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On Suicide

Lecretia @ Mendoza, ArgentinaOne of the most saddening things I have to read or hear are comments by people who suggest that if Lecretia wants to die so much, why doesn’t she just commit suicide? And worse, that she’s a coward for not doing so.

There are so many things wrong with that line of thinking it’s hard to know where to begin.

Lecretia does not want to die. She never has. She is not and has never been suicidal. She loves being alive and she loves her family and she wants to maximise her time with them as much as is possible.

Committing suicide would rob my beautiful and treasured wife of the quantum of life that she believes is still worth living.

If Lecretia were to commit suicide, she would need to do it alone, as anyone else present would risk a criminal conviction. She is not as strong as she once was, so her options would be limited, and she would need to do it very soon, because soon she will not have the strength to commit the act herself. The act would be extremely traumatic for her and her family, whom she loves, and if she was unsuccessful she would only manage to increase her pain and suffering further. It’s not an option. How anyone can suggest that Lecretia find a quiet spot and hasten a lonely, dangerous death is incomprehensible to me. The suggestion seems to come from a place of pure cruelty and malice.

What Lecretia faces are the horns of a dilemma: kill herself now and rob herself, me and her family of precious moments together, or risk waiting until death takes her, which could be weeks or months of needless, potentially agonising suffering. Palliative care cannot reverse the symptoms of Lecretia’s cancer. They can only numb Lecretia to the point where she is unaware of them, sustaining her existence, but not her quality of life.

Lecretia has decided that although she does not want to die, more than that she does not want a life of no quality. As the arbiter of her own life it is for her to decide what a life of quality is: not me, not the doctor, and not people with their own agendas about what life means and who it belongs to.

To subject Lecretia to a life without quality seems unjustifiably cruel to us too. It’s between these two cruelties that my wife is seeking a compassionate path through the courts. She doesn’t have any other option.

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22 Comments

  1. Some people will never understand unless you have watched a loved one battle this. They will never get how much life really means too them. I wish you guys all the best and hope you get the help she needs

  2. Beautifully written. I nursed my Mum through cancer and I believe in euthanasia without a shadow of a doubt. Thinking of you all x x Mel

  3. “Beep” those who don’t understand or haven’t been through someone they love suffer from a terminal illness.

  4. Beautifully expressed and really appreciated by so many who feel for those they love who are suffering a terminal illness and want to know that they do still have choices about their own lives. Lucretia has blasted this debate wide open and has forced it Into being discussed as have other incredible people before her. I do not know you but my love and thoughts are with you all.

  5. I can’t begin to express how profoundly I am affected by your and Lecretia’s bravery, wisdom, strength of character and grace of spirit. It is humbling. It is awe-inspiring.
    As for those who say such things, the lack of empathy and understanding is difficult to fathom; clearly a reflection of where they are in their journey, not where you are in yours.
    My respect, love and thoughts are with you both.

  6. The medical profession is expected to intervene to create quality of life for their patients doesn’t that also include the patients nearing the end of their life?

  7. Couldn’t agree more, Matt. “Cowardice” is about the furthest a word can be from applying to Lecretia. My love to Lecretia, and you, and your family and friends. Kia kaha xx

  8. What a crass and uncivilised people those are who suggest an amateur, un-sophisticated and non-guaranteed attempt at suicide – especially in this century!
    Then again, it comes as no surprise! They do not comprehend the meaning of 2 simple words – ie Individual Rights! These are people who wish to deprive others their rights – by FORCE if necessary – to achieve their own personal views.
    These are the people who are more of a threat to our way of life and our enjoyment of it than what Lecretia is fighting for.
    Lecretia simply wishes the RETURN of something that is rightfully hers (her rights)
    These people wish to DENY all of us these rights – and do so by force, threats, and bully tactics (ie the vote – allowing others to vote away our rights)
    These are the people who are a danger to society.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart you dear and brave girl for using up your precious energy fighting off these thieves and immoral bullies.

  9. To dear Lecretia, you are an amazing lady, and I understand where you are coming from, Hope with all my heart that things will get easier for you and your journey, Life is such a beautiful thing then it turns to shit……so quickly. Good Luck with the Legal wrangles, we should have the right to choose.

  10. This is not a choice I would ever want to face. I wish for Lucretia and her family the maximum quality time together and the ‘right to be free’ when she decides that time has come.

  11. I’ve heard of Lecretia’s illness from a mutual friend – Wendy – who lives in UK. Unfortunately people who make comments like that are narrow minded, uneducated to the situation and completely un-empathetic. If they walked a day in Lecretia’s shoes they may actually understand the very scary and unimaginable situation she’s in. I think she’s a very brave and strong lady. My heart goes out to her, you and the rest of her family and friends. I wish you both love and strength and hope that the rest of her days are filled with happiness. Xx

  12. I am 70 years old, healthy and active but I want you to know I totally agree with Lecretias wish to choose her time to say Goodbye. And I feel so proud of you both for doing everything you can before Lecretia passes, to advance the cause. Thank you.

  13. Thank you Matt for keeping us in your world. I can’t think of a more deserving person to live life to the full than Lecretia. My heart, hopes and wishes to you both for your precious time together.

  14. My heart goes out to you, you have my unqualified support for Lecretia’s right, and everybodies right, to choose.

  15. Matt and Lecretia. The journey so far for you both has been a trailblazer . I ,along with many other right thinking people wish you well with what you are trying to accomplish, simply the the right to live and end your life as you wish.