Man who advocated for ‘death with dignity’ law in MN dies


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Malcolm McDonald, 81, died on Christmas Day, the Austin Daily Herald says. He wanted to die on his own terms, but Minnesota has other ideas on this sort of thing.

McDonald, of Austin, Minn., advocated for a “death with dignity” law in Minnesota after he was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer. The law would have allowed the administering of medication to end his life.

“I’ve got a wife and a son for whom I see no reason for them to go through a time when I am miserable to myself and miserable to them,” he told the Austin Daily Herald earlier this month. “It’s selfish, I admit. But we are living in a country whose most basic thought is freedom of the individual and not making decisions that other people have to live by. I want to make my own choice.”

Earlier, he’d sent a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton looking for some political support for the legislation.

” I have asked my primary physician to recommend one of the above states where I would have the freedom to pursue my desire to use laws that provide for dying with dignity. Can your office provide information and guidance regarding this topic so that I, a resident of Minnesota, can . take advantage of the freedoms these laws provide to individuals so they and their families can avoid the experiences that they can anticipate are coming and that others who have passed away have experienced in the past.”

A few bills to allow “death with dignity” have been introduced at the Legislature and were quickly sent off to die. There’s no indication the fate of a similar bill will be any different in the upcoming session, should it appear.

McDonald said he wanted to “die well.” His death came at the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital – Austin.

(h/t: Jennifer Ehrlich)