photo online. Then, I realized that people grieve in different ways and that my process is not necessarily the same as someone else’s.

Without any further judgment of the daughter, I kept reading only to find out that one half of the couple is NOT dead. Imagine my surprise. The woman who killed her husband was brought back to life and is doing just fine. To me, this sounds like a great murder mystery plot, but the article insisted on taking it a totally different route.

So what really happened? One day, while at home, the woman handed her husband a drink containing prescription medication, with the intention to kill him. Well, not to kill him, but to aid his suicide. She says that he “more or less begged” her for help. Whatever that means, we shall never find out because the man is dead. The man was said to have been battling cancer and had been in immense pain towards the end of his life. Before taking the drink, the husband kissed the woman’s hand and said “Goodnight, darling.” What did she do? She went to lie down on the sofa. Quite a different story than what we see in the photo and read at the beginning of the article.

The two were found and rushed to the hospital. Because of the man’s illness, he had a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) directive in place and died that day, while she was brought back to life. It is THEN that the photo was taken. Once the woman’s health improved, she was charged with murder and manslaughter of her husband. This is why the daughter posted this photo online. It was because she was trying to appeal to the emotional side of the English lawmakers. Aside from posting the picture, the daughter also wrote: “Does this look like a murderer? Our mom got charged with murder for trying to commit suicide with our cancer-riddled dad, so he would be out of pain. This was the end of a 60-year love story, NOT MURDER!!!”

There are so many unknowns in this story. We are unable to verify if the man really asked his wife to help him leave this world. I found her 14-page-long “Goodbye note” suspicious, to say the least. Unfortunately, we do not know everything that was written in it, but we know that cancer pain was not the only reason. The article quotes “ill-health, harassment and neighborhood tensions” as the reasons for the murder/ suicide. Does that not change the story a little bit? It makes me wonder if maybe she wanted that death more than he did.

This is not to speculate whether she wanted to kill him on her own volition or if it really was “mercy killing.” Neither it is to wonder if she knew she would survive or if she is happy to be alive. Although I would be curious to find out if she is glad to be alive or not. This post is meant to focus on the act of assisted killing. If someone is depressed and you know it, would you consider lending them a gun? I hope you would not act in haste in such a situation. We are constantly talking about mental health, depression, suicide, and how to HELP people feel better. But in cases like this – we nod in agreement, saying that too much pain is too much. Why? How is this different? I keep hearing that mental disorders are real and that one would not say, “Stop complaining. You are alright” to a person with a broken leg. If we are trying to equate mental health to physical health, why are we then trying to deal with physical issues differently than mental ones?

To me, that WAS murder. If one of my parents “helped” the other kill themselves, I would not be posting fake pictures online and defending them. I would be furious because that would so many questions forever unanswered. Aside from that, I would have a tough time reconciling all of it with my faith and the faith of my family. Suicide is a sin and so is helping someone commit it.

I understand people trying to “ease the pain.” I am in awe of those who bear such terrible pain due to their illnesses every single day. Their lives are less than easy, but so are everyone else’s. We all have a purpose to fulfill. By cutting your life short, you are switching off a movie without seeing its end. Sometimes it would end in the way you expected it to, but sometimes something profound would have happened.

When it comes to assisted killing, I strongly encourage you NOT to do it. But if you choose to die by murder/ suicide, you better make sure that you do not come back to life. Otherwise, you might have to face the music.

Would you help your loved one commit suicide?

How do you feel about mercy killing?

Do you think that some suicides are more warranted than others?

Have you thought of what could go wrong if we made mercy kills totally legal everywhere?

Stay golden,

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32 thoughts on “NROP: Romeo and Juliet – one thing to avoid in assisted suicide.

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  1. I live in Canada and medically-assisted suicide is legal here so hopefully an ambiguous and odd-sounding situation like this wouldn’t occur. So, having to help a relative or friend die here is no longer a thing; it is done with doctors. That being said, I think I would, in the case of a terminal and intolerable condition, help someone I loved. It would be a hard thing to do and hard to live with but it would also not really be about me. A friend recently talked to me about going to visit a terminal relative in hospice. She was not wanting to go, explaining it would be hard for her, that she found death difficult, she just wanted to remember her as she was. I pointed out the same thing. The situation is not about her. She went.

    I think legislation is important. The situation should be terminal, not uncomfortable to qualify for assisted dying. This does not preclude people from acting on their own, however, so the point of funding supports is an important one. In the case of “mercy killing”, this gets more complicated and problematic. I feel for the people in these situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I don’t think I would do it because I couldn’t live with myself, I agree that sometimes the focus should be shifted onto others. When my mom was dying, a couple of my friends said they would go and see her. (They met her before, so they knew her.) Ultimately, they never did, because they didn’t want to see a dying person, because that would dampen their mood. REALLY? I was absolutely stunned. It was their choice, so I respected that, but I lost quite a bit of respect towards them as people. We are no longer in touch due to unrelated issues, which just goes to show that we were not meant to be.

      It definitely is a tough call to make. May neither one of us have to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish there were anything to say…
    To be honest, I knew I shouldn’t read this post when I saw the title. But I did.
    The world is full of light and dark. We can choose what to see. People tell me I’m naive. In some ways I am. I believe that most people mean well most of the time. I believe in the goodness and beauty of people and the world (and yes I know that contradicts a lot of what I struggle with). That doesn’t take away the bad. It’s just what I see.
    💕🕯🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Terrifying stuff. I think what also annoys me the most is how BOTH parents basically left a kid behind like that… If she was also an adult, why wasn’t she also part of the equation? Of course, this raises many questions on euthanasia but I too believe that we shouldn’t be hasty with decisions about life and death. Even if assisted suicide is illegal, there are probably ways to convince professionals that the pain is unbearable… Great post and thanks for sharing as always!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ditto. That’s why I was surprised that the adult daughter was defending the mother. It raised a bunch of red flags in my head.

