Assisted suicide is a path that should be opposed - Albuquerque Journal

Assisted suicide is a path that should be opposed

Elizabeth Bakewicz had been married just two years when she received her brain cancer diagnosis. She was also pregnant at the time, so she put off surgery in order to give birth to her daughter. Eventually, Elizabeth had a biopsy and doctors found that the cancer was malignant. Treatment began immediately, and through it all, Elizabeth and her husband continued to live their lives. They watched their daughter grow. Elizabeth gave birth to a second child, a son, and doctors who once worked to get Elizabeth to her daughter’s first day of kindergarten began working to make sure she was at her son’s first day as well.

Elizabeth’s daily life includes doctors’ visits, treatments, headaches and seizures. She needs help caring for the children, but even still, she will not give up fighting for every single moment. Why? Because Elizabeth knows that life is precious from the very first moment to the very last, and every second spent with her husband and children is an indescribable blessing.

There is an ongoing debate in our state and nation right now over whether doctors should be given the ability to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to assist someone, like Elizabeth, in ending their life. Supporters often describe this effort as “death with dignity.” Sadly, the moment we label suicide an act of dignity, we imply that those who choose to fight for every moment of life are somehow not dignified. Is Elizabeth undignified because she wants as many moments with her family as possible?

Despite the incredible advancements of modern medicine, we know that doctors do not always get it right. In Elizabeth’s case, the doctors correctly diagnosed her brain cancer, but told her she only had three to five years to live. She is now in year eight.

The truth is, doctors develop prognoses based on averages, and no one can definitively determine when someone will die. Imagine if Elizabeth would have chosen to end her life after her first prognosis. She would not have made it to her daughter’s first day of school, her son would not have been born, and she would have missed years of memories and experiences with her family.

Assisted suicide has been proposed in nearly every state, and it has been rejected by an overwhelming majority, including the New Mexico Legislature. In May, however, the Albuquerque City Council became the first jurisdiction in our state to endorse assisted suicide, and this month, the city of Santa Fe is scheduled to consider a similar resolution.

This trend is troubling, to say the least, and it sends a grievous message to our children, the disability community, the elderly, and the ill – namely, that when we lose autonomy and the ability to care for ourselves, our lives are no longer worth living.

When it comes to providing care for those facing serious illness and/or the end of life, we can and should do better than simply abandoning them to death and hopelessness. Instead, we should work together to find solutions that bring real compassion and care to those when they need it most. No one deserves to be abandoned or left out. Every life is worth fighting for.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Assisted suicide is a path that should be opposed


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Want to see a free comedy show? Big Benny ...
ABQnews Seeker
Local comedian hosting his own company ... Local comedian hosting his own company Christmas party, and everyone is invited
2
Harry Connick Jr. bringing new holiday album to ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
Harry Connick Jr.'s tour makes a ... Harry Connick Jr.'s tour makes a stop at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Kiva Auditorium.
3
Iconic musical ensemble Mannheim Steamroller making holiday tour stop ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mannheim Steamroller, which is currently on ... Mannheim Steamroller, which is currently on its Christmas tour, will make a stop on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Popejoy Hall.
4
Taylor Garrett Spirits releases whiskey finished in Pedro Ximénez ...
ABQnews Seeker
The limited batch of Taylor Garrett ... The limited batch of Taylor Garrett Sherry Cask Finish Whiskey (PX) is available at the Vara Winery & Distillery tasting room.
5
Paloma weaves a jubilant atmosphere with vibrant Mexican food
ABQnews Seeker
The next time you are seeking ... The next time you are seeking a festive spot with a vibrant vibe and dishes, head to Paloma.
6
Everything you need to know before heading to the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Over 4,000 people are set to ... Over 4,000 people are set to participate in the 2022 iteration of the Twinkle Light Parade, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, ...
7
Mariachi Christmas celebrating 23 years music and ballet folklórico
ABQnews Seeker
Mariachi Christmas at Popejoy Hall will ... Mariachi Christmas at Popejoy Hall will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.
8
Actor Chaske Spencer examined the 1890s through the lens ...
ABQnews Seeker
'The English' follows aristocratic Englishwoman, Lady ... 'The English' follows aristocratic Englishwoman, Lady Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), and a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout, Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer), as they come together in ...
9
30-foot sequoia replica to light up Old Town this ...
ABQnews Seeker
Old Town Shop and Stroll and ... Old Town Shop and Stroll and Tree Lighting set for Friday, Dec. 2.