montel williams on dr. oz

Dr. Oz Today: Do You Have The Right To End Your Own Life? 3/15/2012

Doctor Oz is showing a previously recorded episode today with Montel Williams and Dr. Keith Ablow squaring off in a debate about assisted suicide. Should you have the right to end your own life if you choose to? Many people struggle with living with pain, knowing they are dying from a disease like cancer, or suffer from things like Alzheimer’s that they know they will never recover from. Should they be able to decide to die with dignity and on their own terms? Montel Williams thinks so.

Dr. Keith Ablow thinks it is a much deeper issue that can be misused by the wrong people. People suffer from various stages of depression when they learn they are terminally ill. Ablow thinks this depression can over ride their normal sensibilities and they are not able to make a rational judgement. Oz reveals that 54% of people think physician assisted suicide is a valid and logical part of being a doctor. Today’s show will have lots of guests that have very personal reason’s to be for or against this form of death.

Montel and others would just like the option to take a lethal cocktail and fade off into the sunset if they decide living is too painful and they have no chance of recovery. Ablow believes that patients can just opt for refusing medical treatment. Oz discusses the toll of this decision on families. This whole discussion revolves around the meaning of the hippocratic oath taken by doctors. What does the term “do no harm” mean? Is it meant to be a doctor should do everything to prolong life, even if that life is severely handicapped?

Catch our full recap of this show by clicking here. A sample proxy for final wishes and living will can be read about here. You can feel free to leave your opinion below.
Photo courtesy of: Doctor Oz


  1. Judith Martin says

    I just watched the End of Life episode on Dr. Oz. Almost two years ago my dear husband of 46 years was dying from liver and kidney cancer. There was an extreme amount of pain involved. He asked me to call Compassion and Friends for him. We had agreed years ago that if one of us asked the other we would comply. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. The people I talked to were just that..Compassionate and easy to talk with. We had two wonderful doctors who agreed to help us. There was only one thing wrong. My husband couldn’t swallow well enough to be able to take the medicine. We called in Hospice and they were absolute angels in their attentive 24-hour care. I was able to keep him at home as he wished. Our daughters and I along with Hospice help eased him through the last stages and kept his pain at bay. But I still wish we had been able to give him his last wishes.

    Dr. Oz, you are right that we must have these “tough discussions” now for all our sakes. And yes, we should be able to make our choices about life and death. Keep on discussing this with everyone who will listen. I will do what I can because I have many children and grandchildren who should know these things. I so believe in it.

  2. Brett Kegan says

    I have yet to see a bad show on Dr. Oz, but this is the best one yet. Thank you, Dr. Oz, Montel Williams, and the wonderful physicians who spoke in agreement with Montel.

    As Ayn Rand so well noted, every human being HAS the right of absolute control over their own body. If government would obstruct a right that fundamental, no other rights are possible. No society has a right to dictate to any person how that person needs to feel about their life, when and how they must choose to die, or that they have some unaccepted moral obligation to live.

    The problem is that people who do not want to live must choose secretive, horrible ways to take their own lives for which they and their families must endure undeserved shame. We treat our animals much better.

    We must stop obstructing the right of physicians to freely determine for themselves whether and under what conditions they would choose to assist or not.

    Just because some would properly assist, creates no obligation for other physicians, who must freely decide for themselves.

  3. Sonja Stoddart says

    My father in law had throat cancer could not eat anymore could not talk. Was fed through his stomach he suffered from so much pain . With 5 doctors in the panel and our Family together they discussed His sickness and asked the family that he wanted to die there was no more help for him . He decided that was enough for him ,his wife and children were suffering beside him . they agreed He was waiting for his children coming from Australia ,new Zealand , Norway, Denmark and Canada my husband to come home to say goodbye we live in Canada so my husband went to Holland to see his father . Father said goodbye on a piece of paper read by his wife with tears in their eyes to all his children . the Dr was waiting in His bedroom , with his wife present Dr gave him a needle and He went to sleep . It was sad but he kept his Dignity , and the pressure was of his wife shoulders . He past away with a smile on his face , how beautiful is that and I.m sure God took him up with open arms . Yes I believe people has the right to die ,when they suffer for years and no end in site .
    thank you for listening . Sonja

  4. Kathy Sells says

    My mother and I watch dr Oz everyday. Today was very interesting! My mom has been worrying about this for months….as we have lost alot of relatives to cancer. She does not want to be kept “physically” alive if her mental state is gone..and nothing can be done to help her….this helped her to realize she must have the paperwork done! I have told her repeatedly that there is nothing we can do unless she has this done! THANK YOU for airing this! It has set my mom’s mind and my mind at ease now! we do love dr Oz!!

