Kevorkian: Out

Dr. K on the loose again:

After spending eight years in the slammer on a second-degree murder conviction, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a.k.a. “Dr. Death,” is once again a free man—and he hasn’t changed his belief that terminally ill patients have the right to die.

Of course he hasn’t. Because they do.

This morning I heard on NPR that Right to Die groups are comparing his assisted suicide method to pre-Roe illegal abortions, suggesting that if there were a safe and legal way for a terminally ill patient to decide to end his/her life with dignity and the assistance of trained medical personnel, Dr. Kevorkian wouldn’t be necessary.

That sounds about right. I’m quite certain he would agree.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Kevorkian: Out

  1. evilchemistry

    One of the first, if not the first, things Asscroft went after was Oregon’s Right to Die law.

    If Kevorkian was the mass murderer he is made out to be wouldn’t he live in Oregon?

  2. Kate217

    I know that this is trite, but it’s still true: we put down our terminally-ill pets to save them from suffering. Shouldn’t humans have the same option to avoid incurable suffering?

    I am in no way advocating others’ making that decision for someone, but why not give someone who’s dying anyway and in excruciating pain as much morphine as s/he wants, even if it’s a lethal amount? I watched my mother die of cancer (while refusing pain meds because they made her “woozy”). I wouldn’t wish that (either the death or the watching) on my worst enemy.

  3. my father just died last saturday after a 7 year up and down road. the last 2 years were awful for him, the last 6 weeks, hellish.

    if i could have ended his pain, i would have.

  4. nightshift66

    I firmly believe that every one of you is motivated by compassion for the suffering, and that speaks well of your character. However, I think you all underestimate the depravity that lurks inside many (perhaps most) people.

    I have personally watched people try to push their grandmothers out of their homes so they (the grandchildren) could sell the house for the money. I’ve watched wish their own parents would die so they can get the money. Who were those boys in California, Menendez brothers? Shot their own parents for the money.

    I know from history that the Nazis considered the old and infirm ‘life unworthy of life,’ and it is reported anecdotally that in Holland, the laws Kevorkian would implement here are being used to quietly do away with people who haven’t the mental capacity to make such a decision for themselves.

    And I know with absolute certainty that if ever there is ‘doctor-assisted suicide’ in this country, we will witness an exponential rise in the fatality of Alzheimer’s patients, ALS victims, and others who are just ‘using up resources.’ We will also see a quiet rise in the income of the doctors of said people. Well, we won’t see it, ’cause we’ll avert our eyes and cover our ears, but it will happen.

  5. Melissa McEwan

    my father just died last saturday

    My condolences, Sherry.

  6. Melissa McEwan

    I have personally watched people try to push their grandmothers out of their homes so they (the grandchildren) could sell the house for the money. I’ve watched wish their own parents would die so they can get the money. Who were those boys in California, Menendez brothers? Shot their own parents for the money.

    And how many people care for ailing grandparents, or parents? Even those who didn’t deserve it? I can think of only one person in my entire circle of (pre-blog RL) friends who didn’t themselves care for a grandparent or parent until death or, when younger, had a grandparent living with them in their parents’ care. I know you’re a pessimist, Nightshift, but the amount of in-home elder care (among people who could afford to put relatives in “a home”) in this country is HUGE. You shouldn’t just gloss over that to suggest most people would kill elders in their care.

    quietly do away with people who haven’t the mental capacity to make such a decision for themselves

    An easy way to deal with that is to restrict the procedure only to those who can make a decision–and a conscious request–for themselves. Not signing a piece of paper, not blinking once for yes and twice for no, but saying to a doctor, “I would like to die now, please.”

  7. evilchemistry

    And perhaps you overestimate, seeing how your examples are egregious (I mean really, Nazis?).

    And I know with absolute certainty

    Oh jeebus, take a look at Oregon’s law before you go talking about absolute certainty. Oregon Right to Die Law For one, take a look at the Requirements.

    Sherry, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  8. PortlyDyke

    Actually, I’m intimately familiar with the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. It saved one of my friends, dying of AIDs, a great deal of suffering, and put him in control of his passage.

    Another of my friends, dying of breast cancer, made the request, had the prescription, and didn’t use it. I know, from her own lips, that having that option was a huge comfort to her. I sat through the last three days of her life with her.

    Oregon’s bill requires that only the person dying can make the request, that they must be deemed capable of making the request, and that at least one of the two people witnessing the signature on the written request is not a) related, b) entitled to any part of their estate, c) their attending physician, or d)an employee of the care facility where they are residing.

    Since the act was passed in the 90s (with my vote supporting it, BTW), on average, about 35 people per year have actually exercised the option.

    This bill came into my life after I had sat, in the 80s, with some 20 different friends as they died of AIDs. Every death I experienced only strengthened my understanding that, was I ever given six months or less to live (and that’s the law), I would want the option of choosing my time and my manner of passing.

