How do you ask your family to help you die? And what does it mean to choose to stop living? To see part of our family’s response to these questions, watch our conversation about assisted death in a VideoWest short film, The Body That Is Left, appearing on Slate this week. To those of you who have visited my website before, I just want to say that this video also appears on my website and you may already have watched it. This post is to let you know of my gratitude and happiness that the video has now captured national and international attention. I am going to write a Dementia Field Notes post soon that deals with my reluctance to promoting myself and my attempt to do my share to help VideoWest gain a larger audience–they produce magnificent films–and to help my publishers, Hachette Books, get the word out about my memoir before its publication on June 6, 2017. Thanks for your forebearance!
About three years ago, Peter and I had spoken in great detail to our family about our wishes for the end of our lives. We realized we needed a lawyer. We consulted our investment advisor as well as our tax preparer, both of whom we had known for many years. They recommended several lawyers in Salt Lake City who deal with end-of-life issues. We set out to interview them. The second person we interviewed was Deacon Haymond. We never got to the third name on our list. Even though we were the first of the firm’s clients who wanted to formally include our desire for assisted death in our end-of-life plans, Deacon was immediately open to helping us research the matter and take on the project of translating our findings into legal documents. That happened about three years ago, in 2013. Our children and their spouses joined us in person or by Google Hangout for the explanation and signing of the final documents. In the video that appears on Slate, our children and their spouses–all of whom who live in Salt Lake City now–were able to join us in person for our 2016 yearly check-up.
Here is another way to view The body that is left: