In an article published by National Review, TCA’s Grazie Pozo Christie writes on the topic of assisted suicide in her article titled “The False Compassion of Assisted Suicide.” She writes:

When someone you love is dying slow and hard of a disease like ALS, you find lots of things to be thankful for: the closeness of family and friends, the gentle respiratory technician who takes panicked phone calls at any hour of the night, all the devices that smart people have invented to make the life of a quadriplegic more bearable.

In fact, during the last few months of my father’s life, my family became quite expert at counting our blessings. One of these blessings is that our home state of Florida is not an assisted-suicide state. “Thank God that kind of thing isn’t legal here,” my mother said on more than one occasion. “I would hate for your father to think he should end his life to save us from trouble and pain.”

With this she put her finger on one of the great flaws in the argument to legalize assisted suicide. Its eager champions promote it as free choice, a way for dying patients to exercise self-determination. The truth, as we all came to realize in caring for my father, is quite the opposite.

While he was extraordinarily brave when it came to confronting his own suffering, he agonized over the toll his care was taking on us, and especially my elderly mother. As his disease advanced, caring for him became more and more exhausting, more and more expensive, and more and more complex. This and the pain of watching the steady advance of his paralysis was fearfully hard on us.

For patients like my father, the pressure to relieve family members of all this is overwhelming. They worry more about their loved ones than about themselves. In Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal longest in the United States, the cases where patients reported feeling like a burden was tabulated to be as high as 45 percent in 2022.

Looking back, I continue to be thankful for his last years. In that time — in our family’s years of ALS — he gave us a tremendous example of courage and nobility in the face of overwhelming adversity. He brought out the very best in us. We all gave and gave of ourselves, finding reserves and abilities we didn’t know we had. Our hearts grew larger caring for him, and I don’t think they will shrink again.

Yes, I’m grateful that my father was never offered the “choice” to do away with himself. And that he was spared the awful pressure to save us from a time that, as it turns out, we will cherish in our memories all our lives.

To read more of Grazie Pozo Christie’s article, go here.