Death With Dignitym2

2014 is my last year here
thoughts of Robert M


At the age of fifteen I contracted acute rheumatic fever, was in quarantine the first three days of the twelve days I was hospitalized. From that moment on was doomed to have a different life than most other people, I was a “severe” medical risk, a time bomb set in slow motion. At that time I did not know what was in store for me, though I was told some scary stories and that I wouldn’t live past the age of 45. And if I did live past that, it would only because I would have had parts of my heart, if not my whole heart replaced.

Robert M's First Call Into The Norman Goldman Show

Contact me at and please Skype me using my Skype name: Dying.With.Dignity

Monday, August 11, 2014

I was on KGNU today!

Last week Vero of KGNU, a community radio station from Boulder, CO came by my apartment to interview me on my feelings about Self-Determination. You can check out the entire interview HERE.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Video Update Sunday August 3rd, 2014

Hey everyone! Yeah, it’s been a while since I last posted. Sorry about that!

There’s actually some new news to update you all on, so I made a video blog update:

An Urgent Message From Dave and Boyd McCollum

On Friday evening, August 01, 2014 filmmakers Dave and Boyd McCollum sent this email message to as people as he could think of:


This is an urgent message. Please take the time to read the entire message now, rather than later. Time is the enemy. Please send this to everyone who may be able to help. Thanks.

Robert Mitton is nearing the end of his life. His aortic heart valve, which was replaced almost fifteen years ago, is starting to fail. He has refused to undergo the invasive open heart surgery procedure he had when his heart valve was first replaced. Given what he thought was no other viable long-term option, he accepted that his life would end, sooner than later. He was given a terminal prognosis about six months ago if he didn’t undergo another valve replacement operation. It’s now been seven months and he is in severe pain, sleeping more than he is awake, and unable to support himself financially. He is physically weak and his mental capacity has diminished due to the decrease in his heart’s ability to provide adequate blood flow, affecting his ability to focus or do much deep thinking.

However, just two weeks ago and thanks to a doctor friend of ours, we discovered that another surgical option was available, one which is minimally invasive and could save his life. He has sent his records to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, along with a letter from his primary care physician. He is awaiting their evaluation, though based on examinations and testing in Denver at Denver Health and CU Medical Center, he should qualify for surgery at Cedars-Sinai. Cedars-Sinai is one of a handful of advanced cardiological research centers in the United States.

Unfortunately, the last of Robert’s resources have been exhausted. Savings and help from friends and family have failed to amount to enough to cover his expenses for August. He will likely take his own life very soon, in order to avoid the last, and most painful, stage of life, and to avoid becoming homeless with no money.

The timing of everything is horrible. Any day now, Cedars-Sinai could offer him a funded operation. There are also various funding sources available, given enough lead time, that would help him to get back to self-sufficiency if he were to choose to have surgery. Other than hospice care, there was nothing available to Robert to aid him in dying in peace.

So, given this drastic potential change of events, we ask you to help Robert to stay around so he can consider this new surgical option to save his life. Let’s try to avoid a travesty and not let this situation be contingent on money as the primary driving force.

Some of you may have already helped Robert. For that, we are grateful. Please consider making a donation to help Robert. If all you can do is offer your best wishes, please contact Robert directly.

Robert contacted us about seven months ago and asked us to document his experiences. I (Dave) have known him casually for almost fifteen years via our online and in-person interactions at the Colorado Macintosh User Group. We are making this plea out of our desire to help Robert, not at his behest. He isn’t (yet) aware of our actions, sending this message.

Here is Robert’s contact info and blog URL:

Robert Mitton  
(There is a PayPal link near the top of the page on the righthand side.)

Here is a direct link you can use to donate to Robert via PayPal (debit and credit cards work, as well as PayPal transfers):

Please consider donating $50 or $100 or more, if you can. Or, even $20 would likely make a huge difference. It’s not often in one’s life that we can make a direct and significant difference to the life of another. Here’s your chance!

A little help from a bunch of people could make all the difference. Thanks.

Our deepest appreciation,

Dave McCollum  
Boyd McCollum

P.S. - Please feel free to write to us if you have any questions. We plan on sending out updates whenever something happens. Thank you so much for your consideration, and please accept our apologies if you feel you shouldn’t have received this message (and let us know — we won’t bother you further).

