April 11, 2012

"Why Do Americans Balk at Euthanasia Laws?"

A forum at the NYT, with 8 contributors. The one that came closest to the answer for me is: "A Recipe for Elder Abuse."
Proponents tout assisted suicide as providing “choice” over the timing of one’s death. But choice under the Oregon and Washington acts cannot be assured. For example, neither act requires witnesses at the death. Without disinterested witnesses, the opportunity is created for an heir, or someone else who will benefit from the patient’s death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent. Even if he struggled, who would know?
And if we were to go down that road, who would want to know? Another old person has moved on. That will be the overall agenda, once we settle in to the the euthanasia regime.

91 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

Usually these forums at the NYT are terrible. This one, the essays are actually really good, and I did not feel like I wasted my time.

I don't know what I think either way, but I I feel like I know more than I did before after reading these earlier, which is a rare feat for this feature.

traditionalguy said...

Another No Fault Murder Statute.

Death is the enemy. Everyone will get old unless the Enviro's grinding poverty induced to save the Planet gets us first.

So we are being told that the really educated and ethical people among us demand that we make our choice between spending money on medicine for us or administering a suicide dose of poison.

That's what the Vet does for old dogs.

I suspect that the offered choice is not a real choice.

Unknown said...

Couldn't such laws be written to require a disinterested witness and exclude power-of-attorneys?

Rusty said...

traditionalguy said...
Another No Fault Murder Statute.

Death is the enemy. Everyone will get old unless the Enviro's grinding poverty induced to save the Planet gets us first.

So we are being told that the really educated and ethical people among us demand that we make our choice between spending money on medicine for us or administering a suicide dose of poison.

That's what the Vet does for old dogs.

I suspect that the offered choice is not a real choice.

Well, of course.
We are the measure of all things. Why should you think life is sacred? After all we end it in the womb and sometimes after, right?
Your use to society ends when you can't make the payments.
It's Progressive!!

Anglelyne said...

Without disinterested witnesses, the opportunity is created for an heir, or someone else who will benefit from the patient’s death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent.

It's not the over-eager heirs that I'm worried about. (If my spouse or heirs should move to do me in, I'd probably want to give up on this heartless, false world, anyway.) It's the "I'm a professional bioethicist and I'm here to help" trend that gives me the willies.

MadisonMan said...

I think the best point raised was the one about the "Health" Care plan that would pay for euthanizing drugs but would not pay for chemotherapy. There is something wrong there.

Pogo said...

If they offer comfy chairs and a room like the 4 Seasons, it'll be awesome!

Death with dignity and deniability.

Scott M said...

It may not be balking at euthanasia, specifically, but rather a general balk at things that diminish the value of human life. Despite our entertainment culture, most people do not consider human life to be cheap or unimportant. And chipping away at that multifaceted edifice is going to make Americans uncomfortable.

Chris said...

Soylent Green is People. Thats where it ends up.

SGT Ted said...

Euthanasia supporters outside of really sick patients tend to be overy obssessed with death.

Dr Kevorkian was a classic example. He was obviously very obssessed with killing people in the name of commpassion. Oh, right. Thats "helping someone commit suicide".

Doctor assisted Euthanasia is just legalized murder.

Pogo said...

Americans balk because they can, at least for now, and are worried Obamacare/Medicare will not care if they balk.

Would you buy a used car from that man?
Would you let his appointees decide if you get treatment or not?


"I'm not dead yet!
Yes he is.
I'm not.
Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
"

HT said...

Right. Who would want to know? That is indeed the question. Last year, the doctor literally phoned in my mother's cause of death. No physician looked at her in person.

The same does not happen for those younger. Sure, there is some balance that is struck in this, in the larger sense, but on an individual level it's awful practice and I would talk to those ProPublica people in a second.

Matthew Sablan said...

See, here's what I don't get.

We can't trust doctors, because, as the President explained, they are willing to amputate people for extra money. Then, the same people who warn me about greedy doctors, want to assure me that greedy doctors can be trusted with helping people decide whether or not to off themselves.

That's my biggest disconnect; the people who try to convince me that doctors are trust worthy enough to give this power to are the same people who think doctors are greedy SOBs out for the bottom line and the big life. It is hard for me to agree with people who don't contain a consistent view.

But, I'm also torn on the idea if, absent that, if it is a good idea, at all. I don't know.

Scott M said...

"I'm not dead yet!
Yes he is.
I'm not.
Well, he will be soon, he's very ill."


Nerd.

SGT Ted said...

And I'm not interested in enabling suicide made easy for pussies.

If you can still get around and aren't terminally ill, kill yourself. Quit trying to get others to validate your decision.

Anyone who thinks this is great way to save money should just go kill themselves and get in on the savings.

