Is it My Duty to Kill My Mother?


The video below is a newscast describing the vote to euthanize children in Belgium. It does not mention it in this video, but the same law also allows doctors to euthanize people with dementia.

Dementia is a vague diagnosis that is not necessarily life threatening. It can range from mild forgetfulness to a complete loss of mental faculties.

Dementia can be a cause of emotional distress in its early stages, when the person realizes they are forgetting. But once they pass this, it is no longer a problem for them. Dementia is not painful physically and it does not mean the person is unhappy.

My mother, who has dementia, is quite happy and enjoys her life. She tells me over and over again how much fun she is having when we go out for drives or she eats her daily ice cream cone. She always tells me that it’s been months since she’s eaten ice cream, and she enjoys it with the relish of someone who really hasn’t had ice cream for months.

My mother is not useless. She is a totally lovable and rather spoiled elderly child. She is not suffering.

My father, who did not have dementia, went through a period of increasing helplessness and decline before he died. That is nothing terrible that must be shortened to “spare” either the dying or their caregivers. It is a natural phase of life. Rather than a call for us to take up killing people, it is an opportunity for us to show our love in tangible and wonderful ways.

The opportunity to care for the people you love as they take their leave of this life is a gift to you. It is an exhausting experience, sometimes sad, sometimes surprisingly joyous. It is tender and so full of love that it lights up your life, even as you grieve the many losses of their decline.

My father died twenty years ago. No one urged me to dump him in a home or to withdraw food or water to “allow” him to die. But that was then. My time of caring for my failing Mama is in this new now of the post Christian West.

I have had a number of people, including medical personnel, urge me to do things that would either destroy my mother’s happiness and quality of life, or that would result in her premature death. Their reason? Sometimes they say that caring for her is too much “burden” for me. Other times, they don’t even bother with that gloss but demand that I do these things as if it was my responsibility to them to kill my own mother.

Make no mistake about it: Advanced directives and carping medical “advice” that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with social values can be and often are used as a not-so-subtle way to bully people into euthanizing their loved ones.

We are not even one step away from the full-blown slaughter of “useless eaters” of our horrific past. We keep inching toward it in a movement fueled by media propaganda and sophisticated lies concerning what we are doing. The glam we put on murder only hides the reality of it from those who want to be deceived.

I have not — ever — expressed the thought that caring for my mother is a “burden,” much less that it is “too much” for me and I should institutionalize her or even hasten her death to save myself from the trouble of taking care of her.

I am appalled and angered by these repeated, intrusive and usually censorious and judgmental demands that I do away with my mother. But that is the world in which we live. It is a bleak, selfish and utterly cold culture of death.

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  • FW Ken

    I may have posted this, but then I’m at “that age”, so there you go. Delete it, Rebecca, if it sounds familiar.

    By 1961, it was apparent something was wrong with Grandmother, and by 1964, she didn’t recognize us, even my grandfather. He kept her close to him and she puttered around the house happily until a stroke in ’68. We tried the state hospital, but the care was abysmal and Granddaddy literally picked her up and carried her home. The family got together and hired Ms. Emma T to stay during the weekdays at $1 an hour. The various children and grandchildren came on Friday night and stayed until Grandmother was in bed Sunday night. For 4 years, she spent her days in her chair and nights in a hospital bed, apparently conscious of nothing, until one day she died.

    So what’s the point? Why not just give a large dose of morphine and save everyone all the trouble? Because we don’t live alone and we don’t die alone. Grandmother’s family took responsibility, sacrificed weekends (but what about the soccer games! horrors!) and shelled out $40 every few weeks to pay Ms. Emma T. For us kids, the farm wasn’t all that thrilling, and that was before smart phones to surf the net or play video games. Maybe, just maybe, Grandmother’s children and grandchildren learned and grew in ways that would have been killed along with Grandmother by a shot of morphine.

    I should add that when Dad began to develop Altzheimer’s we comforted him by telling him that as he had cared for Grandmother, we would care for him. What goes around comes around, you know.

    • hamiltonr

      Thank you Ken.

