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Maybe now, nation can discuss reasonableness of assisted suicide (Barf alert)
Kentucky.com ^ | 6/19/11 | John M. Shotwell

Posted on 06/19/2011 2:21:18 PM PDT by wagglebee

When Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a leading proponent of right-to-die legislation, died June 3, he may have achieved something he was unable to accomplish in his last years: perhaps return the issue of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) to a serious level of legitimate public discourse.

Public opinion polls conducted during the middle of the last decade by CBS/New York Times and the Pew Research Foundation show that Americans are pretty much split down the middle on whether PAS should be an option for dying patients and their families.

Yet in more recent years, the debate, while unsettled, seems to have subsided even though it raises very real questions about life, death and autonomy.

Kevorkian earned the nickname "Doctor Death" after a string of assisted suicides in the 1990s. He eventually served eight years of a 10-15 year sentence for second-degree murder.

During his lifetime, Kevorkian tended to subvert objective discussion of PAS. With his eccentric antics, exemplified by his self-made "suicide machine," he became a lightning rod for opponents of the "death with dignity" movement which reached its zenith in 1997 when Oregon became the first state to legalize PAS.

Washington followed suit with a similar statute in 2009, the same year a Montana court decision effectively decriminalized the practice in that state. In the rest of the U.S., and in much of the world, PAS is prosecutable as homicide.

PAS is defined by the American Geriatrics Society as an instance in which "... a physician provides either equipment or medication, or informs the patient of the most efficacious of already available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life."

In the 1969 film, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, set during the Great Depression, a young man rationalizes to authorities his assisted suicide of a depressed and exhausted woman by comparing the act to euthanizing a horse with a broken leg. The court doesn't buy his argument and he is hanged for murder.

Today the criminal justice system would no less likely regard an act to put humans "out of their misery" as humane and defensible. But in this century, some argue that with the future of Medicare as an entitlement threatened by the soaring cost of health care, PAS may provide a social — as well as humane solution — as patients opt to escape their suffering and alleviate their survivors of the financial burden of extending their deaths.

Americans spend countless hours and billions of dollars each year to better manage their lives. Death management, on the other hand, is major anathema.

Few people like to talk about death. Many obituaries sugarcoat a person's demise with euphemisms such as "gone to be with the Lord." We are conflicted about death, perceiving it at once as tragedy and blessing. But is PAS for someone who is suffering and near death mercy or murder? Should we be able to set forth conditions for our preferred means of death in the form of advanced directives while still of sound mind?

A living will, the most common form of advanced directive, is a written declaration, directed to a physician, stating that a patient wishes to forgo extraordinary treatment of a terminal illness, in order to die a natural death. The document allows competent adults to specify medical treatments to be accepted or refused if they should become incompetent.

California enacted the first living will legislation in 1976. Kentucky's Living Will Directive Act was passed in 1994. While living wills typically address a person's preferences as to whether to curtail treatments such as a respirator or feeding tube as a means of ending life, a similar advanced directive could be crafted to address PAS, if the practice became legalized in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Fundamentally, PAS appears at odds with the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath which holds that the physician as healer should never administer or prescribe a lethal potion. PAS opponents argue that legalizing the practice will lead to a social policy endorsing non-voluntary euthanasia. Others contend that abetting suicide, regardless of the circumstances, is morally, inherently wrong.

For centuries, most cultures have regarded suicide as a tragic act of desperation. Some religions consider suicide as an automatic road to perdition — a final and irrevocable spiritual damnation — regardless of the value and virtue of the life ended.

Some advocates regard the alternative, life-extension beyond the arc of life's normal parameters, as an even worse moral violation — an extension of suffering and a drain of family and state financial resources. They argue that the issue centers more on autonomy and the right of self-determination than morality.

Autonomy is the self in self-determination. And perhaps it's time to consider whether that autonomy should be extended to determining when it's time to end one's temporal self.

Kevorkian's own death can't be classified as martyrdom for his crusade since he expired, apparently and ironically, of natural causes. But perhaps it will rejuvenate discussion of this literal life-or-death decision that cuts across the philosophical and professional boundaries of law, theology, medicine, ethics and morality.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: assistedsuicide; deatheaters; euthanasia; homicide; jackkevorkian; kevorkian; medicide; moralabsolutes; prolife
Kevorkian's own death can't be classified as martyrdom for his crusade since he expired, apparently and ironically, of natural causes.

