Why I Support Death with Dignity

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Jim and Margie Carberry
Jim and Margie Carberry

A Message from Jim

My name is Jim Carberry, and like many of you who’ve come to support Death with Dignity, I watched a loved one die a painful and protracted death. My wife, Margie, didn’t have the option to die on her own terms, something she so desperately wanted.

I’m sharing my story with you because I strongly believe people should have the right to end their suffering when dying of a terminal illness. The only way to guarantee that right is to pass Death with Dignity laws modeled on the time-tested and safe Oregon Death with Dignity law.

My wife, Margie, was diagnosed with a Clival Chordoma in 1995. We had two small children, Alissa and Andrea, at the time and all she wanted was to see them graduate from high school. That would mean surviving 16 years from date of diagnosis, a highly improbable likelihood. She underwent numerous procedures to increase her chances. But the tumor was unrelenting and began stripping away various abilities.

Starting in 2008, Margie endured several very invasive procedures and had significant issues with her sight and mobility. She wanted to be there when our younger daughter graduated in 2011. At the same time, she was in a lot of pain. She was no longer the person she used to be, unable to participate in any meaningful activities for more than a few moments at a time.

Margie did make it to graduation, and a week later, she spoke with her family, clergy, and medical team and decided to remove her feeding tube and meet death on her terms. Though she was ready, she suffered another five weeks before her body gave out. Margie wanted the option to shorten her suffering, but that option doesn’t yet exist in her state.

Margie’s mother, Claire, and I have been vocal and public advocates for a Death with Dignity law in Massachusetts. Even though the law didn’t pass, it was a close one. This tells me our state is ready and many people want this choice. Just by being on the ballot, it ignited a critical conversation about Death with Dignity and end-of-life care.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Death with Dignity National Center—the organization behind the oldest Death with Dignity law in the nation. I know we can keep the conversation going and hopefully, not too far in the future, permanently change the dialogue in Massachusetts and beyond.

We all deserve to live in a society where we have the right to make our own end-of-life care decisions.

Margie would’ve wanted that for herself, and I know she would’ve wanted it for any terminally ill adult who’s enduring pain and suffering.

I hope you’ll consider a tax-deductible gift of $35, $50, $100, $250, or more today to keep our nation working toward improved end-of-life care policy everywhere.

Thank you on behalf of myself, my family, and above all, my wife, Margie.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center



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