I know this will sound odd, but, having been in a serious car accident, I can say that as long as it is a definitive instant kill, it would be the way I would prefer to die. There is no pain until after you come out of the adrenaline shock of the event itself. At least that was my experience. It was just a gray expanse, then realizing I was sitting in an upside-down SUV, unable to walk. The pain kicked in after I tried to get out of the car, maybe a minute later.
As for the painful diseases, no thanks. I already have chronic pain. I believe that not only should we be allowed to choose our own time, but that people suffering from terminal illness that causes great pain should legally be given access to the strongest pain killers available without regard to addictive potential. After all, they won’t be around long enough that the addiction will become a problem, and it can make interactions with family and friends so much less traumatic.
We euthanize our beloved pets to spare them suffering; why would we not afford humans the same beneficence? Great article, Louise! Very thoughtful!