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Grandma, 91, Sells Suicide Kits To Allow Elderly To ‘Die With Dignity’

April 30 2011 at 2:11 PM

Mondo  (Login Oscar50)

Grandma, 91, Sells Suicide Kits To Allow Elderly To `Die With Dignity'

April 29, 2011 8:41 PM

LOS ANGELES (CBS) - Meet Sharlotte. Like a lot of grandmothers, she likes to keep busy. But while some grannies sit and knit scarves and afghans, this 91-year-old has a decidedly different hobby.

She makes suicide masks.

Sharlotte started making and selling these suicide kits out of her cozy Southern California home after watching her husband die a slow and painful death from colon cancer. She blames doctors for keeping him alive.

"It was terrible to treat people that way. To make them suffer to the bitter end," Sharlotte said.

Sharlotte, who sells her controversial kits for $60, demonstrated how they work in front of our cameras.

"To die with this helium just takes you a couple of minutes and [you] die peacefully," said Sharlotte, who only wants to be identified by her first name. She also didn't want her face to appear on camera.

A loophole in California law makes selling the kits legal, but the ethical controversy remains heated. (For the record, what Sharlotte does is not illegal because she is not present when the person takes their own life.)

Sharlotte insists she is no Kervorkian-in-the-making. She told CBS2's Sharon Tay that she just wants the terminally ill to be able to end it . on their terms. When they are ready.

She wants to make sure no one has to suffer like her late husband.or the people he left behind.

Sharlotte sells the kits to people all over the world. She insists she is also not doing it for the money. "I do it because I care for people."

Three states have enacted a "Death with Dignity" law.in California assisted suicide is still illegal, but proponents of the suicide mask are trying to change all that.

Opponents to changing the law point to one of Sharlotte's clients.a 29-year-old Oregon native. He wasn't suffering from a terminal illness. He opted out because he was tired of dealing with his chronic depression. His suicide touched off a major controversy.

And now, a group called Californians Against Assisted Suicide wants to stop Sharlotte and her masks.

She is not deterred. "Whatever a person wants to do with their life," she says, "is their right. They need the right to make that decision."


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(Login julpisacane)


April 30 2011, 4:39 PM 

how much she loved her husband and how very painful it must have been to
be by his side while suffering a slow and painful death from colon cancer.

There is so much disease and suffering connected to so many terminal
diseases and illnesses.

When you love someone you are both in it together and for the one watching --
I do believe it is worse. It is for me when I have my days at the hospital
with my daughter. This upcoming summer is another one with two surgeries.
But enough about that....

The product :

But I do wonder about the abuse that
can occur from the product she sells.

What are your thoughts on this , Mondo ? The husband's suffering is obviously over.
I believe hers might be continuing .

I could be wrong...

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(no login)

I think its OK

April 30 2011, 6:26 PM 

Mercy killing can be a good think.
The horse breaks its leg and will slowly die, so you put a bullet in its head.

When my uncle recently passed away this spring he was 90 years old. He couldn't hold a conversation anymore, he couldn't walk and was in much pain probably from being confined to his wheel chair and bed. So at the old folks home they basically pumped him up with morphine for a week or two until he died. The day before he died I saw him in Cannon Falls MN nursing home. And he looked awful! They had protectors on his arms because he was constantly dreaming and saluting. Dreaming about his 4 years of combat in WWII.


My aunt is still there, and I talked to Milbert and told him I love him, I don't know if he heard me though. And my aunt looked at me and said "He'll get better soon".. And I said "We'll all get better some day" (Meaning after we die)

"Thou shalt not kill" covers all creatures.
Yet there is a time to kill Ecclesiastes 3:3

And its definitely true, Doctors can keep people alive too long.

Bro Tim

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(Login Oscar50)

I am generally in favor of euthanasia

April 30 2011, 10:56 PM 

We all have to die sometime, and I don't see the point of having to live with intractable pain, or when mental functioning is extremely diminished. If I had the choice for my Dad, I would choose to have him euthanized tomorrow. It is his wish as well.

But this case here does raise some issues, and I think while I am in favour of euthanasia, there should be a screening process. The 29 year old depressive should not have been sold the kit.

I read and hear people saying that with euthanasia we are "playing God", but it seems to me with our life extension we are doing the same.

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(no login)

Re: I am generally in favor of euthanasia

April 30 2011, 11:41 PM 

I read and hear people saying that with euthanasia we are "playing God", but it seems to me with our life extension we are doing the same.

Sorry about your dad Mondo, is your mom still around?

I agree, extending life is like playing God. When my mom died last year she was brain dead in the hospital and we had to tell them to unplug her. Then in about 8 minutes her body stopped breathing and her heart stopped shortly after. I was amazed when her heart stopped her face went from flesh color to gray within 2 seconds. That was the first human I've watch die. I've seen many animals die but there faces are covered with fur.

And who knows we could have left her plugged in for years, but whats the point?

Is your dad mentally gone Mondo? or what?

