Goodbye, Joe

My family recently suffered a hard loss. Our ten-year old golden retriever, Joe, was diagnosed with lymphoma about six months ago. It caused her immune system to shut down. We decided early on to do whatever we could to preserve her quality of life as long as possible. Last week when it became obvious that she was in discomfort and no longer enjoying the things that had always made her happy, we had her painlessly euthanized. This process cannot be called assisted suicide, because suicide entails the consent of the dying individual. My own thought as we held Joe during her departure was that when my own time comes I hope it can be as uncomplicated and peaceful. State laws that perpetuate pain and require huge medical expenditures at life’s end, to prolong a process that the individual wants ended, are wrong. My moral argument is simple: maximize loving kindness.

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