Re A Chosen Death, In The Nick Of Time (Oct. 12): My wife died of early onset dementia at 61 after being gripped by an irreversible eight-year trajectory toward her demise.
Along the way, she was stubborn, uncontrollable, incontinent, non-ambulatory, non-verbal, and wound up breaking her hip, requiring surgery. At the end, the coroner decreed that she starved to death, unable as she was to chew solid food or swallow liquid nutrients. In short, her quality of life in her final months was nothing anyone would want to endure, despite stoic efforts by her care team.
I assure University of Toronto professor Trudo Lemmens, who finds it worrisome that "we try to focus on ending the life of people with Alzheimerís, rather than improving quality of life,Ē that Iíve seen the futility of his perspective: Death, drawn out and undignified, patiently awaits. The best way to reduce the worst suffering, which comes in the patientís final months, is to fully implement assisted-dying laws to provide true compassion, sparing them from the horrific hallmarks of a lonely, natural death.
Bruce Rhodes Richmond Hill, Ont.
October 16, 2019 The Globe and Mail