No, Your Suicide Is Not An Honorable Celebration

California passed SB 128, which was signed by Gov. Moonbat in late 2015. It went into effect in June. On the weekend of July 23-24, Betsy Davis, who suffered from ALS, had a party in San Diego, which ended with her own self-inflicted death.

The drugs that killed her were legally prescribed by her doctor. I’m certain the people who attended Davis’ gathering were more than happy to celebrate her death with her. They all went home alive.

You might think I am being cold-hearted. I don’t have ALS–Lou Gehrig’s disease–the soul-sapping killer that short-circuits every command given by its victims’ brains, but leaves all the pain, discomfort, fear, and doubt. It’s a horrible death sentence. I know people who have ALS. One of my very good friends has it. He fights.

That’s the problem with having a party where in the end you give up. It’s a party celebrating loss, endings, and surrender.

Kelly Davis said she loved her sister’s idea for the gathering, which Betsy Davis referred to as a “rebirth.”

“Obviously it was hard for me. It’s still hard for me,” said Davis, who wrote about it for the online news outlet Voice of San Diego. “The worst was needing to leave the room every now and then, because I would get choked up. But people got it. They understood how much she was suffering and that she was fine with her decision. They respected that. They knew she wanted it to be a joyous occasion.”

I get the impulse to give up. I know how the medical community treats ALS patients. They say (and this is a direct quote I heard from a patient) “go home and die.” So why should anyone be surprised when someone like Davis does exactly that. Her death was planned to the minute. That’s certainly better than waiting for the awful cold fingers of disease to finally rob her of breath.

But it’s a lie.

What if, 30 seconds after Davis took her death cocktail of drugs, someone told her that a new breakthrough could reverse the effects of her death sentence? What if those thousands who threw buckets of ice over their heads to raise awareness–and money–for her affliction finally bore fruit?

There is hope. But not for the dead.

The discovery, published July 25 in “Nature Genetics,” has brought new hope to local resident and ALS Run Roseville organizer Wendy Ehlen, whose brother Mike DeGeest died from the disease at the age of 42 in 2004.

If ALS is truly a death sentence, why bother trying to cure it? Why not just make suicide the best option, give everyone a wonderful send-off, and then sayonara?

It’s simple. Because nobody knows when their time has come. Nobody has an expiration date stamped on their neck. ALS kills people every day, but some, like Stephen Hawking, endure it for years. Some, like my friend, fight it, and actually have seen improvements in their breathing.

Assisted suicide laws are nothing but crutches to enable quitters to quit without suffering the indignity of a lonely death. There is no dignity in quitting. There is no honor for those who stay alive to encourage others, to bring meaning to their lives, and to bring joy to their loved ones, when the government encourages celebrations of death.

I have nothing but sympathy for Betsy Davis and her loved ones. She died an untimely death, made more untimely by her own decision to quit life. The state of California, along with Oregon, have made life a bit less valuable in their endorsement of quitting.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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