      • ThirstforTruth

        Ken..God bless you for sharing this story of your grandparents. My
        dear and only brother is suffering from Alzheimers. For several
        years, my SIL cared for him at home, with the help of aides. Because he became a danger to himself and to others, he had to recently be placed in a residential home for dementia patients.
        Because he also has a colostomy bag ( over 40 years ago) his
        care is complicated. My SIL and his aides do their very best to
        see his every need is met but life has become so very difficult
        that both, my brother and SIL, have expressed, in their darkest
        moments, a wish to end his sufferings….and hers.
        We need more people, like you, to give your testimony so that
        others are encouraged and not defeated.

    • AnneG

      Thank you, ken. I’m glad you have that experience and shared with us.

    • SisterCynthia

      If physically possible for a family, this is how it ought to be. It’s sad as a nurse watching people be “dumped” in your care because it’s more convenient or “too painful” for family to step up. Those who CAN’T take care at home but who still care are usually the ones who will be there every day or every other day without fail. Sometimes they could get in the way, but you never doubted the parent/spouse was loved and that was worth more than a little frustration now and then. “No one left behind!” should be every family’s motto, not just the military. :)

      • FW Ken

        Sister, I put the dates in thinking that people would realize that was before nursing home care was generally available, or at least, financially feasible. If Dad had lived through the pancreatitis, it probably would have nursing home time for him, as Mother would not have been able to provide the physical care. She would, however, have been there daily. No, there is no judgement on people who make decisions for nursing care.

        • pagansister

          A dollar an hour? I remember babysitting for 50 cents an hour and thought that was great! Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

  • MarcusRegulus

    The real “death panels” will not be governmental in the USA, they are already here, on the boards of insurance companies.
    I am waiting for someone like the Koch to propose euthanasia for all the unemployed and welfare cases. After all, if children and the elderly can be eliminated, why not all the “unproductive” people who are a drain on the tax rolls?
    And, while they’re at it, why not get rid of the people who disagree with the current popular fashion? Or the different? Or…

    • Gail Finke

      No, the insurance agencies are one face of it. It is a general societal feeling that Rebecca Hamilton just wrote she gets from medical personnel and others. I have heard it from neighbors. It’s everywhere. If an insurance company or government agency does it officially, it’s because people are already doing it unofficially.

      • ponerology

        What the insurance companies say (including Medicare and Medicaid of course) goes. I saw that recently with my mom. It was as if they’d all gotten the memo from upstairs. I’m thinking the memo went something like this: “She’s over 80 years of age, underweight, and has been declining in health for the last few years. Don’t touch her. Tell the family you can’t do anything for her other than give her morphine to ‘comfort’ her last 2 weeks as she slowly starves/thirsts to death.

    • AnneG

      Marcus, have you ever heard of Freakonomics? That’s one of the propositions of the book. But, it won’t be the Koch brothers as you say. It will be nice, caring people like Ezekiel Emmanuel and Kathleen Sibelius and Hillary Clinton. HC said as much during the Hillarycare debates in the ’90′s. And it isn’t limited to Democrats or Republicans. See John Zmirak’s article about that.

      • MarcusRegulus

        As a matter of fact, I have both “Freakonomics” and “Superfreakonomics”. And, while I have neither the time nor the patience to detail the fallacies in tgheir work, let me merely say that the author’s bias is well documented. (ie, I disagree with their statements as unfactual.)
        My remarks were intended as sarcasm, but if nobody catches when you pitch, the throw was a failure. :)

  • SisterCynthia

    Here are some thoughts, delivered with the up front disclaimer that I have not done anything to hasten ANYONE’s death, nor would I intentionally do so (I’d quit any job that required me to). That said, having worked in facilities, let me share with you why those of us who have are generally the most likely people TO support DNRs and end of life decision making. You may decide I don’t know God, but I would rather at least let you know why even those of us who do love God often don’t want extreme measures.

    First off, I am glad your mom is not at a place of misery. Most of those I cared for in a dementia unit of an assisted living had NOT gotten to such a place, and yes, once they forgot that they were forgetting, they were not bothered by their faded mind. Some never became miserable, their other medical issues simply shut their bodies down (incurable heart problems, cancer, simple “old age,” etc) before they were entirely mentally gone. A few had declined so far into themselves that they no longer showed any awareness of their world at all. As long as they retained the ability to eat and drink when the sustainance was placed in their mouths, we could care for them (legalities prevented folks on tubes from being in our facility). A couple of families consisted of surviving spouses and children who took turns, coming EVERY day, at 2-3 meals, to feed their increasingly withdrawn loved one (the lifting of the dead weight of a barely responsive person wasn’t something they could manage at home anymore). It was both heartbreaking and beautiful.

