Assisted Suicide: Dying with Dignity

posted in: Blog, channeling, life and death | 7

Now, as I turn 85…with my life closer to its end than its beginning, I wish to help give people dignity in dying….Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. ~ Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Capetown, South Africa




When my son was growing up, one of his and my favorite pastimes was visiting graveyards, especially those where people among our family and friends were buried. It still is, even now that he has his own family.

That may sound gruesome or macabre to some folks, but he and I always found a deep sense of serenity in graveyards. We could feel the spirits of those whose bodies rested there—they were invariably peaceful and joyful.

I think I can safely say virtually everyone reading this post understands that physical death is not the end of us. And yet, many still fear death. Why do you suppose that is?

Most of us live in cultures where death is the enemy. We do everything possible to postpone death, even if it means the dying ones suffer indescribable physical pain and mental anguish.

That’s certainly changing for the better, but it’s still the rule. In the movie, Tuning In, one of my spirit guides said “Dying is the easiest thing you will ever do.” But our society seems hell-bent on making the prelude to dying difficult.

Seth, channelled by Jane Roberts once said, “Dying is a spiritual and psychological necessity, for after a while the exuberant, ever-renewed energies of the spirit can no longer be translated into flesh….The self outgrows the flesh.”

I’d like to share a little personal story. Many years ago a family member, still young and healthy, was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). He lingered for many years, steadily deteriorating physically but mentally alert till the end. He had a strong spiritual foundation and was not afraid to die. Since he no longer found joy in living, he would have willingly accepted “assisted suicide.” But neither the law nor the family would have allowed it in those days.
So why are we, as a society, so dead-set against death and dying? Pun intended. 🙂
Is assisted suicide morally wrong, or is it a gift of mercy and loving kindness?

I’ll end this post with these thoughts from Archbishop Tutu:

I welcome anyone who has the courage to say, as a Christian, that we should give dying people the right to leave this world with dignity. . . . In refusing dying people the right to die with dignity, we fail to demonstrate the compassion that lies at the heart of Christian values.

Please share your thoughts with us below.


Copyright © 2016 by John Cali

If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please forward it to them with a personal note.


the book of joy





If you would like to receive our free newsletter and a free copy of The Book of Joy: How To Live Every Day of Your Life Happily Ever After, please visit here.





Is Assisted Suicide Ever OK? is a short video examining both sides of this admittedly controversial issue.


What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.

7 Responses

  1. George Ball

    Yes on dying with dignity. My hero on this has been Derek Humphry who has written two books that I have: 1)Let Me Die Before I Wake 1982, published by The Hemlock Society, P.O. 66218, Los Angeles CA 90066 and Final Exit (My copy signed by Derek in 2008) 1991, published by Dell Publishing, a division of Random House, Inc., 1540 Broadway, NY NY 10036. I also receive the Final Exit Network Newsletter, P.O. Box 10071, Tallahassee FL 32302. Unfortunately, in Virginia where I live, none of the easy ways of dying are legal or easily available.

    • John Cali

      Thank you, George, for all those great resources. I have Derek’s book, Final Exit. It’s a beautifully and compassionately written book for anyone thinking about end-of-life choices.

  2. Ron B.

    The Law of Attraction is the Law of Attraction.

  3. Marlene

    My mother died of ALS — or rather, she committed suicide when she could barely move a muscle. Obviously if one cannot bring a sip of water to one’s mouth then any form of suicide is “assisted”. My step dad helped mom put a handful of pills in her mouth and sip the water to get them down. She also unwisely took an illegal substance that was later detected in her blood.

    The whole thing went terribly wrong and she ended up lingering in the hospital for 3 days, possibly in agony. My step father was under investigation, suspected of assisting in the eventual death. None of that would have happened if doctor assisted suicide had been an option.

    A peaceful assisted death requires medical knowledge untrained individuals just do not have. My mother’s choice to die would have been much less tragic if her ‘assistant’ had been trained and legally allowed.

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Marlene, for sharing your story — and what a sad story it is! I’m sure that was a real trauma for your mother, not to mention for you and your stepfather.

      I think good does come out of such tragedies — at least more Canadian and American jurisdictions are allowing medically-assisted suicide today. In my opinion, that’s a very good thing.

  4. LaTanta

    John, you bring up a touchy subject. Even though the day we are born we are guaranteed to transition to another. My personalife observation is we get so attached to material things (the body being one of them) we fond it difficult to release it when it’s time. I agree that we should have a choice if we choose to make a transition with dignity. I believe my mom was long ahead of her time. Over 30 years ago when she was obtaining her masters she wrote a paper on dying with dignity. What little I knew at the time I found it to be an interesting thought. To choose when you die. Hmmm. I believe that’s what she did at age 68, she went to sleep and awakened on the “other side”. A peaceful transition the way I hope to make mine. Until then I live a full and happy life and have no regrets when the time arrives to transition. Thank you John for the article.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, LaTanta, for your comments. I hesitated to use this topic because, as you say, it’s a touchy subject. But it’s becoming a more talked-about subject as time goes on.

      And, as you also say, we get too attached to material things, such as our bodies. I love what A Course in Miracles says about that—“I am not a body, I am free, for I am still as God created me.”

      Like your mother, I’ve been interested in dying with dignity for many years—back when it was taboo to even mention it. At least today, society is more open to discussing it.

      Your mother and my mother must have been on parallel paths. I believe my mother also chose when to die. She’d always said she did not want to linger. She was in relatively good health at age 86. One day she just lay down on her bed, and was gone in an instant. What a beautiful way our mothers chose to leave!

      I agree with you — let’s all just live full and happy lives, and when we’re ready, joyfully pass on to our next adventure.

      Thanks again, LaTanta.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.