This is a worthwhile (and pretty tough) lead-in to a conversation about US healthcare reform and the “death panel” lies that are still swirling (fed by lobbyists and cynical attention-seeking politicians) … (via Huffington Post)

“Last Friday night, my father asked me to kill him.”

Keith Olbermann opened his emotional Special Comment on health care Wednesday with the story of his father’s six-month-long hospitalization suffering through a colon removal, pneumonia, kidney failure, liver failure, and many infections.

After a particularly difficult week, Olbermann said he went into his father’s hospital room to find him “thrashing his head back and forth” and mouthing the word “Help.”

“It was just too much for my father,” Olbermann said. “‘Stop this,’ he mouths. ‘Stop, stop, stop.'”

Olbermann said he resorted to gallows humor, asking his father, “What, you want me to smother you with a pillow?” And his father responded, mouthing, “Yes, kill me.”

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I had a similar experience (the urgent request, call, appeal — earnest, full frontal) from someone I cared about very much last year. There were times we just wept at the suffering, wave after wave … all of it frightening, unspeakable, unknowable … until you’re ‘there’.

He’s right. Have the “life” talk sooner rather than later – P