What is a dignified death?
Death is the last experience of man; the paramount experience of our lives. Death scares us because we confront the unknown and that cannot but cause us vertigo.
However, death seems less frightening, or at least a little less frightening, when we know that we will be able to cross it without useless and unnecessary physical pain because there is no longer hope; when we know what we will be able to do because there is a legal framework facilitating us, permitting us so; when we know that we can undergo our death with the serenity that the absence of pain brings us, without tubes converting our last moments into an ordeal of horrible pains that prevent us from saying goodbye in peace to those we love, those who have accompanied us during our lives.
Death seems less frightening when we know that we can decide, that our time of departure has come and we want to say goodbye peacefully. But for this possibility to be available to all Mexicans, openly and without fear of legal sanctions or social concerns making it impracticable; to make possible to choose a dignified death in our country, there’s still a rough road to go through; a road fraught with taboos, atavistic beliefs, intricacies and legal and economic technicalities among other things that must be gradually undermined.
The issue of the right to die with dignity is in the air. In Mexico we already have the bases: we don’t have to start from scratch to move in that direction. Legally, there have been progresses. When the organ transplants topic was discussed, it was accepted that brain death was equal to the person’s death.
There have also been academic progresses. Scholars of different disciplines, such as those who make up the DMD Board of Directors, have already gone a long way. These lawyers, artists, insurers, bioethics experts, philosophers, psychologists and priests, among others, have delved into the right to die with dignity, each one from his specific discipline, and we already benefit from their knowledge, publications and experience. However, in the discussion about the right to die with dignity a presence was needed: a civil organization addressing the issue from the very particular perspective of civil associations. Hence the relevance of creating For the Right to Die with Dignity.