Bro Tim

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(Login Oscar50)

Sorry about your Mom

May 1 2011, 12:02 AM 

My Dad has had several strokes. It was a slow deterioration, but now he really doesn't seem to know who people are anymore - he knows he knows me, and that we're family, but he doesn't know I am his son. His main topic of conversation is that he wishes he would die. Some days he is less mixed up than others, which is really worse in a way. The one time he was telling me "I'm all mixed up", I lied and told him "Yes, you're mixed up today -- usually you're better." lol.

I can't believe that "God" wants anyone to live like this. I look around the nursing home he lives in, and he isn't the worst. The saddest thing is the younger ones, 40's or 50's. Most of them seem to have things like Lou Gehrig's or something. The one guy just lies there, can't move except above his neck. Then suddenly you notice, that one person isn't around anymore ..

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(no login)

Re: Sorry about your Mom

May 1 2011, 1:31 AM 

Wow, its kind of freaky isn't it. A thousand things can go wrong with the body like my prostate cancer last year. But I'm OK now, just sex problems.

I think a stoke can be one of the worst things to go wrong. Depending on the severity. I'm sorry your dad is in a state of confusion much of the time Mondo. I hope that never happens to me or you. I'm on high cholesterol medicine for the rest of my life to help prevent clogs and stokes or heart attacks. My warranty ran out at 47 years old, just last year. My genetics says its over, all done.

My dad is 82 and doing fine, but he looks old. He had the same cholesterol problem and needed a heart stent about 20 years ago to open a clogged artery.
But mentally he is doing good, and physically.

You ever see that movie with Robin Williams as a Doctor in a nursing home?
I guess its based on a true story. But he made some drug concoction that brought back mental virtue and vitality to the patients.

I assume your dad is having random thoughts running through his head like strong marijuana does to people. But that's no way to live. Sorry Mondo. Ciber hug bro....


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(no login)

Re: I am generally in favor of euthanasia

May 1 2011, 7:48 AM 

"it seems to me with our life extension we are doing the same. "

I agree with you --I have seen this close up -- people who had the choice of-- Do Not Resuscitate -- but because someone in the family was a physician --- decided to put the machine and tubes on her -- he couldn't let go . I took care of my friend's mom- for months and everyday she told me , " I pray to God to take me this day , Julie " -- Everyday , Mondo. She was in physical pain for a long time-- I was sad to see her last wish -ignored - but also sad for the one who did it ... he was suffering and he wasn't ready to let go of her-- even though she was ready to go to God and ready a long time ago. And she really didn't live much longer with the machine attached---so where was the benefit - she slipped into a coma and was wasting away while on it . THis didn't have to be - she didn't want it to be . Thatsa an experience and a memory I could have done without .

You wrote :
" I think while I am in favour of euthanasia,
there should be a screening process.
The 29 year old depressive should not have been sold the kit. "

Yes--That's my concern exactly.

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(Login MoxiFox)

Yes, my MIL

May 1 2011, 5:49 PM 

privately asked me to arrange something so that she could die. It was really tough for me to tell her that I wouldn't do such a thing. She was suffering endlessly and had no hope for recovery ... and she herself WANTED to die. I felt like a torturer to refuse to accommodate her request.


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(Login BlueJudah)

My, that's tough, Vince

May 3 2011, 4:49 AM 

I know my mum would not want life aymore if she goes blind, not at 79.
She can stand so much, being virtually housebound, with an ability to be able to read, do crosswords, watch tv, and now her new Ipad.

But with no sight, at her age. she has told me, She wants to be able to move on.



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Seoc Colla
(no login)

Moving on

May 3 2011, 6:39 AM 

This position is so difficult for those on the outside Jackie, even with knowledge. But.......

On the other hand, Life brings things, people and situations to you that are to your ultimate benefit, provided that they are met with acceptance and courage. However, only the one on the inside really appreciates how they are doing.

Often such latter days bring a little 'soul-rest' and an opportunity for taking stock before their new undertaking and so much inner growth can be achieved in a very short space of time.

Any appraisal of this precious time is usually evaluated from a physical perspective by folk who may see physical decline as finality, which is not the complete story in any case.

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Seoc Colla
(no login)

.......Moving on

May 3 2011, 6:46 AM 

I forgot to include a suggestion to look at the words of Harry Lauder's 'End of the Road' which expresses so well the desired attitude in this kind of position. He himself was no stranger to 'tragedy' having bourne the sorrow of his only son being killed in France in the very opening days of the 'war to end war'
This is a grotesque joke a century later, with millions of White 'xtians' rejoicing in the terrorist murder of a freedom fighter.

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(Login Oscar50)

"The terrorist murder of a freedom fighter"

May 3 2011, 9:42 AM 

Was he a terrorist? I'm not sure. His murder was an act of terror though, with whoever was killed with him dismissed as "suspected terrorists".

My co-worker and I discussed this issue yesterday. Looking out the window saying, how would we feel if some foreign army was here, having killed our dictator, and then stayed on? Having killed members of our family, having imprisoned some, having disappeared some, having ruined our way of life .. how would we feel? Maybe we'd pick up guns or start building makeshift bombs. And we'd be called "terrorists" or "insurgents" for wanting foreign troops to leave our land! Ludicrous.

I don't "Support the Troops" other than supporting the idea of them leaving foreign lands, coming home and finding gainful employment that contributes to society and to the good of humanity.

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