Partridge said...

My grandmother had a stroke several years before she died and needed constant care. She lived in a home a few blocks from my uncle, who regularly took her places (to dinner, to the movies, etc.) and he brought her to the house every day when we were all in town celebrating the holidays.

I remember one time she indicated that she felt she was becoming a burden to us and we were getting tired of her.

We all assured her this was not the case. Yes, it was more work for us when she could no longer walk or take herself to the bathroom. But my uncle told her she should only die when she was good and ready. Of course, he was talking naturally, not about euthanasia.

Wouldn't it have been sad if she had just decided, without asking anybody, that she was too much of a burden and decided to euthanize herself?

I really miss her now.

The point is, dying is not just about oneself. It's about one's family too. The family who either pushes an old person into euthanasia or who still wants that person around but must put up with this "choice" whether they want to or not are both very sad scenarios, it seems to me.

AJ Lynch said...

The NYT has been euthanizing itself.

Lem said...

My mind is made up against it.. so much so that it came down to saving my free NYT articles for another more controversial topic.

Like abortion on demand.. where coincidentally* States that have parental notification laws have decreased the rate of abortions among minors.

While parents are not necessarily "disinterested" parties, it does follow that the option to kill or die takes on more gravitas when shared.

Astro said...

Actually, it is not always a matter of age it is a matter of general health. My wife passed away at the end of last year as a result of an idiopathic neuro-muscular disease, similar to Parkinson's and ALS. She was 63. Her mother and grandmother both lived well into their 80s, so without the disease she might have lived at least another 20 years.
I watched her die.
During those last couple years I thought about euthanasia. I understand how a caregiver can feel trapped. I feared not only losing my wife but losing my home and everything else. I've been there, so I would not condemn a person who wants the easy release of euthanasia. But I could not have done it for her, nor would my wife have asked for it.
One thing I do believe in is a Living Will a "Do Not Resuscitate" clause. I think insurance companies should be allowed to offer discounted rates for people with poor health if they agree to sign a living will with a DNR clause.

Carnifex said...

Chris beat me to it.

All taking of human life is homicide, abortion, execution, assisted suicide, etc, and as such, should be prohibited in my book. The only reason to kill another person is to stop them from killing someone else, justifiable homicide. If you don't respect the non-killing law, it doesn't respect you.

It seems that the only life held sacrosanct by liberals are minority cop killers, and people who wear "hoodies". Before AndyR, Garage, and all the other liberals on here get their panties in a wad, I'll point out that I said seems. I know there are some liberals who take my position too. It's just that their voice is so very tiny that no one can hear them. They get drowned out by the shadow of an aura of a penumbra crowd.

SGT Ted said...

An alternate headline: Why are liberals obsessed with talking people into killing themselves in the name of "compassion"?

Lem said...

The word coincidentally* euthanized my readability index, or shot it to hell.

Matthew Sablan said...

See, I don't think it is meant to let you talk people into it. The laws are supposed to allow the patient to make the choice. In an ideal world, you could have a law like that which would never be abused. The question is how close are we to that, compared to all the pitfalls that surround it. Close enough to justify the law? No where near close enough?

Lem said...

Gavitas did some damage too.

Bryan C said...

"Then, the same people who warn me about greedy doctors, want to assure me that greedy doctors can be trusted with helping people decide whether or not to off themselves."

That's because they're pretty confident they can pay doctors more to kill someone than you can pay them to save someone.

And when the government is the only real customer in the transaction, that's a good bet. Doctors are quite skilled at rationalizing why that old "do no harm" oath doesn't really apply to their modern, enlightened selves.

Matthew Sablan said...

Though the column "The Role of Religion in the U.S." on religion is probably the only place I've ever seen the phrase "unique moral flexibility" used to mean a good thing.

MadisonMan said...

"Do Not Resuscitate"

When my Mom was in the hospital, the one time I became an incoherent weeper was when I asked the nurses if her DNR was on file. It seems like it took me several minutes to ask that simple question. The nurses were very patient.

She went home to die, and it took quite a long time -- almost two weeks. I still wonder if she could have recovered from her strokes, but she was terrified of becoming what her Mom had become: an un-knowing stroke victim, and she gave up.

Is there a difference between assisted suicide and Hospice care that gives comfort but no food?

Scott M said...

She went home to die, and it took quite a long time -- almost two weeks.

Agony. Right up there on the sharp edge of what human suffering can be made to endure.

leslyn said...

SGT Ted said:

"Doctor assisted Euthanasia is just legalized murder." According to the legal definitions it is.

