Friday, July 27, 2007

already

Ok, so mom was already on youtube...you never know what a search will turn up.

Here she is in a news conference in Washington, D.C., speaking in defense of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide. This law, passed not once but twice by the Oregon people, was being challenged in the US Supreme Court at the time by then Attorney General, John Ashcroft. It later became known as "Gonzales vs. Oregon".

Compassion and Choices used every tool at their disposal to assist in the fight. My mother became one of those tools: a patient-plaintiff in the case, a simple woman who spoke simple truths about her own experience.

But it's not a simple issue, death. Like birth, it has swirling about it so many of our fears of the unknown, not to mention the irrational beliefs of so many in power. What is best for an individual human being so often gets lost in rhetoric and religion. In the end, however, my mom, Oregon, and all of us who value the freedom to make our own choices, won. It its summary, the Supreme Court majority did not mince words:
'The Attorney General's unilateral attempt to regulate general medical practices historically entrusted to state lawmakers interferes with the democratic debate about physician assisted suicide and far exceeds the scope of his authority under federal law.'"

She never did use Oregon's law, but I witnessed first hand how its existence helped her - not to die, but rather to live.

5 comments:

Klayton Elliot Kendall said...

Compelling and heroic.... I am wiping tears from my face, because there is nothing more human than fighting for freedom, even in the face of certain oblivion. Your mother is the epitome of every person who ever stood up against intolerable irrationalism and oppression.

Doc said...

Courageous soul! I wish I'd had the chance to meet her. And you ARE your mother's daughter - clear as day.

reliv4life said...

that was beautiful!

Cindy Fey said...

Your mother is a brave and articulate woman. I appreciate her for her testimony and thank you for posting this.

suesun said...

thank you both for taking the time to watch it.....