Cori Salchert: Assisted suicide is not the answer — every life is worth the fight


As more and more states consider passing assisted suicide policy, it is important for Americans to realize that this dangerous policy puts vulnerable lives, like mine and my children’s, at risk.

In 2012, I was facing what appeared to be a hopeless situation. In spite of pursuing a decade’s worth of surgical and pharmaceutical interventions, my health had deteriorated to the point that we were told, “there is nothing more we can do for you.”

I was at home, bedridden, on several pain medications and there was every indication that I was dying. I also had lost the will to live. I told my husband, “I know God can heal me, and so why doesn’t He? I cannot live like this, in so much pain. It’s unbearable, wanting to die but not able to do so.”

If there had been a legal way to die at that juncture, I would have readily taken it. There were feelings of despair created by my diagnosed diseases as well as by those symptoms that were as yet undiagnosed. The effects of the medication and my bewilderment over the inability of my doctors to tangibly fix anything overwhelmed my soul.

My case is not unique. Depression very often affects people when they are facing serious illness. Nothing in assisted suicide laws or proposals effectively guards against a depressed person getting hold of lethal drugs. A study in the British Medical Journal revealed that some depressed patients from Oregon who requested assisted suicide drugs received them and died after using them. I had the support of my family and my husband during those dark moments, but others who are going through a similar medical crisis may feel hopeless and have no support. They may feel as though assisted suicide is the only option.

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