Monday, January 30, 2012

The Role Of Advocates In Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

Here’s a good read on the importance of patient advocates surrounding issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Humanize or Euthanize
The health care topic seems to be getting a lot of attention these days. In Vermont the Death with Dignity Bill was to be considered by the Legislature during the current session. It is now reported that the Bill will be put on hold. Physician assisted suicide is a controversial topic. Moral, philosophical, and scientific considerations are included in the debate.
In complete disclosure - I believe that all life is sacred. That puts me on one side of the argument - sort of. I also believe that if pain is so intense that it does not respond to any drug, compassion might be the preferred stance. Moral conundrums always make life complicated. To gain some clarity on this question, I recently had a conversation with a doctor. I chose a doctor who is highly respected for her humanitarianism. My question was whether or not pain could be so horrific that nothing would relieve it. I suggested putting the patient in a coma. The doctor told me intractable pain is something that can happen, and then she quickly expanded her answer. She said it is extremely rare. That is reassuring. It seems to me, a patient in pain should be given anything that works - morphine drips, pot, absinthe - anything if it can relieve intense pain.  When nothing works, we have to rethink the moral dilemma. more

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