    When I moved to a full nursing home, I saw where demented people who could no longer accept food went when their families could not accept that the time had come to allow them to die. Yes, that is how I viewed it, because we had old folks who were unable to move at all, there was no signs of any mental awareness left, and they had been hooked up to feeding tubes to circumvent the fact that they had deteriorated to the point they no longer knew how to chew or even swallow. That their families left them there unvisited for us to attend to, either because it was “too distressing” to see them that way, or what, made it even sadder. There was no sign of life left, no hope of recovery, just a postponed date with eternity.

    In school, we were given the statistics of “success” in applying CPR. If done immediately, and successful, you may get the “same” person back, tho it more often than not will not work unless applied immediately (you do it because it CAN and MIGHT work!). If you find someone whose brain has been deprived of oxygen for more than a few minutes, who have, in fact, DIED, most likely even if you can restart the heart, they will be in a vegetative state. That puts you into the realm of tubes to keep their body alive. In a case where you have someone with a terminal illness, it does beg the question of WHY are you trying to force them to exist on tubes for a few more weeks or a month or two, in stead of allowing them to depart? WHO are you (the family) trying to “help”? Scripture says “There is a time to be born, and a time to die…” Christians, of all people, should be able to allow someone to go to God when their life is over, yet we cling like pagans and hide it under “a culture of Life.” When we choose to play God with extreme interventions that have no other purpose than to postpone the immediately inevitable, we do not create or impart life to the dying. We are not doing it “for them,” but “for us” who are not ready to let go. (I’m NOT talking about healthy adults who, for example, were just in a car accident… I’m talking about those already at death’s front porch).

    My apologies for the length of this, but… having seen those in living death scenarios, I would never put a loved one (or myself) in a position of “death prolonged” if at all possible. I would not want to be euthanized, nor would I want it done to a loved one, but if the choice lies between a natural death, and a husk attached to tubes to stave off the coroner’s note, it is not a hard choice for me to make. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be extremely painful, but death (whether sudden, expected, or postponed) ALWAYS comes with grief. Nursing has taught me that tubes can’t prevent that. Not forever anyway.

    • hamiltonr

      Sister, I don’t consider extraordinary means for someone in this position to be a kindness. I would include resuscitation in most circumstances to be extraordinary means for a person who is this far along the exit ramp. I also do not believe we should interfere people who are in the situation you describe and who are actively dying. The natural process of death is, as non-intuitive as this sounds, a part of life. Active euthanasia, on the other hand, is not a part of life. It is murder. I think what I’m saying — if I’m expressing it clearly enough, that is, it’s not really a combox topic — is consistent with Church teaching in this matter.

      • SisterCynthia

        Then, I think we’re on the same page. :D Oh my land, I’m soooo glad. Honestly, I’ve spent the entire afternoon feeling like a jerk for commenting without taking as long as I normally do to try to weigh everything I’m saying, so as to not say something stupid or insensitive (I was in a hurry to get to, of all things, an oblate class), so I couldn’t be sure I hadn’t said something utterly asinine without meaning to. :p You are doing something most people can’t/won’t do, and that is actually choosing to deal with all the ups and downs (hourly, minute by minute!) your mom goes thru. Love and God’s grace is helping you to do it, of that I’m sure. And I DO understand about dying as part of life–it is, and as long as people can approach the dying person with love and patience, and attend to their needs, it doesn’t have to be a terrible thing. It will be emotionally painful at times, but it need not be horrific. Some of the best experiences I had as a nurse were with families who were able to love their dying mom/wife/grandma through those last hours. Mere death is not beautiful, but watching a saint depart to be with his/her Lord actually can be (how’s that for also being non-intuitive!). :)

        • hamiltonr

          Sister, you make a great contribution to this blog. Your comments are always welcome here.

      • MarcusRegulus

        We have, within our memories, the witness of Pope John Paul II. He neither sought death nor avoided it, but accepted it as a normal part of living. Currently he is a Blessed, soon to be a Saint. With good cause.

