Bioethics Blogs

Choosing to Die – Phyllis Shacter on VSED

Check out this broadcast on Wednesday July 26 on Good Grief with Cheryl Jones.


Phyllis Shacter’s husband made a series of radical choices about how his life would end. When he received two life limiting diagnoses within six weeks of each other, Alzheimers and cancer, he refused cancer treatment and employed natural methods instead. He planned and participated in his own funeral and followed what he believed was best for him, choosing to stop eating and drinking before he was unable to consciously decide how his life would end.


Throughout all of these experiences and decisions, he had a supporter and advocate in his wife Phyllis. Understanding the choices he was making, she stood as a pillar to his right to end life in the way that was right for him. He left her with a mission; by sharing his story, she would contribute to the conversation on end of life options. Powered by her love of him and the peace and beauty he felt at the end of his life, she speaks powerfully for taking our lives in our own hands and fully exploring what is best for each of us.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.