It’s about an e-book written and published by a man named Michael Ellenbogen – a man who is, sadly, suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. It describes, in concise and frightening detail, how the disease has ransacked his mind. How awful to suffer in this manner at any time of life, but especially when you are still working, trying to keep up appearances when you know you are losing your mind. I can’t imagine such a trial.
But what’s really horrifying is his closing plea:
“Any chance I had at a good life and a happy retirement has gone; my life is pretty much over. If you were in my shoes would you want to carry on, knowing what is in store for you?
“I want to die on my own terms, I want to die with dignity, I want to die while I can still make the decision to die, and that is a very small window because I know in the not too distant future even that choice is going to be taken from me.
“The laws we have in place today do not take into account the needs of people suffering from dementia; we need to rethink not only how we regard people with this disease, but also how we look after them. We need to have things in place not only to help those suffering live vital and productive lives, but also provide the means necessary for them to die with dignity and at a time of their choosing.”
Wow. So dying “with dignity,” pride intact, is better than living with courage? The desire to die “with dignity” means it’s okay to play God?
Unless we’re among those who drop dead of a heart attack or stroke or get hit by a bus, most of us are going to lose plenty of dignity on our way to eternity. Before we’re through, at least some of us will have to learn to wear diapers again, and put up with being spoon-fed by paid workers. Is dying “with dignity” so important that we should all blow our brains out before that happens?
What really bugs me about this is that he can’t just go ahead and do what he feels he must do. No, he wants us to change our laws to make offing yourself respectable, too. Safety in numbers and so forth.
I’m very sorry for you, Mr. Ellenbogen. I will be praying for you and your wife, hoping that you will come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It would transform your thinking on this subject and pave the way for a joy-filled eternity for you. But our culture is already paying the price for murdering millions of young lives in the womb; your fear does not give you the right to demand that we also condone murder at the other end of life.
The real tragedy is that this man will no doubt get his way, eventually. After all, assisted suicide has become all the rage in Europe, and our national goal seems to be becoming just like Europe.
Originally posted 11/4/13