Assisting Murder or Assisted Suicide?

Assisting Murder or Assisted Suicide?

"It is not a matter of life and death but about the timing and manner of inevitable death."- unknown

You are waiting at death's door for your creator or whatever you believe in to call you to the other side. Unfortunately, your body is in good shape and can hang on for weeks or maybe months for that matter. The agonizing pain has overcome you and the words you never thought you would say slip out, "I want to die." The words are not spoken lightly or a plea for attention. They are real and you mean what you say. As a family member looking at your loved one laying there hoping to be taken from this world you feel helpless. As much as you try to comfort them or ease their pain there is now nothing you can do. The illness has to take its course. What if in the final moments of your life you face this same situation? Would you opt for the choice to escape your own pain and die with dignity?

Donald McNeely faced a similar situation with his wife. His wife had a brain tumor and was bedridden and under the care of hospice expecting death to overcome her, but to her it was not soon enough. Her husband finally heard her cry for help and decided to take her death into his own hands. He shot his wife and killed her. He now faces two years in prison for the crime of second degree murder. Donald McNeely made this decision because his wife was faced with no other options. What if she had? Would this family have faced such a tragic end to their mothers life? Would they maybe not only have had to lose their mom but their dad too? So many things could have been different about this situation. Unfortunately this family was faced with no choice therefore resulting in tragedy.

The Death with Dignity Act is in place in four states so far. This act allows terminally ill patients the choice of taking a prescription to end their life when they are ready. The patient has to meet many requirements before just being handed this medication. It is not something that is taken lightly or encouraged. We can look at activist's who are for it or not for it. We could examine both sides of the case. The physicians who prescribe the medication are looked at as murderers. From the Christian standpoint your life is planned out and is not yours to take. Once again we can look at it from many different aspects but at the end of the day I choose to look at it this way. Who am I to rob this option from someone who is suffering and wants free from their pain? Although I may never choose the option if presented with it, it doesn't mean I should take the option away from others.

We watch people who challenge the Death with Dignity Act. Only to look at these protestors who are well and not in a situation that involves this decision. How dare they object to the compassion of choice?

We all think we know what we would do when put in a horrific situation like this but Ine never knows what option they would choose until placed in this position. I pray for everyone's sake you never have to make a decision like this one but what if you do? When a tragedy like this occurs and it seems you have run out of options why not have that one last choice?

Cover Image Credit: Chatham Daily News

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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I Beg You, Don't Participate In Straight-Ticket Voting This Midterm Election, Or Ever

Effective voting begins long before you even arrive at the polls, starting with research.


Midterm elections are creeping up eerily fast, set to take place on November 6th. If you're registered, I sincerely urge you vote - but please educate yourselves before heading to the polls. Though we do not vote on the presidency, midterm elections do play critical roles in government and our country's success. Most notably this November, 36 states, including my home state of Illinois, will be selecting a new governor, 33 seats will be decided on for the Senate and all 435 seats of the House are up for grabs.


I'm sure you're well aware that this is a very critical and defining time in our nation's history. There has been a massive rift between the two parties as of late, particularly during and after Brett Kavanaugh's hearing and installation into the Supreme Court, which received very mixed and extreme receptions. As I scrolled through comments after comments across articles, press releases, live streams and YouTube videos, I noticed a surge of angry and passionate voices expressing their pure hatred for the opposing party, pledging to "vote straight blue" or "vote straight red." This is referred to as "straight-ticket voting," and simply means your ballot goes entirely towards one party of your choice.

By doing this, you not only vote blindly, but you also make a misinformed vote and place yourself into a box, contributing to further divergence. Straight-ticket voting can be dangerous because the world and its complex issues are not as black and white as political party identification may seem. Neither party has the answers alone to best shape our future, which is why we need a variety of flavors on our political palette.

I usually mask my political stances, but I feel I have to disclose a bit to demonstrate my point. Frankly, at this point in my young adult life, I do identify more so with left parties. I give my undivided support to LGBTQ+ rights expansions, such as gay marriage and gay family adoption because I'm a firm believer that every human should be treated equally, regardless of extrinsic or intrinsic aspects, like sexuality, race and religion. My hope and vision lie with legislators that are forward-thinking and inclusive because the hate and discrimination brought forth by the socioeconomic and racial hierarchies no longer have a place in our globalized world.

Furthermore, I'm fully invested in proactive environmental action, as I understand global warming is a legitimate threat and is already affecting the very planet we take for granted. I'm an advocate for passing stricter gun control legislation with the help of background checks, as most violence factually comes from our own citizens, not the terrorists and foreigners we so greatly fear due to mediated stigmatization. I hope for families attempting to enter the countries to stay together, and I do welcome immigrants who are willing to work so long as they pass background screenings; I support this because our nation's founding morals lie in the pursuit of freedom, hope, and liberty. As a first-generation American on one side with several naturalized and immigrant friends, I see just how powerful and life-changing a new start in this country can be.

Though, at the same time, there are several Democrats I don't support ethically and morally, and I do agree with several blue-opposing stances. I support charter schools because I believe in the right to select from options for education. I think everyone voting should be required to present a valid photo ID to assist in the prevention of voting fraud. I believe it's fair to deport crime-committing immigrants based on each case's severity. Furthermore, I stand with conservative parties believing foreigners residing in our country should not have the right to vote, as I agree that this should be a privilege reserved solely for citizens.

Clearly, as you can see, I'm neither entirely blue nor entirely red, which is why researching each candidate and casting educated votes is so important. You'll never submit a perfect ballot, nor will there ever even a single "perfect candidate" to elect, but, with some digging, you can get rather close, which can usually only be obtained by dipping into other party's candidate pools. If, by some chance, you truly are aligned with each candidate in your respective party, fine. Do vote for each of them, but if this is the case, when you tick the names off, do so because you're pledging your support for each individual's stances and morals.

To help guide you in your pursuit to become a politically educated voter, I provided a few immensely informative and brief resources that will take no more than fifteen minutes of your time to explore collectively:

Which parties and candidates match each of your values?

Learn about your state's candidates:

The House race -- how close is it?

And what about the race for the Senate?

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