P.P.S. - A deeper overview of Robert’s medical history and situation... At age fifteen Robert contracted acute rheumatic fever. He nearly died and was hospitalized for over ten days, the first five of which he was held in isolation until his condition was identified. At age twenty he contracted rheumatic fever again. By then, he had already been told that he would never be able to obtain medical insurance. He was told that his heart, and likely other parts of his body, would deteriorate and fail sometime around age forty. At forty-four, Robert underwent what was excruciatingly painful open heart surgery to install a bovine aortic replacement valve. He was hospitalized for a month. It took many more months for him to fully recover, though his capability to continue doing strenuous physical activity was permanently diminished. The bovine replacement valve had a projected lifespan of ten to fifteen years. It has been almost fifteen years now since his first valve replacement. 

Because of his more advanced age now, and considering what happened to him the first time around (permanent degradation of his lifestyle), he has decided not to undergo another open heart surgery. A less invasive surgery, called TAVR (trans-catheter aortic valve replacement) was not a viable option for Robert, as it is very risky and given only to people much older who have no other options (and to people who haven’t already had a valve replacement).

The surgery available at Cedars-Sinai is also a TAVR procedure, but it is several generations beyond what is currently available at your typical hospital (since Cedars-Sinai is one of a handful of advanced cardiological research centers). 

Robert has had many heart-related incidents since his first valve replacement, including a couple of stays in the hospital, and several visits. He suffers daily from deep pain in his heart and chest region. Since his heart has grown increasingly unable to pump blood efficiently, he has lost much of his ability to do his current line of work, web design/consulting and website SEO. Robert used to install ceiling-mounted surgical microscopes before he moved to more sedentary work (due in large part to his heart issues).

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Friday, June 13, 2014

I really could use some help please!

The last couple weeks have been much tougher on me than the previous couple of months before. It had seemed that my condition was in a holding pattern, but now it appears to have gone back into deterioration mode.

A couple days ago was my 59th birthday and it was very unexpected that I would ever make it that long. The doctors are somewhat puzzled by this, as we all thought I would have died by now without the operation. There is no reason why, just speculation for the most part, but has my regime of medical cannabis helped to delay things? Who knows?

I need help please to keep going on. I’ve been lucky to keep up on my bills, like the rent, utilities, gas, insurance and all, but I have zero income now and no way to really earn anything. I’m having too many problems these days with my heart and my head to get any real work done. It is very difficult at times to concentrate anymore and to use my software.

There is no way I can move out and get another place at this point. I simply would not have the energy to get anything done. My rent is somewhat expensive, but I live in the heart of Denver and it is an excellent location for me. I’m just trying to hang on as long as I can before it is just to painful to continue. But there is no way that I am going to get evicted and move out onto the streets either.

Even with a social worker helping me at Denver Health to apply for any assistance I be able to qualify for, I have been turned down for all assistance so far other than food stamps and Medicaid. I’ve been turned down for Social Security, Social Security disability and SSI! The situation with the SSI is a terrible story in itself that I would have to explain in another post.

Please use the Paypal button/link to go to my Paypal page if you would like to make a donation. Thanks a million!
 Please Donate!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Choosing To Die - BBC Documentary by Terry Pratchett

I thought that this video was worth posting once again on this blog. The first post of this video on my blog went “bad” as that one was pulled off YouTube because of copyright issues. Hopefully this one will remain on YouTube.
If you go back to the first time that I posted this video my blog, you will find that the link has been corrected.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Death Cafe!

There is a fairly new thing happening across the nation called “Death Cafes” and I made my first post at The Death Cafe Website. Please check our their website, especially the video section!

If you can, find a local Death Cafe, or start one on your own.

Friday, May 23, 2014

“Choosing How To Die” at the First Universalist Church of Denver on Sunday May 18, 2014

Bart Windrum and I did our first presentation together at the First Universalist Church of Denver. I did not post the video previously because I thought it would just be out trial run for the Mercury Cafe, but as you can see, we did a better job on Sunday than we did last night.
May 18, 2014
The First Universalist Church of Denver

“Choosing How to Die” at the Mercury Cafe May 22nd, 2014

This is the presentation that Bart Windrum and I put on at the Mercury Cafe. It was a close call even posting this video because of the lighting. They changed the lights after Bart's presentation and made it so damned intense that I could not see, it was almost painful and I imagine that normally the only time a person gets bombarded with that much light is during a police interrogation!

It was extremely unsettling and there’s no question that Sunday’s presentation at the First Universalist Church went MUCH, MUCH better. I’m very bummed out with this presentation we did at the Merc!

Thursday May 22, 2014
The Mercury Cafe
2199 California Street, LoDo Denver

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Choosing How To Die - Presentation on Sunday May 18th!