    • FW Ken

      Sister, my parents had DNRs and I don’t think they are wrong. When the time comes, I’ll probably put one into effect. I know that if I had advanced cancer, I would ask for pain management and frequent recourse to the Sacraments. I hope I would have the courage to deal with whatever God allows to come.
      In a way, extreme, extraordinary measures are the same thing as euthanasia: a human attempt to control death.

      • SisterCynthia

        I’d never thought of it that way, Ken (the other side of the coin), but I think you’re right, and that is why it seems so wrong to me. I mean, I do understand it’s awful to say goodbye to someone you love… never cried harder in my life than at my grandmother’s casket!! But the unnatural clinging doesn’t seem to honor life, either. :(

    • Ray Glennon

      Sister, Rebecca, and Ken: Thanks for this compassionate and heartfelt exchange on Rebecca’s post regarding the end of life decisions. Based on my layman’s reading of the Catechism, I completely agree with Rebecca that allowing the natural process of death as a part of life to occur without the interference of extraordinary means is entirely consistent with Catholic teaching. And I am certain that there are many families facing these difficult situations that would benefit from the wisdom expressed in Sister’s comment and Ken and Rebecca’s responses.

  • peggy-o

    The greatest gifts I’ve had in the past year was every opportunity to care for my mom. The greatest pain came from standing up for her against those who considered her a “burden” and “gone”. I’ve seen the devil in the slander and vitriol and Christ in the perseverance and joyful times. Being there to talk with my mom through her emotions and just doing her nails or watching how she cares for others has taught me much and given me great fulfillment . She always knows me and it’s no bother at all to answer the same questions. Shame on anyone particularly family members who cannot grasp the beauty and value of our loved ones at life’s final stages.

    • hamiltonr


    • irena mangone

      Been there done that. My mum was in a lot of pan and also in her last months had Alzheimer’s. It was a privilege to look after her. And yes heartbreaking. She died two years ago and Imiss her dreadfully but grateful she is no longer in pain. She just did not recognise anyone in the last two weeks she just stared and whimpered like a baby so hard but would not dream of euthanasia for her she is now in heaven sweet peace. Take care Rebecca. Look after yourself take time out.

      • hamiltonr

        Thank you Irena.

  • Patricia Patterson

    Caring for my precious parents during their last years, when both had some measure of dementia, is one of my most cherished memories. I don’t know if I have ever done anything else as selfless and meaningful in my life. There was a sense of the sacred about them in their helplessness. I knew that all I did for them was really done to Jesus. What a cruel culture we now have…so selfish and lacking in compassion. God help us as we grow old. Our children will have mighty battles to wage to obtain decent care for us when the time comes. I might add that when my 93 year old dad was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, we did not opt for chemo, and he died peacefully 5 weeks later.

  • Stringtickler

    that is the world in which we live. It is a bleak, selfish and utterly
    cold culture of death.”

    I will try to say this as charitable as I can: Yes, our world is bleak and selfish…and our nation is a culture of death…we will be going the way of Belgium soon…unfortunately, the party you support and are a member of is the party of the culture of death. I have been reading your blog for a while…your positions are almost always 180^ out from your party…what keeps you a Democrat? And how do you reconcile supporting an agenda of death and immorality against our faith teachings?

    • hamiltonr

      First, I don’t support that agenda. I don’t support it to the point that I’ve paid quite a price for standing for life within the Democratic Party.

      Second, I’m there because I believe that is where God wants me to be.

      Third, why aren’t you a Democrat? We need missionaries to the Democratic Party to convert it. That’s hard duty, I know (very well) but no harder than any other missionary work to a hostile society. One of the major reasons this culture is in the mess that it is is that good Christian people have withdrawn into one party and basically told the other party to go to hell. That is the opposite of what we are called to do.

      Fourth, righteousness is not found in your voter registration card. There’s plenty of work to be done in both parties. If you don’t feel you want to do missionary work in the Democratic Party (I’m not kidding about that, btw, I am actually calling you or anyone else who reads this to consider doing that) then go to work on the Republican Party. When it comes to things like corporatism, there is more than enough need for conversion there, as well.

      I’m asking you to pray about this and see where God wants you to use your voice and your talents to bring the Kingdom to this dying culture. I’m pretty sure that your unique gifts and talents are needed in this fight.