"Euthanasia is illegal in all states of the United States. Physician aid-in-dying (PAD), or assisted suicide, is legal in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

The key difference between euthanasia and PAD is who administers the lethal dose of medication. Euthanasia entails the physician or another third party administering the medication, whereas PAD requires the patient to self-administer the medication and to determine whether and when to do this." Wikipedia

IMO the states who have PAD are humane. Example: We as compassionate humans take the often heart-wrenching responsibility to put down an animal when it is suffering and there is no palliative care nor hope of recovery. I believe, as difficult as that was for me to do, it was the right thing to do.

Why shouldn't we humans have the right to make a responsible decision about our own death when one is suffering, there is no palliative care, and no hope of recovery? It's a decent thing to do when prolonged suffering is often the result of "advanced" medical care.

My mother, on the other hand, has told me no PAD even if she asks for it. But he has also told me she wants no extreme measures--DNR. I will abide by both her wishes.

But personally, I'd go for the PAD myself. I have no religious reservations. When medicine today can prolong my life beyond a natural death, I see no need to prolong an agonizing, useless and hopeless death. Note "useless." While one still wishes to live, one's life is not useless.

Peter said...

The question is, is there any real difference between what medical ethicists offer as "medical ethics," and a duty to check out when one has become a "useless eater," consuming resources yet contributing no economic value?

If it matters, there's already some trade-off in the expected effects of pain control. That is, opiates (and synthetic drugs that mimic them) are depressants, and the doses necessary to control pain not infrequently will also shorten life.

But I think most of us do not consider pain control- even at the cost of shortening life- a form of euthanasia. And so the question remains- do we want to take the leap to active euthanasia, and can anyone truly predict where this might lead?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Natural death" means different things throughout history. Remember when a really bad cut could lead to natural death? I think we need a better term, maybe: "Death caused by the current limits of life-saving technology with an adequate quality of life" or something that captures the idea better than "natural death."

Lem said...

Topic du jour at the NYT?

The bankrupting financials of Obamacare, as detailed in opposition by republicans, is, in the minds of the NYT, the only barrier to health care nirvana.

The US constitution be dammed.

Pogo said...

The problem with socialism is that you can work hard all your life, and your reward is an early death as soon as you become unproductive.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The problem with socialism is that you can work hard all your life, and your reward is an early death as soon as you become unproductive."

Poor Boxer!

PogoПОССУМ said...

Pogo is идиот idiot!

No is worry!
Premier Obama say is no socialism after all!

Is investment ....with the money from other peoples!

гений Genius!

"So these investments -- in things like education and research and health care -- they haven't been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another," the president said today at Florida Atlantic University. "This is not some socialist dream," Obama added, as he called for tax increases on millionaires today to pay for those investments."

Matthew Sablan said...

"The problem with socialism is that you can work hard all your life, and your reward is an early death as soon as you become unproductive."

-- Poor Boxer!

Joe said...

In part, it's because Americans are obsessed with death. They are scared of it. I suspect that some of this is due to how separated we are from death. It is made antiseptic.

Even our death rituals are historically bizarre; filling the body with chemicals and putting on makeup as though we can pretend death never happened. Our caskets are almost hermetically sealed (and absurdly expensive.)

At the very end of life, we often spend a huge amount of money and effort prolonging the inevitable, attaching people to machines and separating them from humanity. The notion of pain management for the dying is scoffed at and even made criminal.

I'm not comfortable with assisted suicide, but I also worry that refusing treatment has been seen as akin to this and is still seen this way by many. People face very difficult choices in life, heroic medical measures being one, yet there are a significant minority who have made it clear that they don't trust individuals to make these choices.

One of the prices of genuine freedom is that people may choose to do things that are unpopular and immoral in the eyes of many, perhaps the majority.

So, do we want real freedom and personal responsibility on our own terms, or do we just want the patina of free choice? Frankly, I suspect that for most, it's the latter.

Cedarford said...

SGT Ted - Doctor assisted Euthanasia is just legalized murder.

=====================
A slogan.
Most American families, unfortunately, have found the reality in modern medicine is life can be prolonged..but in conditions the patient or guardian finds unacceptable.

Chuck66 said...

I was listening to in infomercial on the radio a couple of Saturdays ago. The person talked about "waiters". Those whose financial plan to pay off huge debt is to wait until their parent dies so they will get their parents house and money.

Perhaps this could speed that up a bit.

Richard Dolan said...

"Why do Americans balk at euthanasia laws?"

Shorter version of Ann's answer: because evil lurks in the human heart.

edutcher said...

Why?

Maybe because even public school kids understand, "Auschwitz".

If they can kill the unborn babies and the oldsters, they can kill anybody.

Silppery slope. Camel's nose under the tent. Pick your favorite Lefty euphemism.

