Gregory A. Wood
San Francisco, California
"I think a person has the right to die in his own time and observe death in its own time. The opportunity to steady the process is a part of our everyday life, then we open up to the moment of breath as the complete unopened present."
"I have a grandmother ailing at age ninety-two; I've been told that she could take a pill to hasten her death. But death is a natural process and it is somewhat egocentric to place restrictions on that process."
Real Estate Investor
Palm Beach, Florida
"If everybody has to choose his or her own way through life they have the right to choose their way through death. If they ask for assistance from another person, I see nothing wrong with it. Perhaps we have an obligation to help."
Retired Civil Servant
"It's an individual decision that has to be made and it's not something that the government should be involved in. But I don't know what my individual decision would be until it happened."
Professor Cleveland, Ohio
"My father was hooked up to life support machines against my wishes; he was in a sort of 'limbo' period between life and death. Through my experience with my father, I learned not to put an exclusive value on material life, or life as defined as 'being in a body'; when that body ceases to function, one must let nature take its course. I got into a huge argument with the doctor, who accused me of having no religious background. He believed in maintaining life at all costs. What it meant to be a Buddhist at the time meant focusing on something beyond the 'material'; life is not limited to the material realm."
Long Beach, New York
"I thought that Dr. Kevorkian was completely right in helping those people. He was taking a great chance in helping them, but he seemed to understand what suffering was all about."
Surry, New Hampshire
"I feel that people need to die so that they can meet the next threshold and pass over. They need to make choices. Euthanasia implies choice. I'm not for or against, but a person should have that choice legally."
"I'm in favor of the right to terminate your life or have someone else help to terminate your life, but I'm not so sure how to measure a person's suffering. I don't know how to determine whether someone is truly suffering or just selfish."
AIDS Hospice Worker
"I'm in favor of people having the opportunity to make their own choices. I have had the chance to assist people in their deaths. I said, 'When enough is enough, I'll help you to die.' They thanked me and told me that it was liberating to hear me say that it was okay to die. What is interesting, however, is that most of the patients did not want to accept the offer.... If I were actively forced to help a person stay alive longer than he or she wanted to stay alive it would not be as problematic as assisting in another's death. And I have stuff stashed so that if I have AIDS or cancer or if things get too bad I can take my own life.... The problem is that you can have all the intellectual ideas in the world about taking your own life, but when it comes to it in a real situation, I'm not so sure."
"AIDS increases the urgency to support individual empowerment in dying. If you are against euthanasia, don't kill yourself."