      • Stringtickler

        Perception is everything when it comes to morality. The fact that you are a Catholic and have a ‘D’ after your name puts you in the same category as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, same-sex advocates, Planned Parenthood, Sandra Fluke, Obama’s Agenda, etc etc. In fact, you come off as hypocritical when you flaunt your Catholicism and your Democratic affiliation in the same paragraph…just like your com-padres I mentioned above.

        Why don’t I become a Democrat?…see comments above. I walk the walk. No hidden agendas.

        And BTW, I do plenty of work with the Republican Party…indeed, I hardly recognize them anymore…and my Reps know it. Repubs are the Democratic Party of Kennedy…which was not anything close to what the Dems are these days. The Dems are so far to the left, it is scary…and damaging to this nation and society. If you want to identify with them, that’s fine…but you are sending the absolutely wrong message to those who don’t think past the last episode of “The View” or “Ellen” or “Oprah”…or when they read your blog (which I happen to enjoy reading) and assume it’s ok to be an advocate for the filth that is supported by Democrats…and still be Catholic.

        YOU are in a better position than I to make a difference.

        I’ll continue to pray for you and the culture of death.


        • hamiltonr

          I’m glad that you are working within your party. Considering the past week, I would say that we are all going to be called to do a lot more in the future.

          I repeat: I am where I am because that is where I believe God wants me. Remember: He sent Jonah to Nineveh.

          • Stringtickler

            The Holy Spirit works in each of us differently. And I can only assume He is doing the same with you and; yes, has put you where he wants you. I will pray that you have properly discerned His will…and applaud your bravery and humility.
            God be with you

            • hamiltonr

              Thank you my friend, and please do pray. I need to prayers.

        • Allison Grace

          In my small corner of the world, I have called upon the republicans for whom I voted and with whom I have an “R” after my name for help in a healthcare mess involving my son with cystic fibrosis. Not one of the four I contacted had anything to say (one never responded at all). Who helped? Both a state senator and a US senator ~ Democrats. Talk about shocking. I’m reeling. What’s “damaging to this nation and society?” “My” Republicans who won’t touch a healthcare issue because it’s too “democrat.” Nice. Those four will not have my vote. For the first time in my voting years (I’m 44) I will cast a few votes for a few democrats. Because they helped.

          • george-a

            For the sake of Fair and Balanced, allow me to add that my experience was the opposite of yours. In our medical crisis (4 years and counting, now), the loudly self-proclaimed “compassionate” Catholic Dems didn’t wave a princess pinky finger to help, while the poor or elderly Republican/
            conservatives did all they could, some at significant cost to their own health/family situations.

            Selfish people are everywhere. It’s not about political party.

        • pagansister

          You mentioned 3 of my favorite programs–The View, and Ellen. Thanks. :-) Oprah isn’t on anymore.

    • HigherCalling

      The two foundational, non-negotiable social teachings of the Catholic Church revolve around the defense and protection of LIFE and FAMILY. There is one political party in the United States that works daily in proud and direct opposition to those teachings. In fact, some of those violations of Catholic teaching are explicitly stated in that party’s platform. The ideology pushing for euthanizing children in Belgium is shared by the political party alluded to above. In my limited experience, support for euthanasia in the US is matter-of-factly shared by people of that same political mindset. They justify their positions by automatically defaulting to their party’s ostensible concern for the poor, or to their anti-war stance and calls for peace. They claim that their compassion on these issues balances their party’s faults on the LIFE and FAMILY issues, and thus they claim status as good, upstanding Catholics.

      This, of course, is not an endorsement of the opposing party, whose policies on economic and individual liberty often oppose Catholic teaching as well (though those issues fall below the fundamental teachings on life and family). But it is a call for Catholic Americans to question whether Catholicity is compatible with Americanism. It’s a call to question whether the poor have been made the political play-things for the advancement of an agenda that otherwise directly opposes non-negotiable Catholic teaching. A Catholic’s perspective on politics becomes clearer when he realizes that true Catholics in America are effectively resident aliens in enemy territory — always were and always will be.

  • Billiamo

    The opportunity to care for the people you love as they take their leave of this life is a gift to you.

    I tell myself this every day, though never so eloquently. Thank you.