      People have different pain levels. What is bearable to me might not be bearable to them and vice versa. Life sucks but it also has beautiful moments in it. It’s not an easy topic. We won’t know what we would do for sure until in such a situation. If I was to “help” someone, I would definitely make sure I went with them. Otherwise, all of the consequences would not be worth it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting article. I have never been in an experience like this so I can’t say how I would act. I feel each situation is it’s own entity and there’s no way to know all the intricate details. Mental health and chronic illness are not cut and dry experiences, they are different for each person who suffers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely make a valid point. There was a time when I experienced dark thoughts. Realizing that I would not be able to go through with it, I thought asking someone for help would be a viable scenario. That never happened, and it’s been a while since then. Now, I would never ask someone to do such a thing for me. But like you said – you never know until you are actually put in such a situation. I just wanted to highlight the fact that life is valuable.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Assisted suicide is agreeing that the person has nothing left to live for. How would you know? I have heard of nurses and visitors whose lives have been changed by someone on their deathbeds. Because they didn’t take their lives into their own hands, another person’s eternal life was saved. God’s timing is perfect. Ours is just a guess. When you have a suicide note that goes on for 14 pages, it begins to look like the writer is trying to convince themselves rather than the people that find the note. It sounds more like a manifesto. The writer is trying to assume the role of a martyr.

    Suffering and Pain are things that happen. Some people deserve it and don’t get it, and some people don’t deserve it and do get it. But MOSTLY, it happens because we’re human. Suffering and pain are not conditions you earn. Just like you don’t earn sunshine or rain or hurricanes or tornadoes. There is nothing you can do about the weather, and there’s nothing you can do that will earn you the “no suffering” escape card. I could never assist in someone’s suicide, and would never ask for someone to assist me. That would be cruel and evil. I would, however, sit with someone in hospice and pray with them and for them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Like you, I, too, am aware of God’s timing and lives changing. “God’s timing is perfect. Ours is just a guess.” How beautifully put.

      It does sound like a manifesto. First, it was about the man’s physical pain, then it became about the neighbors and harassment. Maybe the person that couldn’t take it any more is the woman who ended up surviving, but we will never know for sure because the man is dead. And the court just let her go? And the daughter has no qualms about it all? Weird. All so weird.

      I wholeheartedly agree with your second paragraph. There was a time that I thought of asking someone. I was young and foolish because I didn’t think how that would have impacted them. I think being with them is the best we can do.

      Like

  6. I cannot imagine assisting in killing someone I love even when facing an immense pain and I cannot imagine asking for killing me either. Life is a too significant gift to get rid of it just like that. As you rightly said, sometimes it’s worth waiting till the end as something unexpected might happen and will fulfill our end with meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You need to read a cheerier book! :O That’s so sad! Sadly, it could truly happen. I’m glad I know where I’m going when my days here are done. No more of this dark world, that’s for certain. What a glorious day it will be.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not a happy-go-lucky type of person. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to or can’t be happy, but I like being a realist a lot more. The books and movies I like to watch are normally a little heavier and/ or dark. I like it that way. And that particular book was very thought-provoking.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you, that suicide (and assisted suicide) is like shutting off a movie before seeing the end. It’s hard to see such a situation as anything but sad, and it’s not something I’d be likely to do.

    On the other hand, there are certain ways to die that are painful and undignified, and I can certainly sympathize with being more afraid of seeing an awful end, than cutting the movie short.

    But that does indeed beg the question of where it ends. If someone can opt for suicide over physical pain, why not mental? But who judges? Who decides how much pain is “too much?” Especially with mental pain.

    Life can be painful. Assisted suicide is exactly the kind of thing that can easily go too far. Give it a few centuries; I bet you’ll have people legally having themselves killed over stubbed toes and lost soccer matches. And then what becomes of the world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many questions that have no answers. Or the answers differ from one instance to the next. I’ve been told that someone was probably going to die that same day, or the next. And then they lived for months. That strengthened my faith in that we don’t always know.

      I hope humanity wakes up…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I find it so hard to answer this.
    While I couldn’t do it myself, I have asked for someone else’s “help” to do it.
    They refused.
    Was I thankful at that time? No.
    Am I thankful now? Not exactly thankful. I am not the one who is grateful for life, but since that day there have been moments I wouldn’t want to miss out on.

    Why is a doctor, a complete stranger, allowed to end your life, but your love one isn’t?
    However, I think if someone is ever planning to do this, I think they should leave a video message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I considered asking in the past, too, but never had, because I had no one that I could trust. I definitely am glad I am still alive and well.

      In the case of doctor vs. family member, I believe the doctor is chosen to be the one because they have medical knowledge. They know what to give, when and how much. They also know what to do when something goes wrong. There are too many horrifying stories of people making their loved ones suffer terribly while trying to “mercy kill” them.

      A video message…. I like that idea! However, I recently watched an episode of a show, in which a video was totally doctored. It made it look like someone said and did something they never have.

      Like

      1. Based on my own experience, I have to disagree with you hear. The only doctor that has taken me seriously and been able to take away my pain, is a dentist.
        (Saying my OCD is only mild, googling my physical symptons = PLEASE)

        We all brag about having freedom, but endin your life in a more peaceful way than jumping of a building or blowing out your brains doesn’t seem possible.

        I do believe video message good be staged and forced, but wouldn’t you notice that on a person? It’s a difficult case.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I understand your point of view about the doctors. The whole “Googling” thing IS real and scary.

          Frankly, I am not sure how far the progress on fake videos has gone. It’s a scary prospect. People do weird things to get the inheritance/ insurance money.

          Like

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