This Saturday we will drive to Chicopee for the funeral mass of an old pro-life friend who died in his sleep the other night. Jim was the kind of person you just knew was good, through and through. I feel more inclined to ask him to pray for we who are left behind, than for the happy repose of his soul. We are grateful that he was able-bodied to the end, and that the end (and the new beginning) was fast. God bless you, Jim.

Jim was my age, which does give one pause. A few weeks ago my daughter, Terry, was inquiring about my end-of-life wishes. I said I would get to it, and now is probably as good a time as any. I have already completed a Health Care Proxy, signed and countersigned. It gives my agent authority to request and receive information about my medical condition, and to make medical decisions in accordance with my wishes, should I be unable to make them.

I feel that death is not to be resisted by every possible means and that treatment may be refused if it is excessively burdensome and would only prolong death. On the other hand, should I become burdensome or should anyone be anxious about whatever little money I have left, if I am not dying, I would ask that my death not be arranged. I really would not like to be dehydrated and starved to death like Terry Shiavo just because I keep hanging around. Narcotics to relieve pain – OK. Narcotics to get the whole thing over with – No. It would make me feel unloved. I took care my children when they were burdensome. Suck it up. If one mother can care for seven children, seven children should be able to care for one mother.

Most pro-life advance directives state that food and water are to be provided (by feeding tube if necessary) unless death is imminent and the person’s body is unable to assimilate nourishment.

Here are some pro-life advance directives (thanks to Physicians for Life).

The Will to Live
National Right to Life Committee
512 10th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
202.626.8800
http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/willtolive/index.html

Protective Medical Decisions Document (PMDD)
International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
P.O. Box 760
Steubenville OH 43952
800.958.5678
http://www.internationaltaskforce.org/adneeds.htm

The Loving Will
American Life League, Inc.
P.O. Box 1350
Stafford VA 22555
540.659.4171
http://www.all.org/issues/index.htm (click “End of Life Care”)

Maybe that’s enough for now. As for what “facility” I would like to be in, should I linger– just do with me what you would like your children to do with you.

I really must start thinking about funeral arrangements. And get my finances in order. What a dreary way to start a day!

And here, bless his heart, is Cardinal Sean O’Malley discussing Physician Assisted Suicide or Aid in Dying.