    There is nothing so monstrous to me as hearing murder spun as compassion.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    This is what I wrote eleven months ago on my blog:


    Today was one of those days where most of my time was spent on buses, travelling from place to place and from errand to errand. At one stop, a couple came on. The man was a burly, shaven-headed archetypical working class Londoner, aging, but clearly still vigorous, the kind you imagine working in some house that was being renewed, or drinking beers with his mates afterward. The woman was not so easy to categorize; there was a slightly dusty and bewildered look about her. Then I realized that, though she was perfectly decent in dress and hairdo, I could smell urine, and it became clear that she was in the last stages of senility. And at the same time I realized that the man was completely concerned with her, gently telling her exactly where to go and where to sit down, with a patient affection that did not suggest the least possibility of exasperation or tiredness, and which she followed without question. When the time came for them to get off, he asked the driver whether they could get out by the front where they had come in, and I guessed that it would have bewildered her not to go through exactly the same way she had done coming in. And he was taking care that she should not be bewildered even to that extent.

    This man had seen his woman vanish in front of his eyes, till she was barely able to understand and incapable of changing a routine or of staying clean. And all the while, I thought, he had treated her with that affectionate, undemanding patience that I was seeing in that London bus. And what was there for him at the end? No earthly reward, that is for sure; nothing but continuous care for someone who could barely respond, and who demanded attention every second of the day; work without end and without the possibility of any positive result – work at preserving a dignity already lost, a personality already gone, a mind already dead. And from all I could see, he was doing it without the shadow of a complaint, let alone any suggestion that there was anything better for him to do.

    When I see something wonderful, and it would take too long to describe or praise, I make a military salute. I saluted this couple (making sure nobody noticed) when they got off. Such things are the light of God in this world. It’s not only that the human mind cannot accept that such heroism should have no reward, should be futile and ignored; that it practically demands to see a supernatural reward for people who live and die like that. It is that he act itself is a thundering denial of any materialist or cynical view of man. A man who lives like that, without the prospect of reward and with the constant reminder of what he will never in this world have again, is a man who testifies to the whole universe that his nature is something else and something more than to eat and drink and sleep.

    • hamiltonr

      Beautiful Fabio. Would you give us a link to that post?

    • oregon nurse

      Thank you for that Fabio. I have had many similar events like this where I see someone doing something ordinary with extraordinary grace and love and it can change me in an instant and give me encouragement to do better in my own life.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    As for myself, I don’t know about my father – who would never talk about something like that – but I have told my mother in so many words that if it ever came to that, I would be delighted and honoured to come back from London to Rome and care for her with my own two hands for the rest of her natural life. At her age, and as she lives on her own, the issue is not to be ignored; but I owe her so much, it is the least I could possibly do.

  • James Patton

    St. Paul supported this culture of death. I need only read Romans 1:32 to understand that.

    • hamiltonr

      The death St Paul is referring to in that verse is eternal hell.

      In context:

      Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

      • James Patton

        “…they have no understanding…”

        Romans 1:32 ” Yet, with the just decree of God before their minds, they never grasped the truth that those who so live are deserving of death; not only those who commit such acts, but those who countenance such a manner of living.”

  • Jason

    Today would have been my mother’s 90th birthday. She died of Pick’s Disease (a form of dementia with paralysis) 8 years ago. My dad died 2 years later of Alzheimer’s. I had them both living with me their last few years and it was (other than the birth of my children) the greatest blessing in my life. My siblings marveled that I was the one who “stepped up to the plate” because I had always been the black sheep but somehow God gave me the grace to take that leap and it really transformed me. Of course I cannot possibly know what is right for someone else, but I urge everyone to dig deep and be open to the superficially weird-looking but profoundly precious gifts that God offers to us.

    • oregon nurse

      You know, I look at that down vote and I can’t imagine what kind of person could find fault with what Jason wrote. Rebecca, I think you may have picked up an atheist stalker from that link you posted.

      • hamiltonr

        I think I’ve picked up more than one. It’s no problem. :-)

  • Mrshopey

    Having seen those dying, been around family and relatives, it is clear that when it is time for them to pass, they start naturally doing things – unable to drink/eat food etc. Also, some seem to not have been around those suffering, like with cancer, or they would know that the pain medicine although necessary will shorten the life, hasten death. It is sad that some look at those with dementia etc as a burden but clearly, it would be killing as they are not ready to pass. How we treat our young and elderly tells a lot about our nation/society.