The Leader Post -“Jean Hopkins is dreaming of a party. It likely wouldn’t happen anytime soon, but inevitably the time will come when her body fails her.
She’d invite her family and friends, and they’d say a few words about her and the lives they’ve shared together – a living wake.
93-year-old Jean Hopkins believes that people should have the right to end their life when they please – before being stuck in a hospital bed with no quality of life.
Afterwards, she would take a pill, crawl into her own bed and go to sleep, forever.
“I just think it’s kind of nice to have people together that you want to see, and they can say they saw Mom just before she died,” she said. Hopkins, 93, is yet another senior to publicly express her wish for the legal right to die, an issue set to come before the Supreme Court of Canada next month.
“I think so often doctors and everybody don’t consider the quality of life. You keep a person’s heart beating, but have you got any quality of life?” Hopkins said.
Right now, she’s in relatively good health. She’s on many medications and has trouble hearing, but still enjoys reading and going on the occasional stroll around the block to have some ice cream.
Should her health deteriorate, she has decided she doesn’t want to wear diapers or have a feeding tube inserted while she languishes in a hospital bed – she wants her family to remember her as she is now.
“I think that’s a terrible insult to older people. When you’re reduced to that, you haven’t much control of your body. If you haven’t got that, what’s the point? Why can’t I go to sleep?” She also worries about her mind slipping. She has told her son that if she ever can’t remember her own family, “someone’s going to have to arrange to drop me in the river or something, because I couldn’t stand that.”
Currently, anyone who helps or encourages someone to commit suicide – whether the person lives or dies – is violating the Criminal Code of Canada and could face a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail. Parliament revisited the issue in April 2010, when the majority voted to leave the law as is.
However, Canada’s laws could soon change. Next month, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals in a case from the British Columbia Civil Liberties
Association involving two B.C. women who challenged the country’s law against euthanasia.
Another B.C. woman, 83-year old Gillian Bennett, famously ended her life with barbiturates last month before her dementia progressed further.
Assisted suicide is permitted in several European countries, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, and in five U.S. states, including Washington and Oregon.
In June, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow euthanasia. That legislation has already been challenged in court…” Full Article on Leader-Post