Executive Director and International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Some people may be surprised by my comment, but Amber Phillips was wrong to force her mother to undergo further treatment, and if her mother had stopped receiving treatment earlier, her death would likely have been very different.
People have the right to refuse medical treatment and in many cases it is the better decision. Refusing medical treatment is not assisted suicide or euthanasia.
Cancer treatment has improved but when a person continues to receive treatment, there comes a time when the treatment, may be extending life, but the break-down to the body that results from the treatment causes a far more painful death.
Amber Phillips is quoted in a Daily Mail article as stating that she forced her mother Connie to undergo chemotherapy after her mother wanteded the treatment to stop. The article states:
She explained that her mother 'did radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy, had her lymph nodes removed, had a breast removed, meditated, and all numbers of treatments.'
Despite the treatments, Phillips said that in 2008 her mother's cancer spread from her breasts to her bones and her lungs.
Phillips said her mother did not want to receive more treatment but that she did it for her family because they could not bear to be without her.
'We nagged her, encouraged her to continue treatment when she didn't want to, bought her wigs when she started losing her hair, managed her diet with cancer-friendly foods, held her hand, and begged her to continue fighting for us,' Phillips said.
|Connie Phillips at graduation.|
Phillips says she loved her mother so that's why she wanted her to live. Looking back she says she wishes she would have tuned in more to her mother's suffering and allowed her to end her treatment sooner.
'We just wanted her to live and we wanted her to continue fighting,' Phillips said wistfully.
'We really just didn't get it. We really bought into the possibility or the fairy tale that things were going to get better, when it was so clear that they were getting worse and worse.'
Phillips says she ignored the signs that her mother was going to die, especially after her father died of a heart attack in the Spring of 2012.
'I just doubled down,' she says.
'I just felt like I couldn't lose both of them. I just thought I was going to fall apart.
'It was a lot of 'me' focus – what I could handle.'The article states that in June 2012, that Phillips finally called hospice care. But the article continues, admitting that her mother Connie wasn't prescribed morphine until July:
'After the worst day of my life to that point, I gave my consent to put her back on morphine, knowing that she would die and knowing that this is what she wanted,'Why did Amber wait so long to arrange pain and symptom management for her mother? Connie Phillips died on August 1, 2012.
Amber Phillips is now promoting assisted suicide based on the suffering caused by her decisions that resulted in her mother's horrible death.
Connie Phillips suffered, not because she couldn't accept that her death was nearing, but because her daughter couldn't accept that her mother was dying.
It amazes me how cases that sound self-centred and abusive, like this one, become a clarion call for killing by assisted suicide.