My Testimony for Dying with Dignity legislation
My Testimony for HB140 End of Life Compassionate Choice
My name is Becca Cotto, and I am testifying as a citizen of Delaware. In the winter of 2003, my father went into the hospital with chest pains, after various complications and a diagnosis of terminal colon cancer he chose to move to the hospice floor of the hospital. I can’t say if my father would have chosen the End of life option but I can say how painful it was to watch the man I knew whittle down to almost nothing. Yes, they treated his pain with morphine but that just meant he wasn’t really with it and so I just waited for 5 long months until I was there as he took his last breath.
During this time my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she had a much longer battle as chemo extended her life for years but the quality was very poor and there was little joy so I spent most of that time forgetting who she once was and viewing her as a dying woman. Eventually she chose to stop treatment and again I had the pain of watching her suffer this time in my home while in hospice. I do know she would have made the End-of-life compassionate choice had it been an option because she asked or rather begged for my sister and I to end it and just give her all the morphine. In all honesty I thought about honoring her request but very aware of the laws of Delaware obviously chose not to and so we waited and watched for several months until she took her last breath. I have a relevant intersection to my story in that I have a brother who has an intellectual disability and lives in a group home in New Castle. I know there are many with connections to this community who oppose this bill, however This bill includes over a dozen safeguards and during the many years in which other states have had such laws, there have been no documented cases of abuse. I ask this committee after 6 years of trying to get this through to vote HB140 out of committee and to the floor for a vote.