These people are so twisted.

1 posted on 06/19/2011 2:21:21 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser
Pro-Life Ping
2 posted on 06/19/2011 2:23:07 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: BykrBayb; floriduh voter; Lesforlife; Sun; EternalVigilance
Ping
3 posted on 06/19/2011 2:24:22 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; Amos the Prophet; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

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4 posted on 06/19/2011 2:25:43 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

I want ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to be done to preserve my life. This life is very short and I want to love it as long as possible.

I need this life to make amends, ask forgiveness to those I have wronged and unite with those whom I was close to at an early age.

To me, life is a gift and I tend to hold onto that gift as long as I possibly can.


5 posted on 06/19/2011 2:37:29 PM PDT by NoGrayZone ("Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being beheaded.")
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To: NoGrayZone

Assisted suicide is unquestionably wrong. The moment we cross that barrier, we will end up artificially ending the lives of those that don’t measure up to a certain societal standard.

Having said that, I also believe it to be wrong to try and extend life where there is no reasonable chance to save it.

By reasonable, I mean when all treatments are no longer holding death and disease at bay.


6 posted on 06/19/2011 2:59:43 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30
"Having said that, I also believe it to be wrong to try and extend life where there is no reasonable chance to save it."

I completely understand where you are coming from. I just went through the death of a 37 year old mother of 4, who had a brain aneurysm, with such force, it destroyed 1/2 her brain and pushed the other half crashing against her skull.

I cannot speak for others.....but for me, come hell and high waters, I'm coming back. I've already told my family to keep me alive, no matter WHAT anyone says.

If He thinks I and my family have had enough, he will end mine and my family's suffering. I WILL NOT leave it to a mere mortal to make such a decision.

7 posted on 06/19/2011 3:09:56 PM PDT by NoGrayZone ("Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being beheaded.")
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To: Jonty30; NoGrayZone
Having said that, I also believe it to be wrong to try and extend life where there is no reasonable chance to save it.

By reasonable, I mean when all treatments are no longer holding death and disease at bay.

NOBODY is suggesting that extraordinary means of life support be used for extensive periods of time (though it must be pointed out that food and water are NEVER considered "extraordinary" as they are required by everyone). The problem is when methods are used that are designed to end life.

8 posted on 06/19/2011 3:10:00 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee; a fool in paradise; JoeProBono; Slings and Arrows; Daffynition

9 posted on 06/19/2011 3:13:14 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: wagglebee

I do not mean to deny bodily needs, right to the point of death. I’m talking about treatments that cost the user or tax payers, millions of dollars, just for a few months of life.

People need to remember that God created death. It serves a purpose within His creation. To try and stop the inevitable, at some point, is denying the very will of God.


10 posted on 06/19/2011 3:14:57 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: wagglebee
"(though it must be pointed out that food and water are NEVER considered "extraordinary" as they are required by everyone)."

Unfortunately, I have seen that happen within recent years. They stop the food and water (me and my bff still talk about it to this day and consider it murder).

To deprive ANY living soul basic food and water, even if through drips, is killing them on purpose.

As my name states...."NoGrayZone". There is no gray area for me regarding the above.

11 posted on 06/19/2011 3:17:19 PM PDT by NoGrayZone ("Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being beheaded.")
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To: Jonty30; NoGrayZone
You should take a look at this:

Father Frank Pavone: Freedom to Die?


12 posted on 06/19/2011 4:07:34 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Father Pavone’s position is very similar to mine in principle. As treatments become accessible and affordable and effective use them. However, if a treatment is going to cause somebody else to go into economic bondage or deny somebody medical treatment that could lead to their death, I cannot, in good conscience, make use of it.


13 posted on 06/19/2011 4:30:09 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: wagglebee

Father Pavone’s position is very similar to mine in principle. As treatments become accessible and affordable and effective use them. However, if a treatment is going to cause somebody else to go into economic bondage or deny somebody medical treatment that could lead to their death, I cannot, in good conscience, make use of it.


14 posted on 06/19/2011 4:30:17 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: wagglebee

Father Pavone’s position is very similar to mine in principle. As treatments become accessible and affordable and effective use them. However, if a treatment is going to cause somebody else to go into economic bondage or deny somebody medical treatment that could lead to their death, I cannot, in good conscience, make use of it.


