Frank Kavanaugh, who used to teach at UD‘s university (he seems to have been the executive producer on The Saving of the President, which won four Emmys), was a right-to-die advocate who shot his wife and himself in her Florida nursing home room yesterday.

He should not have had to end it this way, but only a few states allow a dignified exit.

UD‘s home state, Maryland, might be moving in the right to die direction, but not for awhile.

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4 Responses to ““I think this will become the ultimate human right of the 21st century, the right to die with dignity.””

  1. Bruce Foster Says:

    While I have no horse in this race, (I take the view of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”), I would be careful whom you tag under heroes. In my professional life I dealt with many people with demenitia. My observation was that the patient is not the one who suffers but the loved ones. Frank ended his suffering by killing his wife and then himself. So be it. Heroic it wasn’t.

    Also check out the story of Derek Humphry founder of the Hemlock Society and his wives. The brave new world of assisted suicide has some interesting stories.

    Finally, there is no such thing as death with dignity. Death is the ultimate indignity for creatures who can dream of the stars.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Bruce: Heroic it was. From all accounts, Kavanaugh was a strikingly devoted husband and an extremely virtuous man. I think it overwhelmingly likely that he ended his wife’s life and his own out of compassion for both of them. When right to die laws exist in all states (or in almost all – there are always a few holdouts), the decisions made by good people like Kavanaugh will not need to involve the use of guns.

  3. dmf Says:

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dmf: Thanks for the link. I’m writing a post about this now. UD

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