Ed Ness still looks healthy but under Right to Die legislation must undergo procedure while he is still “of sound mind.”
Ed Ness will soon be riding off into the sunset, not on his Harley Davidson, but on his own terms.
“I can feel it in my body, it feels like there is something alive in there, and I can feel the weight and I can feel it in different spots.” Ed Ness told CHEK News reporter Dean Stoltz.
The 72 year old has terminal lung cancer and has just weeks to live.
He signed up with Dying with Dignity, got the required doctor’s signatures and has planned his own death for tomorrow, Tuesday at 2pm.
“You have to be of sound mind to administer it” Ness went on. “And that’s not of sound mind when you sign the paper that’s of sound mind the day they actually do the performance and there’s a ten day waiting period in there and when you know you’ve got this cancer raging through your body it’s pretty damn easy for it to get into the brain.”
CHEK viewers who saw the story Sunday are overwhelmingly supportive of Ed’s decision, while others question his last wish on religious grounds and wonder why he’s doing it so soon, when he still looks healthy right now.
“So what you’re saying is you needed to make the decision now and have it done while you’re still of sound mind before they take the decision away from you.” I asked him.
“Exactly, then you have to ride it out to the very end.” Ness replied.
Others against dying with dignity liken it to suicide.
“You’re going to commit suicide?” said Ness mocking the question. “Absolutely not, I would not commit suicide. This has nothing to do with suicide. Suicide is when you’re very depressed and you want to end your life. I’m dying and I want to choose when and how I’m going to do it.”
Doctor Tanja Daws is one of two Comox Valley physicians who perform the procedure.
She’ll be there with Ed tomorrow administering the fatal dose.
“I think it’s a more humane way for we as a people” she said. “Most of our patients would say we are more kind to our loved animals and there’s no nobility with suffering more.”
She says Ed who will die in his favourite recliner is at peace with his decision.
“He is at peace with his fate and he’s made peace with dying on his own terms and for most people they don’t want to lose their self-autonomy or their dependence.”
“Good-bye dear friends and loved ones” Ness read from a prepared paper as he sat in his recliner Sunday. “Please do not feel sympathy at my passing.”
He was reading his own epitaph which he wrote and will be part of the ceremony tomorrow.