Our “Choosing How To Die” presentation will first be performed at the First Universalist Church of Denver - 4101 East Hampden Avenue, Denver, CO 80222. This is at the NE corner of Hampden and Colorado Blvd.

This Sunday! May 18th at 12:30 PM

Calling the Norman Goldman Show About My Gig At The Mercury Cafe - Choosing How To Die

There will be a presentation called “Choosing How To Die” featuring the BBC documentary by Sir Terry Pratchett, “Choosing To Die”, which is a one-hour film.
Bart Windrum of Axiom Action will be speaking on this controversial topic, as well as I will be talking about what it is like to be living through an experience as I have been going through in my last final months of life.

To be followed up with a Question & Answer segment that promises to be quite engaging!

The Mercury Cafe is located at 2199 California Street, Denver 80222. The presentation starts at 7 PM on Thursday, May 22, 2014. Please do come if you can! I would love to see you there!

Friday, May 2, 2014

This all SUCKS quite a bit!

Well, it is looking like there is nothing is place assistance wise as far as my situation goes! This is so damned crazy! If I were to choose to go with the dreaded operation, then the “system” is willing to spend what it will take to repair me. For the aortic heart replacement and the recovery the expenses would probably be more than $300,000.00 easy.

But if I refuse the operation, there is nothing in place to help me live out my last few months of my life without being forced to live out on the streets. I qualify for “hospice” but I do not need “hospice” help since it will not help with my rent and bills. In many ways I feel that hospice services are a true scam. As soon as the doctor writes out the paperwork stating you have six months or less to live, these CORPORATIONS want you to sign up with them so they can get that money and do whatever they claim to do for the dying person. SCAM!

They are not there to help you maintain your rent, or your bills. They are there to do a little cleaning, cooking and shopping for you if you choose to live at home. Or if you choose, you can go die at one of their places, which is EXACTLY what I refuse to do. I only want to stay where I am at now, to be able to cook for myself and maintain my life as can in my own way and style and not have people being paid for what I can and will do!

When I can no longer cook for myself, when I can not get up and down my stairs to go shopping, when I can not do my normal routines, well then folks, it is time for me to go! So why can’t hospice care just help me live out my life in peace and in the manner I want to?

The simple answer is the government has this all set up to merely benefit corporations once again and not The People! Though I qualify for hospice care, I will never benefit from it, nor will it be used on me. This is bullshit.

The only way I’ve been surviving is by the few donations that keep coming in to me which I GREATLY appreciate! But it is truly looking like that I will need to terminate sooner than later because I refuse to live on the streets or move from here now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My first call on the Alan Colmes Show

Wednesday night I was driving for just a few minutes, turned on the radio and the Alan Colmes Show was on. This lady was talking and I quickly realize that she was talking about someone in the same situation as me. Then she mentioned this guy talking on the Norman Goldman show and that his name was Robert!

No way! It sort of freaked me out. Up until then I thought the show was being broadcasted live and that Alan Colmes was a late night person. I tried to call in and then found out the show is broadcasted at 4:00 PM my time. So I decided that I would be one of Alan’s first callers for Thursday. Turns out I was his first caller for the day!

Getting assistance during your last months

More updating of what has been going on with me and my situation. It is so damned crazy how things work out here in the USA and in Denver, CO as well. My “ObamaCare” kicked in, by that I mean the Medicaid has gone in affect for me now and I am seeing immediate savings!

A couple weeks ago I had an echocardiogram and a zero co-pay! It normally would have been $2.00 but they were having a “glitch” in charging at the moment. My previous one was a $15.00 co-pay.

I’ve talked with a social worker with Denver Health to find out about any assistance I might be able to get other than the Medicaid and Food Stamps I am receiving now. It has been getting pretty tough to get any kind of computer work done lately and there’s no other type of work I can do. In fact, I have paperwork from my doctor stating that I can not work now.

Here in Denver I have the option to get the aortic heart valve replacement surgery and all the medical follow up care. They have a great medical system here, but I do NOT want to get the surgery done again. We are talking at least $150,000.00 worth of medical bills being covered. But yet there is nothing in place to help take care of someone when they do not want the surgery.

You would think that the hospice money that kicks in when you’re in my condition could cover my rent, but that is not how it works. For the most part hospice is for profit and you play by their rules. If I have home hospice, that can help with cooking, cleaning, shopping and the like. But it doesn’t help you maintain a place to live UNLESS you live at a place other than yours! That’s bullshit!

(You see, there is this automatic money that kicks in as soon as a doctor does the paperwork saying you in most likelihood with be dead in six months or less. That money is NOT for you really, but for the agencies and corporations that get to take taxpayer’s money every time someone is about to die. It is a scam.)

