Assisted-suicide shouldn’t be for those in the fog of depression

This article was written by columnist Rosie DiManno and published in the Toronto Star on June 22.

Rosie DiManno

Rosie DiManno

By Rosie DiManno

The attempted suicide came onto the ward in the middle of the night direct from emergency. 

For several days she remained in a private room, on 24-hour watch by an attendant privately engaged by her family. One morning, she appeared in the patient's lounge, bandaged wrists protruding from the sleeves of her silk kimono. 

She was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. 

And she wanted to die. 

It was a declaration she made repeatedly — impossible not to overhear — to her visitor, a man who placed her stocking feet in his lap and rubbed them continuously, as if trying to restore feeling, not to the feet but to the woman's spirit.

"I'll do it again," she stated flatly. "I will. You can't always be there to save me."

By the end of the week she was gone, presumably transferred to some other facility for the mentally fragile. 

Many years later, at a cocktail party, I saw her again. She was laughing, a glass of wine in her hand, like in the Rolling Stones song. Her green eyes sparkled with amusement. Another man, not her hospital visitor, had his arm wrapped around her slim waist. This, I would learn, was her husband. They had three young children. 

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