For several years, my mother has been in a state where she could talk, even if she was bedridden, her muscles slowly wasting away, unable to do little more than eat and drink with assistance, unable to keep her eyes open.
Unfortunately, her ability to talk seems to be nearly gone. She's having trouble swallowing, and her blood pressure is dangerously low at times. This is complicated by an infection that her body is having a hard time fighting off, despite antibiotics. The nurses are doing their best just to get enough food in her every day.
Today during her lunch, it was all she could do to muster the strength to have some pudding and a bit to drink. Her eyes were barely open through her lunch, and the effort of just swallowing the food that was spooned into her mouth was obviously her limit. Afterwards, her eyes closed, her lips and hands clenched together, locked in that position, out of her control. She had a slight fever, so I soaked a handtowel in cool water, wrung it out, and wiped her face and forehead, cleaning off the large accumulation of eye crud that the nurses hadn't taken care of.
I kissed her forehead and said "I love you." She mumbled softly. It was the only sound she made for the duration of my visit. To others, it might be the slightest indecipherable noise, but I knew what it meant.
How long can she live like this? I don't know. Longer than she would've chosen herself, certainly. When she was still fairly in control of her body, a successful manager of a team of programmers, she regularly talked about physician-assisted suicide. That, to me, is a harsh name for a benevolent act of kindness.
In a time of war, needlessly killing people who don't want to die is justified... someone on the right will always consider even the worst of acts as justified, regardless of the situation. However, helping critically ill patients who want to die kill themselves is villified.
It's just not right. It's not right to play moral politics with my mother. It's not right to play moral politics with the kind of science that could potentially save others like her either.