This is what desperation looks like

Mon, Jun 1, 2015 2:49 am
Re: Potential non-terminal right-to-die case in the U.S.

Dear Ms. Tucker and Ms. Pastine:

I think it’s time that a right-to-die case is brought before a U.S. court involving a plaintiff suffering from a severe and incurable medical condition which is not terminal, especially now that Canada has shown us the way. I believe I am that plaintiff.

For 30 years, I have been tortured by constant, intractable pain. I have suffered even further from the medical industry’s attempts to treat it. As a former competitive gymnast, perhaps you can imagine why, at the age of 53, my body is broken and cannot be repaired — meaning the pain will only continue to get worse. Right now, I am able to take care of myself and preserve my precious independence, but I don’t know how much longer that will last.

I’m seeking legal representation to gain the right to die with what’s left of my dignity. Since I am disabled and poor, this case would have to be pro bono.

If you can’t help me, I would appreciate a response to that effect. I’ve had enough of advocacy groups and trying to find help through government agencies, so no referrals are requested. Thank you for your time in reading this email.

Johnna Stahl
Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Grace Pastine
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 10:42 AM

Dear Ms. Stahl,

I am very sorry to learn of you condition and the pain you are living with. The advocacy work of my organization is solely focused on Canada. At the moment, we are working to ensure that the federal Parliament will enact legislation upholding the right to die with dignity within the Supreme Court of Canada’s deadline. The court gave Parliament 12 months to do so. ‎I regret that we will be unable to help you. I wish you all the best.

Kind regards,

Grace Pastine
Litigation Director
Barrister & Solicitor
BC Civil Liberties Association

From: Kathryn L. Tucker
Sent: Mon, Jun 1, 2015 8:35 am

HI Johnna:
I am currently litigating a case in New Mexico, Morris v NM, about the right of mentally competent terminally ill patients to access aid in dying. If you have been following that case, you know we won a robust ruling under the state’s constitution in Jan 2014, and argued the appeal to defend this victory in Jan 2015; we await the ruling of the intermediate appellate court. Depending on outcome we may then see this case go to the state Supreme Court. This case is limited to mentally competent terminally ill patients. But it could create a foundation, potentially, for a case such as you propose. I would not pursue such until we see where Morris comes out.

Mon, Jun 1, 2015 4:48 pm

Too bad I live in New Mexico, huh? Perhaps if I resided in a state that didn’t already have a right-to-die law, I would have a potential case. Unfortunately, one of the reasons I moved from Texas to New Mexico two years ago was because this state already had a right-to-die law (along with a Medical Cannabis Program, which it turns out I can’t afford).

It’s hard to find a reason to go on living when you suffer from constant pain, especially when you don’t have access to medications that can help manage the condition. The war against chronic pain patients is only going to get worse, so the future for us doesn’t look too bright. I was hoping a cause like this might help, but it looks like I’m out of options. Not that either of you can do anything about that.

Good luck in court and in Canada. I sincerely thank both of you for taking the time to respond.

21 thoughts on “This is what desperation looks like

  1. You know I can’t encourage criminal behavior, but have you ever thought of circumventing the law and growing your own? Not saying you should or anything…just wondering if you had considered doing so being that desperate for relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To grow my own, inside my apartment, would take thousands of dollars to set up. Could also get me evicted and arrested. Somehow, the thought of jail is not comforting. Besides the fact that it may be easy to grow weed, but to grow medicinal-strength weed is something else entirely.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The jail part is correct, the other two, I know for a fact are not. I had friends who did it once, and it was the strongest I’ve ever encountered, and keep in mind, I’ve recently lived in Seattle. But the jail part, and all of that, and the eviction…that I completely understand which is what prevents me from trying to obtain any. My state has a medical program, but no dispensaries and so I haven’t even tried to obtain a card and will just do without, I know that is easier for me than you though, because I no longer have much bad pain.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s funny how many different stories there are about the quality of home grows. I guess it depends on the quality of the seeds you plant, huh? But the stories I’ve heard and read about include problems with bugs and other issues on growing. Thousands of dollars is a lot to spend to end up with a useless batch.

          I’m so glad your pain levels are not bad anymore. Did you quit taking the nerve pain medication?

          Liked by 1 person

        • I did. At the dose I was able to take it (kidney damage) it wasn’t really touching it anyway. So it sucks really bad, especially when it gets cold, and before everything it would have been a 10 on the scale, but after all the other stuff I’ve been through it is like a 6 on the worst days, and I can deal with that. Does make it hard to walk sometimes though.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. So my comment went through!
    WP shut down Buddha9’s site.
    Said there’s content on the blog they are concerned with?
    Ok now. U want the right to die.
    So do the people who commit suicide?

    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s up with WP today? I’m not getting my email notifications and my posts keep messing up. Are we talking about your site or does Buddha9 have another one? Did WP notify Buddha9 that they were shutting her down?

      And why do they have the right to shut anyone down? This is the first I’ve heard that they could do that. Makes me wonder if my site is next… I was just over at your site and although I could see it, I couldn’t “like” or comment.

      Many people commit suicide because they are suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, which doesn’t mean they want the right to die.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wanted to comment the other night and say I support your right to die with dignity. No one wants to make this kind of decision. What a wonderful world it’d be if we all died peacefully in our sleep after 100 healthy years surrounded by loved ones. You’re brave for talking about – for being honest. You’re not the only one who feels this way. HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

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