Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Oh, just die and suffer.
First, a little mood music:
The threat of people dying of COVID-19 means, for some, only one thing: Beating Corona-chan to the punch.
“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed ‘everything that is wrong with our relationship with dying’ and assisted dying laws must be re-examined as the country begins to recover, campaigners say.
“Terminally ill people should be able to choose how their lives end through a law change with safeguards to prevent abuse, a book written by members of the campaigning organisation Dignity in Dying argues.
“The book, Last Rights: The Case For Assisted Dying, has won support from celebrities including actor Sir Patrick Stewart, chef and TV presenter Prue Leith, and author Ian McEwan.
“The authors say society must make sense of the Covid-19 crisis by using it as a platform for change and taking a “frank, honest look” at the laws around assisted dying in England.
“Sarah Wootton, Dignity in Dying chief executive and co-author Lloyd Riley write: ‘This unfamiliar territory that we now find ourselves in has exposed everything that is wrong with our relationship with dying.’”
And since people are all having meetings via Zoom, why not help people die via Zoom as well?
“Now, death doctors are assisting suicides of patients they may never have met via Zoom and other telehealth — talk about an oxymoron in this circumstance! — means of communication. From, ‘Dying Virtually,’ published in The Conversation:
“Parrot says she sees 90% of her patients online, visually examining a patient’s symptoms, mobility, affect and breathing.
“‘I can get a great deal of information for how close a patient is to death from a Skype visit,’ Parrot explained. ‘I don’t feel badly at all that I don’t have a stethoscope on their chest.’
“After the initial visit, whether in person or online, aid-in-dying physicians carefully collate their prognosis with the patient’s prior medical records and lab tests. Some also consult the patient’s primary physician.
“Did you catch the last bit there? Some ‘consult’ the patient’s primary physician. That also means some don’t. And that means some people are assisted in suicide by doctors they have never met in the flesh and who have never examined them.”
And the death-dealing doctors certainly won’t stop a little thing like the law get in the way.
- Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not legal in the U.K. This is a way around that prohibition.
- MSP is not terminally ill.
- The court is deciding what is supposedly in his “best interests” because he is incapacitated and unable to speak for himself.
- He is incapacitated only because the doctors are using drugs to keep him in an artificial coma — which is not medically necessary for his proper care.
- If MSP were awakened and recovered, he would be able to breathe on his own and receive sustenance.
- Having a stoma can be a hard and emotional adjustment — I know, because my father went through it. But millions of people live normal and happy lives with stomas.
- MSP will be made to die by being kept in a coma without sustenance or respiratory support.
- Maintaining the coma is an active means of enabling the refusal of artificial nutrition and hydration and ventilation; hence, it is being implemented as part of the process to allow the killing of this patient by dehydration or by suppression of respiration as the patient weakens.
- In other words, this isn’t really about refusing medical treatment. That’s a facade. Indeed, keeping the patient unconscious is not a medical treatment but rather a means of facilitating slow-motion euthanasia known as “terminal sedation.” Indeed, Dutch doctors who are queasy about lethally injecting patients often resort to terminal sedation as a means of causing death.
- Terminal sedation should not be confused with “palliative sedation,” a legitimate end-of-life medical treatment that keeps patients with intractable pain who are close to death comfortable. Those patients die naturally of their disease, not by intentional dehydration.