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October 11, 2005



Good post, Riverdog. Everyone should die with dignity, and be treated accordingly. In time, as humanity comes to understand more about life transitions, and the deep impact we have in all stages of life, we will come to realize that we are all connected, responsible for one another, impacted by our choices. A man who chooses to die has that right, but his choice will profoundly affect others for generations to come. It is not without consequence.


I'm not sure that Jerry, who I consider to be a small-l libertarian, really was asking. If he was, for his and everyone else's information, I voted FOR the Death With Dignity Act, Twice (the law was passed here in OR by initiative, then an initiative revoking it was raised by the Catholics (and the GOP), and I foted for the Act again. I was with the large majority, both times.

Choice in death is the way Oregonians want it, and, I think, that's the way the Supremes will see it. If they don't, another initiative will be presented that will get the doctors, priests and the pill vendors out of the equation for good, and just present personal death choice by itself: Do yo want to die? If so, are you certifiably insane? If not, you have the state's permission, AND SO DOES ANY HELPER YOU APPOINT. I would do all that in a non-attorney, 15 minute ex parte hearing in front of a probate judge to make it proper.

Yep, choice in dying, and keep the pillpushers, psychs and priests out of it. That's what we are entitled to as humans.


Jerry The Geek Said:

"Actually, this speaks to the current free-for-all concerning Oregon's
Assisted Suicide Law. The Feds are trying to stop physicians from
using prescription drugs to aid terminal patients in ending their own
life, on the grounds that . . . well, I'm not clear on that. (Are

For the same reason Leviathan persues the War on Some Drugs: might
makes right. They have no constitutional authority to regulate
drugs. None, nada, zip, bupkiss. All they have are more guns and the
willingness to use them. It's a motivation that has existed since
before government was invented. They don't need any reason other than
"we say so."

All hail the Master State!


Rivrdog...Thank You.

Chris Byrne

Catch 22.

If you are not crazy you do not want to die, therefore if you want to die, you must be crazy.

Except that is, excuse my language, utter bullshit.

My mother is ready to die. She is in excruciating pain every moment, waking and asleep, in those rare few moments she is able to sleep at all.

My mother is ready to die, her illness is terminal, she will no longer seak treatment. It is her desire to no longer fight the forces of nature.

My mother is ready to die, and she is not insane.


I'm sorry Livey, but of all the luminaries writing comments, you are the one who doesn't get this. Unless Rob has fabricated every one of his posts about his major balance issues, his major intestinal bleeding issues and the weakness and confusion issue that is ongoing, he has major problems. Even lower forms of animals know when they are dying, and exhibit specific life-end behaviors that do not present at other phases of life.

No, if the man says he is about to end his days, I believe him.

As to drinking at the end, well, my mother was an honorable and upright woman all of her 80 years. She taught me what CLASS is, and she died with it. When informed that she had metastisized lung cancer, she accepted the diagnosis. At the end, she sought solace from the pain by drinking a lot. She was entitled to it, and since she hadn't driven a car for 40 years, wasn't a threat to anyone else.

She worked up to three days before her death, keeping her house and making her peace. Then she laid down and gutted out the rest of her hours. If I can die half as well as she did, I don't think anyone will begrudge me a couple of bottles at the end, either.

And your virtual diagnosis of depression is both unprofessional and unwarranted. Crazy are those that find joy in their deaths, but the usual condition of men IS depressing and depressed at the end.

I think maybe you are raging against the machine as I and my readers do: no government, nor church, nor unbidden doctor has any right to interfere in the process of dying, except to facilitate the last wishes of the nearly-departed.

There is another, more sinister way that the doomed can make themselves heard, and only if, and when, such a death cult behavior were to become popular, then your "intervention" might be appropriate, as it should have been before "Reverend" Jim Jones took hundreds of souls with him on his last day.

Light & Dark

I have found it very interesting (and intensely frustrating) to watch the goings-on in Rob's comments with regards to his health.

One fucknugget even went so far as to insist that Rob had a moral obligation to inform his readers of his diagnosis and prognosis!

Many of these are people who have professed admiration for his writing because he "tells it like it is" and because he is such a hard-nosed pragmatist. And yet, when something as intensely personal as his health and his very mortality comes up, they presume to tell him what he must do. Extraordinary. And obtuse beyond belief.

He has proven over and over again that, good or bad, he will make and stand by (or die by) by his own decisions. Yet suddenly, when they disagree with such an important decision, they think it their place to try to override him? And that such will have any effect?

I watched my father make exactly this decision exactly a year ago to the week. I was deeply unhappy with it, but I understood it completely. Even though my sisters and I could have intervened in time, we did not. Because that would have beeen the ultimate insult to the man and his right to determine his own destiny. I grieve for what he, and I, will miss out on because of his decision. But to have acted against that decision would have been the ultimate betrayal.

I grieve that Rob will be lost any sooner than what could be. But I take consolation in the fact that he will take charge of the leaving of his life the same way he did the living of it.

I know he plans to stick around just for spite. I hope he gets to be spiteful for some time yet.



What people are failing to realize is that Rob does not have a terminal illness. His only illness is depression and alcoholism. Those illnesses prevent him from being of "sound mind."

If a person has a terminal medical condition, I'm all for the right to die. Hell I've been involved in more than a few. I do Home Health Care and Hospice.

If he was truly wishing to die, he would not have told everyone he was drinking himself to death. That is a cry for help. I understand that people don't understand depression.

Even people who are not of sound mind can seem like it. Alcoholics are not of sound mind. Neither are people suffering from depression.

All I asked is for his friends and family to get him to a doctor, find out what is wrong with him and if he is dying, than so be it. But drinking yourself to death just because you don't want to live anymore is just wrong.

Religion has nothing to do with it. It's a illness that can be treated.

Jerry The Geek

Re: Richard Dreyfus in "Whose Life Is It, Anyway?"

Actually, this speaks to the current free-for-all concerning Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law. The Feds are trying to stop physicians from using prescription drugs to aid terminal patients in ending their own life, on the grounds that . . . well, I'm not clear on that. (Are you?)

I'm as dedicated as anyone to the concept that life is too precious to be ended capriciously, but it seems to me that the "Death With Dignity" issue is not as uni-faceted as the Feds would wish us to think.

I watched my own beloved father die in agony and confusion, from bone cancer and Alzheimer's Disease, and knowing that this is not the image he would have chosen to leave his family with I wished I had the courage to take away the pain and embarrasement of his inglorious end.

I'm not quite arrogant enough to wish the same end to anyone who is able and willing, while he is still of sound mind, to make the decision neccessary to save his . . . and himself . . . own family from such agony.

It's not really a 'choice' comparable to abortion.

But I wonder why the federal government can sanction the one choice and not the other.


Thank you, Rivrdog, for saying what I couldn't.


Thanks. I have never met Rob although he was the inspiration for me to start blogging; as he has been for many. I consider Rob a friend although I have never met him and have only spoke to him briefly via e-mail. I will miss him when he is gone but I respect his wishes to die with peace and dignity and not be kept alive either in a cage or artifically. The way he writes he knows that death is not that far off and he has accepted it. I admire his courage and the man that he is.

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