So the social worker told me about a month ago she would send an application to see if I could get this grant, that if approved would pay for three month’s rent. I was told two days ago that I was not approved because I won’t be able to better or advance myself with the use of this grant! Dying doesn’t fit into the rules!

At that same time last month I was able to get help applying for Social Security and SSI at Denver Health and my situation allowed them to use the “expedite” forms. So for the last two weeks now I’ve been getting various forms of paperwork back from the Social Security departments! Two days ago I get this letter from them listing all of the things I have in my claim.

I noticed some things are wrong and decided to use the phone number they suggest in the paperwork and asked for the person listed. It was a short wait and then I got to leave a message. I got a call back a little later the same day and she said that I do not have to worry about the corrections until I am approved. That had me to ask, “Approve what? I supplied actual documented doctor forms and was told this would be expedited.” She replied back that it is being expedited, but wait a minute and she would confirm that.

She came back on and said that my case is being expedited and I should hear back from them in five to six months! I told her I will probably not be alive that long. She said that’s all that can be done for now.

So it is getting pretty tough to survive/stay in my apartment these days! The last two months a good friend has volunteered to pay my rent, but I can not expect for that to keep happening. I need to find some kind of real sponsor!

On the Norman Goldman Show today!

Hey you all! I’m sorry that I have not posted in a while. A lot had been going on for the last month, including getting pretty sick for nearly a week and then my sister came out for a visit for a week too!

While my sister was here we went over my paperwork and my wishes. There was paperwork done with my doctor, as in getting my M.O.S.T. form signed and my Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Colorado Directive. With the Denver Health social worker we got my Medical Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions taken care of as well. This will hopefully keep the hospitals from doing anything to try to keep my alive at this point.

Do YOU have your paperwork together for your demise? Each state will have their own forms, but the form you want is the M.O.S.T. form. This is the link to the Colorado example: All about the M.O.S.T. Form.

You will need a Living Will of some sort and here’s the info for Colorado: Colorado Living Wills and Medical Durable Powers of Attorney: What You Need to Know

These are just some of the things that I have just recently gone through and wanted to relate to you all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Skype Me

I have a Skype account set up now for this blog! My Skype Name is: Dying.With.Dignity so give that a try. More than likely the voicemail will kick in. If so, please leave me a message and I might Skype you back. If I do Skype you back, please be aware that I will be recording the call with my Mac.

One Off The Bucket List!

Wednesday afternoon I had the opportunity to actually do a one-on-one Skype call with Rick Simpson of Phoenix Tears! This is certainly something I never thought I would get the chance to do!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I need a sponsor please!

Is there anyone out there that can help me out please?

I am looking for a corporation or organization that would be willing to be my sponsor during my last few months. I need help in keeping my bills paid as I am not really able to real work for clients now. It is truly becoming difficult to concentrate and think hard these days. In fact, it is tough to read pages of text.

If there is such a company or person available, I could be a “spokesperson” or promoter. This would only be for a few months time, as I do not have that much time remaining. But it would be nice that for the remaining time that there would be no worries about rent, utilities, transportation and food. Though I am now getting food stamps, it would be wonderful to be able to go to a few restaurants that I like while I still have the chance.

So is there any type of a sponsor out there?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Al Jazeera News!

Hey everyone, sorry I have not been good at my blogging duties, but I’ve been busy trying to get some things accomplished. Hopefully it will all mesh together. Though it is now Tuesday officially, it is still Monday night to me and earlier this evening I went to TV studio here in Denver and was on the Al Jazeera evening news!

The news anchor is John Seigenthaler and there are two sides of opinion, mine “Dying with Dignity” and John Kelly’s “Not Dead Yet”. I honestly don’t agree with most anything he is saying on this issue and his situation is very, very different than mine. And when you listen to him and check out the organization, they are speaking out as if everyone is severely disabled and that everyone can just endure the pain if they have enough “support”. Some of John Kelly’s statements this evening when applied to my situation simply made no logical sense in my book.

And bottom line, that’s the whole point. This is a personal choice that belongs to each individual and no one is to decide but the individual and John Kelly is trying his best to decide for me. That I will not allow. All the doctors and surgeons agree it is my right to not get another aortic valve replacement, if I choose not to. Then why don’t I also have that right to decide when and how my life ends, rather than drag it on to where I basically drown in my own blood as my heart can no longer pump out.
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Back to the HOME website

Below is the audio clip from the Norman Goldman Show that started this all off for me.

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