PS When Richard Lamm was governor of CO and talking about easing old people out the door and, of course, the harpies were screeching, "Free abortion on demand!", I said to my self, "The Lefties aren't pro-choice, they're pro-death".

Now, at least, they're up front about it.

Petunia said...

I'm a vet. Sometimes euthanasia is the kindest, most humane, most compassionate, dare I say most godly option, and prolonging life until it ends "naturally" is simply cruel.

My uncle died early this morning, at home, with his wife of 59 years nearby. He was LUCKY. Many people are not so lucky.

AllieOop said...

Astro said;
"One thing I do believe in is a Living Will a "Do Not Resuscitate" clause. I think insurance companies should be allowed to offer discounted rates for people with poor health if they agree to sign a living will with a DNR clause."

Thank goodness it wasn't I who said this, I would be labeled the Nurse of Death again by some geniuses here.

Astro I take care of a relative with ALS in my home, he is at the end of his life now and no I won't make HIS decision for him, but will honor what he has told me and what he has put into his Advanced Directives.

PatCA said...

In the olden days, arsenic was called "inheritance powder" because so many impatient heirs used it on their elders. The symptoms were like other diseases at the time.

In our Brave New World, granny would get a painkiller from their lovely SEIU caretakers once those darn headaches and diarrhea started.

Bender said...

"Do you think that it was a pleasure for me to receive the order to permit euthanasia? For fifteen years I had toiled at the sickbed and every patient was to me like a brother. I worried about every sick child as if it had been my own. . . . I fully realize the problem; it is as old as mankind, but it is not a crime against man nor humanity. It is pity for the incurable, literally. Here I cannot believe like a clergyman or think as a jurist. I am a doctor and I see the law of nature as being the law of reason. In my heart there is a love of mankind, and so it is in my conscience. That is why I am a doctor! . . . Death can mean deliverance. Death is life -- just as much as birth. It was never meant to be murder."
--Final Statement of Karl Brandt, United States v. Karl Brandt, et al., 2 Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal 139 (1950)

Bender said...

In connection with his oversight of the child euthanasia, T-4, and other medicalized death programs in Germany, Dr. Karl Brandt told the Nuremberg tribunal, "I was motivated by absolutely humane feelings. I never had any other intention. I never had any other belief than that those poor miserable creatures -- that the painful lives of these creatures were to be shortened." Burleigh, Death and Deliverance: "Euthanasia" in Germany 1900-45 273 (1994).

Many family members were thankful that a burdensome relative "had been given a happy release from their suffering," Brandt claimed, and "we received a great number of letters expressing perfect understanding and agreement with our work." Gallagher, By Trust Betrayed: Patients, Physicians, and the License to Kill in the Third Reich 152 (1990). His defense attorney went even further, arguing to the tribunal that Brandt
"considered the motive of pity for the patient to be the decisive one. This motive is tacitly accepted for euthanasia on the deathbed, and doctors in all countries increasingly acknowledge it. In former times the courts were repeatedly concerned with killings committed out of pity, and in sensational trials, juries found offenders not guilty who freed their nearest relatives from the torment of life. Who would not have the desire to die while in good health rather than to be forced by all the resources of medical science to continue life degraded to an animal's existence! Only misguided civilization keeps such beings alive; in the normal struggle for existence, Nature is more charitable. . . . If healthy human beings make great sacrifices for the community and lay down their lives by order of the state, the insane person, if he could arouse himself mentally and make a decision, would choose a similar sacrifice for himself. Why should not the state be allowed to enact this sacrifice in his case and impose on him what he would want to do himself? . . . The decision as to whether such an order given by the state is admissible or not depends on the conception of the social life of mankind and is, therefore, a political decision."
--Brandt, 2 Nurem.Mil.Trib. 135-36.

Defendant Dr. Valentin Faltlhauser insisted that for him, "the decisive motive was compassion." Burleigh at 277. Pediatrician Ernst Wentzler recalled, "I had the feeling that my activity was something positive, and that I had made a small contribution to human progress." Id. at 100. A physician-defendant at one of the Hadamar trials, Hans-Bodo Gorgass, asserted that "release from this life signifies an act of mercy." Id. at 152. A nurse at Hadamar added that "death was a form of deliverance." Id. at 160. Although workers at the killing centers "sometimes requested transfers, and undoubtedly found the work disgusting, nonetheless they also regarded it as necessary to 'release' the 'regrettable creatures' in their care from their suffering." Id. at 105.

leslyn said...

I think it is a mistake to continue to refer to "euthanasia" as a choice that a person freely makes. It's being used in too many contexts. edutcher is right, that's a slippery slope.

At the risk of being called out for it, I'm going to print again the difference between "euthanasia," which is illegal everywhere in the US, and Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAD):

"Doctor assisted Euthanasia is just legalized murder." According to the legal definitions it is.