15 posted on 06/19/2011 4:30:21 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30; NoGrayZone
However, if a treatment is going to cause somebody else to go into economic bondage or deny somebody medical treatment that could lead to their death, I cannot, in good conscience, make use of it.

As with ALL technological advances medical treatments become less expensive as they are used; it is necessary to utilize these techniques as they are developed in order to make them better and more affordable. The cost of this is nearly always absorbed by hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

And before you bring up the the Medicare crisis you need to realize that the problems ARE NOT because those on Medicare didn't pay in enough money, the problem is that less than a decade after Medicare was implemented a decision was made to murder 53 MILLION future taxpayers. ALL of America's economic problems exist because of our abandonment of pro-life principles, Social Security and Medicare would be fully solvent were it not for abortion.

16 posted on 06/19/2011 4:42:00 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Again, something from a mere mortal. Not ONE of us can know what His plan is.

What if He decides to keep someone. What if that procedure has only a 2% chance of working? Who do we think we mere mortals think we are?

We ARE NOT Him. Death is the wage of sin, in which we are ALL born into. However, if He decides a person would be better suited here on this upside down evil world, they will pull through.

If He has other plans for this person, He will relieve the pain and suffering to him/her and their family and do just that.

He is not the cause of death....satan is. satan rules our world and I cannot wait to get IT the HECK out of here!


17 posted on 06/19/2011 4:53:19 PM PDT by NoGrayZone ("Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being beheaded.")
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To: wagglebee

The decision to end a life is not the same as comforting a dying person. Deliberately ending a life takes death out of the hands of God. If God provided death as the end of life then it is His decision to end it, not someone playing God. A culture that denies God’s authority over life and death will always engage in the murder of innocents. Whether the person is an unborn infant or someone frail and sickly killing them is only acceptable in a Godless world.


18 posted on 06/19/2011 5:05:55 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This IS my blog site.)
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To: Louis Foxwell
Very well said, I agree completely.
19 posted on 06/19/2011 5:08:37 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Liberal Democrats and their politicians first.


20 posted on 06/19/2011 5:10:47 PM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: wagglebee
Maybe now, nation can discuss reasonableness of assisted suicide

I'm willing to discuss the 'reasonableness' even though there is none. It's one thing for people to end their own lives, assuming the problem is a painful terminal illness and not just a chemical imbalance or temporary life setback - while I strongly disapprove, I have no say once they are dead. It is entirely different for someone who doesn't have enough interest to make a successful effort to demand that another person provide assistance, or for a greedy relative or government official to pressure a sick relative or user of ObamaCare to end it all so they can cut costs. There is no situation in which laws supporting assisted suicide make any sense at all, there is nothing reasonable about the debate, and the main value of such discussions is in illustrating who hates their parents enough to knock them off to get a bigger inheritance or just to get that loot sooner, and who hates the elderly in general enough to deny their care so that the money can go to unions that provide more votes.

21 posted on 06/19/2011 6:09:57 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: wagglebee

Dr. Harold Shipman. 218 patients murdered, likely many more, mostly women. Only discovered when he tried to steal from the estate of his last victim, which caused an investigation. Nobody noticed all the other people dying.

Dr. John Bodkin Adams. 160 patients murdered, only detected when he stole from them.

Dr. Herman W. Mudgett. 200 victims. Detected by insurance fraud.

Nurse Genene Ann Jones. Between 10 and 46 children. Protected from suspicious doctors by other nurses.

Nurse Stephan Letter. 29 patients.

Nurse Beverley Allitt. Killed 4 babies, injured 9 others.

Nurse Charles Cullen. Killed 40 people.

Nurse Orville Lynn Majors. Killed 130 people.

Nurse Jane Toppan. Killed 31 people.

Nurses Waltraud Wagner and Irene Leidolf (a team effort). Killed 49 people.

Nurse Edson Isidoro Guimarães. Believed to have killed 131 people.


22 posted on 06/19/2011 6:48:21 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: NoGrayZone

I was in the hospital two weeks ago to have my gall bladder rremoved. I miss you, Buddy.

Anyway, we got to the question about Living Wills, and if things go wrong on this relatively safe operation, etc. Mu Answer to them was, “Keep me alive at ALL costs”.

And no, I don’t want to be an o rgan donor.


23 posted on 06/20/2011 11:03:42 AM PDT by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man.)
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