    If you want to read more about why Oregon’s law is being used as a model, check here:
    http://www.deathwithdignity.org/historyfacts/questions.asp

  9. PortlyDyke

    And Sherry, my condolences as well.

  10. Kate217

    Sherry, you have my deep and sincere condolences.

    Nightshift66, the fact of the matter is that until fairly recently, “doctor assisted suicide” wasn’t uncommon. Doctors quietly gave their patients enough opiates to feel no pain and if a side-effect were an inability to breathe, at least they weren’t suffering. Most stopped because it became a legal issue.

    Do I think that there were (and in the future oculd be) cases of abuse? Of course. Do I believe that abuse was/would be the norm? Absolutely not.

  11. Tracey in AZ

    The other day, my eleven year old daughter asked me if there was euthanasia for people (our cats were recently euthanized). When I told her that it was illegal for people to end their lives or for someone to help a terminally ill person to do so, she said that it didn’t make sense. We didn’t let our cats suffer, why would we let people suffer? If my child can grasp the concept, why can’t the rest of society?

  12. I may ruffle feathers on this, but I am so tired of hearing about the right to die in cases where people are not afforded the means of treating interminable pain and suffering with cannabis.

    Yes, you should have the right to avail yourself of what gives your suffering cease.

  13. Tracey in AZ

    Sherry, you have my sympathy.

    Peace

  14. Meantime, Ed Rosenthal has been convicted of violating federal law for growing medical marijuana under the supervision and authorization of the city of Oakland.

  15. RayCeeYa

    “but why not give someone who’s dying anyway and in excruciating pain as much morphine as s/he wants, even if it’s a lethal amount?”

    That’s exactly what we do here in Oregon. When someone chooses to end their life here, after going through all the legal motions, he or she is given a prescription for a lethal combination of pain killers and sedatives. They are allowed to administer themselves these drugs themselves at a time and place of their own choosing.

  16. “And I know with absolute certainty that if ever there is ‘doctor-assisted suicide’ in this country, we will witness an exponential rise in the fatality of Alzheimer’s patients, ALS victims, and others who are just ‘using up resources.’ We will also see a quiet rise in the income of the doctors of said people.”

    Nightshift, you can know with absolute certainty any old thing you please, but there is doctor-assisted suicide in Oregon, has been for ten years, and none of your Hitlerian prophesies have come to pass.

    Nightshift, your absolute certainty is documented to be false. Time to reconsider your presumptions.

  17. Brynn

    Sherry, my sincere condolences.

    I am 100% in favour of right-to-die laws with only one caveat: universal, free healthcare. It seems to me a very bad idea to introduce doctor-assisted suicide when the first concern of a person facing terminal illness could be the potential of bankrupting their family.

  18. thanks so much. my dad told the doctors at the intensive care that he did not want any life support. they agreed, so did my mother. no one expected him to live thru the night, my dad included, but he lived 2 weeks in intensive care and 3 days in the long term vet’s hospital before he died. they tried to keep him as comfortable as they could but there is only so much you can do. he couldn’t breathe, even with 2 hoses going to his oxygen mask and 12 liters of oxygen. he was coughing up lots of blood. he knew what was going on.
    if i could have given him an injection myself, i would have.
    i think dr, k. deserves a medal. i support him 100 percent.

  19. oh and yes, universal health care!

  20. nightshift –

    You may THINK you “know” something with “absolute certainly”, but it is patently obvious that you merely believe such.

    How can I say such?

    Simply because you’re operating as though right-to-die legislation is a hypothetical. There are plenty of countries with such legislation and they haven’t descended into your Goodwin derived fear-mongering. Similarly, there is a well-established history of such even in this country, again without your nightmare developing.

    I certainly agree with brynn’s point of universal health care, and I support such as a human-right completely aside from right-to-die, but I do honestly think that despite there being concerns that you are correct in, that your overall premise is wrong hon.

  21. chillindisciple

    “Free universal healthcare?” One: there is no such thing in the constitution that says the government is required to take care of the health of individuals. Two: nothing is free. Somehow all those nurses and doctors have to be paid for their services and the equipment has to be paid for as well. Who’s going to pay? The Government? Well who’s the government? US!

    And could you imagine what’s going to happen to the health care industry when the boomers start to retire? I for one don’t want half, or possibly more, of my already meager income to be taken by the “government” to take care of someone who smoked all their lives and now has lung cancer. Don’t tell me “the rich” will pay for it because they won’t. The second taxes get raised on them they’ll just move or hide their money like they always do. And then guess who ends up paying: us.

    Yes our healthcare system is in trouble, but “universal health care” not the solution

  22. Pingback: Daily Round-Up at Shakesville

  23. No problem, Chill, we’ll just pay for our health care out of our privatized Social Security portfolios.

    Nice victim-blaming, too.

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