"Euthanasia is illegal in all states of the United States. Physician aid-in-dying (PAD), or assisted suicide, which is legal in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

The key difference between euthanasia and PAD is who administers the lethal dose of medication. Euthanasia entails the physician or another third party administering the medication, whereas PAD requires the patient to self-administer the medication and to determine whether and when to do this.

Despite how "Physician-Assisted Suicide" may sound to some, it is only that the doctor, at the patient's request, provides information and access to medications. The patient, the individual, makes the decision to take that route, and must take on the responsibility themselves.

For me, that is a fundamental freedom.

EMD said...

I just finished listening to "The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz."

I don't even know how that fits into this, or what else to say.

wyo sis said...

"Death to the useless! Why not? But only I get to decide who is useless.

Who do you choose to be the person saying the above? Be very careful who you vote for.

Bender said...

Maybe because even public school kids understand, "Auschwitz"

The German euthanasia programs were not part of the "final solution" to the Jewish problem in Europe, other than the fact that the infamous shower room gas chambers originated in the T-4 program with the killing of German Gentile patients. In fact, Jews were prohibited from participation in these merciful deaths.

Concerning those given the benefit of a mercy death in the T-4 program, "No Jews were among them; most Jews had already been sent to the concentration camps. The Nazis considered euthanasia a quasi-ethical sort of murder, and reserved it for members of their own kind." Simon Wiesenthal, The Murderers Among Us, 309-10 (J. Wechsberg ed. 1967).

Even rabid right-to-die advocate Derek Humphry acknowledges, "The mass extermination of Jews by gassing -- a method that accounted for some two-thirds of the deaths -- was preceded, from 1939 to 1941, by the elimination of approximately 100,000 men, women, and children, none of them Jewish, all Aryan Germans, who were handicapped, mentally or physically, or both." Humphry, The Right to Die, 20 (1986).

The German government, “did not want to grant this philanthropic act to the Jews,” defendant Viktor Brack maintained, “the blessing of euthanasia should be granted only to [true] Germans.” Brandt, 1 Nurem.Mil.Trib. at 880.

One of the major T-4 institutions was at the hospital at Hadamar, Germany and it exemplifies what occurred in the adult program. Between January and August 1941, over 10,000 mentally ill Germans were provided a “painless death,” in the shower-room gas chambers at Hadamar. The Hadamar Trial (United States v. Alfons Klein, et al.), Introduction at xxiv (E. Kintner, ed. 1949).

Counsel for Hadamar physician Adolf Wahlmann, insisted at his war crimes trial that "in general, the people killed were those faced with a permanent illness, for whom a completely painless death was a relief," Id. at 228. "Insane people are useless to society and as a rule do not endure pain . . . Incurable tubercular patients, on the other hand, have to suffer terrific pain," added counsel for Heinrich Ruoff. Id. at 233.

leslyn said...

@Allie:

ALS is a horrible, horrible disease. My heart goes out to you and your relative, and I wish you both strength.

leslyn said...

wyo sis said...

"Death to the useless! Why not? But only I get to decide who is useless.

Who do you choose to be the person saying the above? Be very careful who you vote for.

Oh spare me, not "death panels" again. That's a particularly malicious and noxious fiction.

Do you have a complete inability to understand that euthanasia is ILLEGAL in the US?

AllieOop said...

Thanks Leslyn.

Some folks don't understand what suffering is all about, until the time they themselves suffer. Some folks are so wrapped up in ideology that they become indifferent to the human condition.

Bender said...

Inalienable.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"Inalienable," meaning "cannot be alienated," that is, cannot be given away.

As such, aside from the logical absurdity of the proposition, one does not have the freedom to be a slave -- a person's liberty is inalienable, it cannot be given away, even by contract.

Likewise, a person cannot exercise a right to kill himself without first waiving his right to life, but this right is not waivable, it is inalienable. There is no right to give up one's right to life or to be free from freedom.

One does not have a right to be dead. Death, like slavery, is a condition of having no rights at all; a dead person has no rights. The assertion that individuals have a right to have no rights is a logical absurdity.

If there were a right to kill yourself, then one would be free to enter into suicide pacts with others. But no civilized court would ever rule such an agreement to be enforcable.

There exists instead a "fundamental, sacred, and unalterable law of self-preservation," Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, ch. XIII § 149 (1690), so that suicide "is an offense against nature . . . because it is contrary to [these] rules of self-preservation." Hales v. Petit, 1 Plowd. 253, 261, 75 Eng.Rep. 387, 399 (C.B. 1565). Consequently, an individual is "not [at] liberty to destroy himself. . . Every one [is] bound to preserve himself and not to quit his station willfully." Locke, ch. II § 6.

