California’s End of Life Option Act and USC Bedrosian’s discussion of the Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.

You should hear the Bedrosian Center podcast about the Last Days of Ptolemy Grey where we discuss end of life planning, and how most people say they want to die at home–but that doesn’t happen. Our discussion can be found here.

The specific information you need in order to understand California’s End of Life bill can be found here.

One of my favorite jokes goes something along these lines. Once, during a terrible flood, a rescue boat came upon a true believer who refused the help. “God will save me!” She declared, refusing the spot in the rescue boat. The waters rose still more, and then the true believer was approached by yet another boat. “No, she said, I don’t need you. God will save me!” She said. Eventually, the flood waters rise so high that she has to get onto the roof of her house. A helicopter comes and throws her a rope. “No,” she says “God will save me!” Eventually, she is swept away in the flood, and she dies. When she reaches heaven, she looks at God and says “Why didn’t you save me? Wasn’t I a good servant? Did I not believe?” God threw up his hands and said “Lady, what do you want from me? I sent you two boats and a helicopter.”

The point being that end of life decisions are in our hands, too. When life ends and death begins is as thorny a philosophical problem as when life begins.