An Act of Love?

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who’s running for mayor, has a decision to make, whether or not to charge 88-year old Alan Purdy. Purdy who had sat there while his wife, Margaret, 84, took 30 pills and secured a plastic bag over her head, called the paramedics after she died. Her life had become intolerable due to constant pain which pills did not relieve, and he sat there because he said, he didn’t want her to feel abandoned, and die alone. In California assisting suicide is illegal, but was this a criminal act or as some see it an act of love? The issue is further nuanced by the fact he did not actually help her, but was only a witness. There are those who feel that not charging him opens the door to assisted suicide, to helping those who are not terminally ill or those for whom the suicide may have a financial interest. No doubt if assisting suicide were legal, there would be some who would abuse it. Murder is illegal and some commit it. Although laws applies to all, how a small minority might ignore them cannot be used as a reason against them. In this instance a far better gauge would be what would be do in Alan Purdy’s shoes? As far as I can understand, his act was not only one of love, but one of courage and compassion. Could we do as much knowing there would be consequences?