  5. G. James says

    Would like a copy of the end of life wishes. Could not see where to click, to receive this copy.
    That was quite a program today. Very, Very, good. I agree with Montel Williams, and you, Dr. Oz
    G. James

  6. Cherie Severn says

    Dear Dr. Oz, I just watched your 3/15/’12 show on the right to die with dignity. Have had some experience with this problem when I was the primary caregiver for my 94 year old mother. We had all her proxies and living will set up, and thought we were ready. She had a heart attack and was resuscitated at the the hospital. It was then and only then when we discovered that Florida required a DNR to not be resuscitated by a hospital or an EMT. Her doctor never told us and she suffered on for almost 3 months.

    My husband & I are in our late 70’s and have moved to NC. We have our proxies and living wills in place and have given copies of everything to our sons. NC also requires a DNR so we plan on getting them when we feel the need. At least now we know that DNR’s are required or all our other preparations are for naught.

    Just wanted you to know that this problem can exist.


    Cherie A. Severn

  7. Susanne says

    The show was great today. I watched my 38year old step-daughter slowly and very painfully die of cervical cancer. I am all for assisted suicide or whatever u want to call it when the time comes, dying cancer patients have no dignity in death. Wish I knew of some of the resources that are actually out there. Thx Doc

  8. Evelyn Schindler says

    This discussion has clear answers in scripture. We do not under any circumstances have the right to take our life. God is the author of life and He only has the right to give or take life. We are instructed to not kill in the 10 Commandments. It is sad that so many do not know scripture and even more sad that they do not recognize the Heavenly Father who has given them life. Life is a gift and not ours to give or take. Thank you.

  9. Amy Winn says

    I have struggled with mental illness for the majority of my life. It was only recently that I learned that what I suffer from is a personality disorder called chronic suicidality. It is formed over the years when a person struggles to have some control over a chaotic life, and they use the idea of suicide as an alternative to fall back on when they feel hopeless in dealing with whatever difficulties that are experiencing in their life. I truly believe that this delusion disorder began to form as a child, when my father was beating me with a belt. I thought to myself, if I commit suicide, he can’t hurt me anymore. It’s a thought habit that progresses and this thought process is increasingly applied when things go bad in one’s life. Most metal health professionals don’t even recognize the disorder and label their patients as “depressed,” prescribing medication that they absolutely don’t need. If an attempt at suicide is made, the person gets locked up, thereby stripping them of all control, and only exacerbating the illness. One of the frustrations that I have suffered greatly with is that I found no understanding from anyone about how I was tortured by this illness. I was simply told “you can’t think that way” I had, after thirty years of feeling no hope with this illness, finally become determined to find some answers as to why these thoughts consumes me. I spent in excess of 50 hours with internet research, and at last found an explanation, a diagnosis, and then I continued my research to find ideas of how this burdensome thought process can be controlled. Despite my relief of finally figuring out what no one else could, there seemed to be absolutely no interest from those closest to me to listen to me when I told them what I had researched. My joy and hope became diminished, as I was so hopeful that they might find a new understanding of who I am. They always said I was overreacting, emotional, or dramatic – but I had a real disorder causing these things. Did they really think that I wanted to be miserable? I wish someone – anyone – would listen.

  10. Amy Winn says

    The Wedding

    The Wedding is an event that we are all familiar with. We get dressed up, attend a beautiful and emotional ceremony, then on to the reception where we mix and mingle with old friends, lots of family, and maybe even meet some fun people. We bring a gift, we eat and drink and chat, then we dance and act silly, and then we sit and socialize some more with coffee and lots of desserts. But eventually, the party winds down and its time to go……. Not because this is not fun…..but because it’s enough.
    I have attended “Life’s wedding”. I have worn the pretty clothes, I have eaten all the delicious food, I have laughed, danced, and drank. But I am full – I am tired – my feet hurt – my head aches – and I want to go home.
    Please understand that I enjoyed the party. Of course there were dances I attempted that made my look like a fool, and times I overindulged – and I even encountered some obnoxious people and was served some food that I didn’t want.
    For some the party will go on ….. They will get a hotel room, or go to a restaurant or tavern and party all night. I have done that too. But tomorrow there will be soreness, headaches, and possibly even embarrassment or regret. I’ve had enough of that.

  11. Tammie Edenshaw says

    @Ron – There is now a link to the Dr. Oz website where you can find more information about a sample proxy for last wishes and a living will. In order to get to the one for your state, you will need to click the turquoise print under the first paragraph. This takes you to Caring Connections where you can find additional information about the end of days for loved ones. You can go directly here and toward the bottom of the page is a list of states. Click the state and scroll down until the “Power of Attorney” starts. You can execute this without an attorney, but one is highly suggested to make sure this form is valid and it covers your exact wishes.

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