A fascinating opinion piece by Pamela Druckerman in the New York Times on August 19, 2018. It’s about her Parisian friend Helene, in her 70’s and terminally ill with metastatic cancer, who is planning to end her life — to “disappear”, as she puts it. Helene is suffering … she struggles to walk. And she’s not afraid of dying. “No, not at all,” she replies when the question is put to her. “I’m impatient to go. I’m ready. It’s enough. It does not interest me to watch my body fall apart.”
Helene is a very wise woman. She looks radiant, and she is in excellent spirits. “I’m struck by the paradox,” Druckerman writes. “Helene is eager to die, but she’s intensely alive and curious about her experience.”
It’s unstated but obvious from the context: Helene has arranged the means to end her life. She exemplifies the truth that the only person who should have the right to choose as to how much suffering is tolerable, is the person doing the suffering.