Serious Illness and Assisted Suicide: Magaly Llaguno's Story

I am in the last stages of a very painful type of cancer called Multiple Myeloma, which is now refractory (does not respond to chemotherapy). Judging from my own feelings and those of people I have come in contact with, I can tell you that depression is a very common occurence under these circumstances. But what patients like myself need is not someone to "help" us committ suicide, which by the way, leads the person doing the "assisting" to commit murder. I sincerely believe that anyone who is offered this "quick, cheap and easy solution", will begin to feel like a heavy burden on his or her loved ones and on society. They might even feel "compelled" or "obligated" to choose suicide. Since we need a positive attitude for our inmune system to work properly and for our body in general to heal or at least improve its health; a negative, pro-death attitude in those around us will do nothing but harm us further.

What we seriously ill and/or terminal patients need is real, not phony compassion; which is what the assisted suicide and euthanasia promoters are offering us. We need a sympathetic ear and a kind word once in a while, but most of all we need the compassionate love of those around us. Where there is no family or friends to provide that love, it ultimately has to come from the medical profession. Doctors and nurses are supposed to help heal the sick, not do away with them! Otherwise, we'll go back to the ruthless ancient pagan times when patients did not know whether the doctor came to heal them or kill them (by euthanasia). We also need for doctors to be educated on the use of modern palliative methods, which make it possible to eliminate most of the physical suffering.

We can also never underestimate the power of prayer! It is the strength that we receive from God through prayer, that makes it possible for us terminally ill patients to endure all and accept His will, no matter what it may be.

Mrs. Llaguno is Executive Director, Vida Humana Internacional - Human Life International's Hispanic Division, located at 45 S.W.71 Ave, Miami, Fl 33144.

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