A person's life "cannot legally be disposed of or destroyed by any individual, neither by the person himself nor by any other of his fellow creatures, merely upon their own authority." 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 129, ch. I (1765). All other common law commentators agree, "No man hath the absolute interest of himself." 1 M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown 411 (1736) (suicide is homicidium sui-ipsius, a felony against a man's self); 1 W. Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown 68, ch.27 § 4 (1716).

The killing of one's self has long been deemed to be self-murder. "it is in a degree of murder, and not of homicide or manslaughter [for] murder is the killing a man with malice prepense." Hales v. Petit, 1 Plowd. 253, 261, 75 Eng.Rep. 387, 399 (C.B. 1565). There is no right to kill, rather, the privilege of using deadly force exists only in the preservation and defense of life. As such, there can be no right to receive assistance in killing. And an aider and abetter cannot claim a right to provide such assistance.

Carnifex said...

@leslyn

Yes AlS is a horrible disease. There are plenty of horrible diseases. That doesn't preclude you advocating the sufferers from taking some aspirin and shutting the hell up. "Why, oh why, can't you die quietly like our Dear Leader asks you too?"

The left is all for death panels, like was said earlier, they just want to be the ones in charge of them.

And change the name...make it more user friendly. How about Alternative Care Committees? Much nicer.

Someone once said democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom is the sheep having a gun during the vote.

Ps. Show of hands...who thinks the Congress will vote them selves the best health care money can buy, still?

If Obamacare was so great why do they exempt themselves? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Bender said...

And for those protesting, "What happened in 1930s-40s Germany can never happen here," we need only heed the words of the death nurse who, in expressing disgust for the patients she had dealt with, told us yesterday about how it is not rare that elderly patients will receive purposeful overdoses of morphine.

Bender said...

An authentically compassionate and merciful response to suffering is not to merely eliminate the person who suffers, but by providing love and care for him or her.

AllieOop said...

Bender, you are a liar. I never expressed disgust at anyone I cared for, I described the suffering they did at the hands of uninformed callous people like you.

You really are a despicable person. I feel sorry for you.

leslyn said...

Carnifex said...

"@leslyn Yes AlS is a horrible disease. There are plenty of horrible diseases. That doesn't preclude you advocating the sufferers from taking some aspirin and shutting the hell up. "Why, oh why, can't you die quietly like our Dear Leader asks you too?" The left is all for death panels, like was said earlier, they just want to be the ones in charge of them.

What the hell are you talking about?? "Take aspirin and shut the hell up"? Are you deliberately distorting or are you having a stroke? Try reading for the opposite take.

"The left is all for death panels..." For crying out loud. NO ONE could rationally conclude that from what I said, anyway. Do you hear special voices that tell you these things?

Bender said...

AllieOop said...
Bender, I wish for you a long long life, they endof it spent in a nursing home, getting those yummy tube feelings, playing with your feces and breathing gastric contents.That bellyache isn't so bad is it?

Everyone would choose such a wonderful ending to their lives, would they not?
4/10/12 11:42 AM

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Yes Bender, after you continuously called me a Death Nurse and worse. You are to be ignored and pitied.

I will no longer respond to you.

AllieOop said...

Anyone who thinks that the nurse can just give doses of morphine that she wishes to is uninformed.

It is the doctor who prescribes the dose and the times that it is given. It is a controlled substance, a Schedule 2 drug. The nurse must sign and account for every dose she gives. Narcotics get counted by every shift by nurses from each shift, this is how it was done when I was still nursing.

Now there is a Pyxis system.

Anyone who would call a Hospice nurse a Death Nurse is an ignorant fool.

Bender said...

In addition to that expression of disgust, "playing with your feces and breathing gastric contents," we have this advocacy for death, even death by starvation, which is hardly sympathetic or respectful toward patients --

AllieOop said...
As a nurse who has had to tube feed geriatric dementia patients whose bodies could no longer digest even the mildest of liquid supplements and who were in a continuous state of discomfort and risk for aspiration due to reflux, chronic diarrhea, having to keep their hands out of their feces and mouths, keep their heads above their stomach level, when they are so weak they continually slide down in bed, because the families wanted to keep Mom or Dad alive way beyond the time that nature would kindly have taken them is beyond sad.

Prolonging life artificially can be cruel at times. Even before Obama care inserting G tubes for feeding of elderly dementia patients was on the decline, thank goodness.

Unless you have taken care of these patients with dementia and Alzheimer's, you simply have no idea. All the death panel talk is unrealistic and stuff of the aluminum foil hat society.
4/10/12 9:30 AM


Yes, before you say, "it could never happen here," these expressions from the Kevorkian school of medicine show that it is already happening here.

