It is amazing that still in the 21st century there is not widespread acceptance and legality of physician-assisted suicide.
Even the term voluntary euthanasia (from the Greek meaning good death) is still considered taboo--similar to using the term radical Islamist.
People are afraid to call a spade a spade and deal with life's complexities and harsh realities.
All through history, mankind had the code of conduct and honor that when someone (person or animal) was mortality wounded by nature or in battle, they would be "put out of their misery."
This is called COMPASSION!
Yet, in modern-day civilization, extremist PC-ness (politically correctness) dooms even such a basic fundamental act of decency toward one another.
Like with radical Islam, the fear of saying it and admitting to a war against extremist and murderous religion ideology cannot be fathomed and so "leadership from behind" mandates that we close our eyes and pretend the boogeyman isn't really in the room--even if it means continuous losing in the global war on terror.
Similarly, with euthanasia, poor excuses for leaders fear that once the genie is out of the bootle, people will just be committing arbitrary acts of suicide left and right.
Unfortunately, these weak people in leadership positions are not leaders, but rather cowards who force others to suffer whether by the hands of terrorism and war or by the unnecessary and cruel suffering for people with the most horrible illness and disabilities in society.
In 1988, "Dr. Death," Jack Kevorkian, provided assisted suicide to someone with the horrible, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and in turn, he had to spend 8 years in jail for second-degree murder.
Fortunately, there are now already 5 U.S. states where "physicians cannot prosecuted for prescribing medication to hasten death", where individuals that "have a terminal illness as well as a prognosis of six months or less to live." These include: Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, and Montana (when mandated by a court ruling).
Similarly, overseas in Switzerland, associations like DIGNITAS, provide services "accompanying dying patients at the end of their lives and assistance with suicide."
The person must have a:
- "terminal illness" and/or an
- "an "unendurable incapacitating disability" and/or
- "unbearable and uncontrollable pain."
The end is made reasonable and humane by having a in-depth evaluation, followed by at least 2 face-to-face meetings with doctors, getting a prescription for the medicine, setting a mutually agreed date, having loved ones at their side, and self-administering the fatal dose of Sodium Pentobarbital (NaP), usually 15 mg by swallowing or administering by gastric tube or intravenously.
The medicine is "lethal, fast-acting, and completely painless"--after taking it, the patient falls asleep within a few minutes and passes peacefully.
Having seen my own mother suffer horribly with Parkinson's Disease, I know that voluntary euthanasia would not only have been the merciful thing to do, but the right thing to do to help people.
Political correctness and fear of doing what needs to be done is no excuse for prolonging the suffering of those that want to exercise their right to die and who deserve their final peace. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)