May the law protect me from those who think like Dick McCoy (9/21, As I See It, “Families should be able to make right-to-die choices”). He proposes to put his “dear” wife to sleep, like an animal. Not content with the ethical advice he received from professionals, he took his plea for euthanasia public by rousing alarm against Sen. Sam Brownback’s proposed Assisted Suicide Prevention Act.
“Assisted suicide” implies that someone — perhaps a terminally ill person with unbearable pain — asks to die. A woman in her 19th year of Alzheimer’s is not asking to die.
Her husband asserts she is in a “nondescript vegetative state” despite the fact that she voluntarily accepts food. He ignores the suggestion that her inner life — though inscrutable — may be quite active.
The Star reported recently that electronic brain scan activity in a comatose patient was indistinguishable from that of a healthy person. Mrs. McCoy is not even unconscious! Should her fate depend on someone who claims “keeping her alive makes no sense spiritually”? Just where is the dividing line between matter and spirit?
McCoy evidently thinks his conscious but uncommunicative wife has crossed an arbitrary line from spiritual being to mere blob of living matter and therefore her diminished existence should be snuffed.