Carnifex said...

@Allieoop

I regret what you're having to go through now ma'am. One of my grandfathers had to be restrained in his final days. Luckily the nurses didn't speak Italian. What little I understood was horribly blasphemous. The other wasn't because he had a stroke and was totally paralyzed. He was lucid till the day he died, but couldn't communicate except to look at you in the eyes.

I myself have lain on a hospital bed paralyzed, conscious, knowing that if I didn't take a breath in seconds I would pass out and die(I didn't by the way. My uncle on the other hand has been dead 3 times and is still kicking). Another time, I had a tumor rupture in my stomach and the pain was so great I passed out. It took 3 nurses to pull me out of the fetal position.

The hard truth of the matter is that we will feel pain until we die. Emotional, physical, it is always there, at some level. It's what we do with that pain that matters. Our core belief system. This is why I feel bad for Crack, though he would be the first to chastise me for it. To have faith in God, to share our pain, makes our trials so much more bearable.

I respect Crack. He has born a lot, and is a strong man for it. My father is an atheist too. I respect him also. I myself choose to believe there is more than can be quantified by merely holding it in your hand. That our lives DO mean something. Maybe this allows me to experience the strange things I have experienced. The skeptic crowd would argue that I experience BECAUSE I expect them. I can't tell you who is right. I can only tell you that I believe I am.

Understand this, God answers all prayers. What we as finite beings lack understanding in is that sometimes the answer is no.(And no I am not going to get into a philosophical debate on why God allows cancer, etc...this is not the forum for that.)

leslyn said...

@Bender:
Locke and Blackstone are simply philosophy and law hiding the mantle of the Church.

I hold that "the pursuit of happiness" is my inalienable right too. And if life has become insupportable, I do not give it up as a right; it is mine to combine with the pursuit of happiness.

Even Jesus "yielded up his spirit." Matt. 27:50; Ryrie Study Bible. The note to v. 50 says, "Christ was not directly killed by anyone nor was He overcome by natural processes; He released his Spirit." Citing John 10:18 in support.

Now don't get your undies in a bundle. I'm not saying Jesus advocates suicide. As far as I know he didn't address the subject. But he was torn by compassion for the suffering.

Carnifex said...

@Leslyn

You said "Oh spare me, not "death panels" again. That's a particularly malicious and noxious fiction.

Do you have a complete inability to understand that euthanasia is ILLEGAL in the US?"

And my response is that when has something being illegal stopped our president?

And no, its not a fiction. Just claiming it isn't doesn't mean we all drink that arsenic flavored kool-aid you serving.

To be perfectly clear on what we are debating, You are saying there is no "advisory board" set up by the obamacare bill, empaneled with 15 unelected persons, who will decide on what will or will not be treated by the Government after taking over the health care system. And these unelected persons are actually able to recieve "gifts" from, oh, I don't know, rich mother effing lobbyist types trying to game the system for their own benefit?

Is that what you insist is not a "death panel". Or maybe you can argue that the law was written so poorly that no one actually has a effing clue to what's in it? You know, we have to pass it first. Well it passed and still no one knows whats in this piece of tripe the liberal dems are calling Filet Mignon. You may go ahead and take a big bite, but I want no part of that big, stinking, shit sandwhich your vaunted Dear Leader bought with Soros and taxpayer money.

traditionalguy said...

AllieOop...I was wondering if Bender is now off your friend's list, can I get on in his place? Or are you giving me the real silent treatment...the one where you wont even call to tell me I am on it?

AllieOop said...

Since I don't know you yet, you are still off my ignore list here at the Althouse casa.

Or do I know you?

Carnifex said...

Ps.

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why, if Obamacare is so effing great, that the congress exempted themselves from it.

leslyn said...

And, once again, "While one still wishes to live, one's life is not useless"!

Bender said...

He was torn by compassion for the suffering

Pain and suffering and hardship in this world cannot be avoided. You cannot run away from them. They will eventually catch up to you. Eventually they will ambush you.

But, yes, God does not stand idly by. Rather, He is compassionate.

That is, in Jesus, God suffers with us (from the Latin “com,” meaning “with,” and “passion,” meaning “to suffer”). He does not eliminate suffering, that is, pretend that it does not exist. It does exist, and to pretend otherwise would be contrary to truth. Rather, in love, Jesus takes that suffering upon Himself and thereby transforms it.

Similarly, the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through "com-passion" is a cruel and inhuman society.

It is only in the transformative power of love that suffering is defeated. Morphine overdoses, plastic bags over the head, and bricks smashing in the skull are not expressions of such love. They are the contrary of love.

AllieOop said...

Carnifex, Obamacare sucks. Why be forced to buy a crappy product? Gift to the Insurance companies, millions more customers. I hope it gets overturned.

Carnifex said...

@Allieoop

Hah, when that tumor in my stomach ruptured I cursed you nurses for not giving me enough morphine. That damn machine...I kept pressing that button, but it did no good.

Nurses have the hardest jobs in health care, and I could never do it. You lady, are why humanity is worth saving from itself.

AllieOop said...

Carnifex, that pain pump is one of the most hated and loved pieces of machinery in a post op patient's room, besides the nurse call button, lol.

wyo sis said...

"Do you have a complete inability to understand that euthanasia is ILLEGAL in the US?"

Do you have the ability to understand that what has been illegal can become legal very easily? If not maybe you should start paying attention. Murder is illegal and yet abortion is supported by the government legally. Semantics?

leslyn said...

Bender said:

Similarly, the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through "com-passion" is a cruel and inhuman society.

It is only in the transformative power of love that suffering is defeated. Morphine overdoses, plastic bags over the head, and bricks smashing in the skull are not expressions of such love. They are the contrary of love.

True. And not at all what I was talking about. All illegal. All either euthanasia or murder.

When you quote me, don't attribute things to me that I did not say and could not remotely be attributed to my intent. You disappoint me.

leslyn said...

wyo sis said...

Do you have the ability to understand that what has been illegal can become legal very easily? If not maybe you should start paying attention. Murder is illegal and yet abortion is supported by the government legally. Semantics?

Yep. And theoretically, a law could be passed that all Irish people will become slaves. But that don't mean it's going to happen.

Muncie Home Brewer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

When you quote me, don't attribute things to me that I did not say and could not remotely be attributed to my intent.

leslyn, you are not the only one here. I was not having a one-on-one discussion with you. I was addressing the entire group of people here.

I did not attribute things to you that you did not say, I accurately quoted you, "He was torn by compassion for the suffering," and used that as a springboard to advance the discussion, raising points that I intended to raise.

Astro said...

AllieOop, you have my complete support. Strength to you both.
I agree, Obamacare sucks.
And yes, Bender is an ignorant fool.

CWJ said...

OK so I get home and darn I failed to comment before the food fight. I care about this topic, and firmly believe that the pressure for the old (regardless of circumstance) to off themselves will only increase. Someone please give me a reason that I am wrong. All but a few of you have missed our hostess' post in effect questioning what happens when no one else is watching. Leslyn repeating that euthanasia is illegal and the death panels aren't to be feared are very thin reeds in the face of the coming hurricane.

Years ago when roe v wade was being argued much was made of this trimester versus that trimester in deciding the question of abortion. Today our president and hhs secretary have gone to the mat to defend partial birth abortion, and some with presumably a straight face have suggested post birth abortion.

If abortion "law" has slid so far away from that enshrined in roe v wade. Why should any geezer have faith in the better nature of those with far more interest in seeing them dead.

Michael McNeil said...

My uncle on the other hand has been dead 3 times and is still kicking).

Utter nonsense. The heart stopping or breathing stopping does not mean that one is “dead.” Every cell in your body is still alive. Yes, they will relatively quickly die if the bodily systems that nourish and provide oxygen to them and carry wastes away are not restarted, but providing they are restarted, the life of the body simply continues without interruption, regardless of the momentary lapse by a mere pump.

Society's coming to understand this basic truth is the reason why brain death (the permanent ceasing of higher brain activity) is now universally recognized in this country as the real end of human life.

wyo sis said...

leslyn
If some people were already slaves the thought of a law making Irish slaves would be far from an idle idea. We're talking here about a culture that increasingly devalues life, and the idea of death panels in this culture is not at all remote.

leslyn said...

@Bender. Fine. Don't do that either. One thing appeared to inevitably lead to the other.

leslyn said...

For everyone who fears they are sliding down the slippery slope:

Don't live in Washington, Oregon, or Montana then.

As to the "death panels"--build a panic room and go in there and breathe into a paper bag.

wyo sis, we will always be talking at cross purposes because you won't get off your abortion platform. Don't kid your self on this topic, that's all you really care about.

SukieTawdry said...

There are elders in the Netherlands who wear medic alert bracelets that say "do not euthanize."

Jose_K said...

soon, the carousel

wyo sis said...

leslyn
I need you to come live in my head and tell me what I'm really thinking. Maybe you can make sense of some of the stray bits of crazy liberal "logic" floating around in there.

Carnifex said...

#michael mcneil

Don't get out much do ya' son? That's called a joke, a play on words to bring a bit of amusement to a conversation. You must not get invited to a lot of parties. I can see you being invited to many, many, snipe hunts.

man with desire said...

This article shows that the euthanasia is ethically and morally wrong; http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/euthanasia.html