Quick Takes – How Euthanasia Kills: Death By Non-Doctors; Death By Organ Harvesting; Death By Starvation

     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: The murderous paradox of homicidal choice.

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

Death, Rx

     You know people are eager to see people die when they see a patient’s own long-term physician is an obstacle.

“When selling the legalization of assisted suicide, activists always promise that strict guidelines will protect against abuse.

“After legalization, these protections are rebranded as ‘obstacles’ or ‘barriers’ that prevent patients from getting what they want. As soon as activists think they can get away with it, the law is loosened.

“That process is unfolding in Washington State, where a new bill would let non-doctors be part of the assisted suicide bureaucratic process. From HB 1141 (my emphasis):

“‘Attending ((physician)) qualified medical provider’ means the physician, physician assistant . . . or advanced registered nurse practitioner who has primary responsibility for the care of the patient and treatment of the patient’s terminal disease . . .”

     Waste not; want not. Especially when it comes to harvesting the organs of people you are killing.

“The patient is only sedated at home, which marks the start of euthanasia in legal terms but is medically only intended to remove consciousness while vital functions are maintained and secured. Coma induction and the start of the agonal phase subsequently take place in the intensive care unit after farewells at home and transportation. With the 5 minutes “no touch,” the total warm ischemia time until death decided was less than 7 minutes in this procedure.

“Suggesting that euthanasia must take place in the hospital disregards the deepest wishes of these donors: sick, hospital-weary human beings who have decided to end their pain in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Advocating the necessity for a hospital stay will alienate many potential donors.”

     The New England Journal of Medicine seems to like the favorite torture-killing method of the vaunted U.K.’s National Health Service: Starvation.

“Then, Grandpa decides to go through with making himself dead. He tried to do the deed, but the thirst was too much. So, physician grandson palliates his grandfather so he can complete his suicide by starvation–which in my mind is morally close to committing euthanasia:

“‘When I asked whether he was having second thoughts about hastening his death or just wanted relief from thirst, he resoundingly replied, “I just want it over with. Scott, do whatever you need to do.”‘

“‘I was now responsible for the success of his voluntary act — a responsibility that has been described by caregivers of other patients who have attempted to stop eating and drinking. When swabbing Grandpa’s mouth no longer provided relief, and after consultation with his hospice team, I began treating his thirst as I treat other forms of discomfort — with morphine and lorazepam. He became more tired, eventually bedbound and unable to interact, and after another 12 days that felt like a lifetime, he died peacefully.’

“First, nothing stopped Halpern from saying no. I don’t care who one is, they have no right to make someone else complicit in their suicide.

“Second, by keeping Grandpa sedated, Halpern made it almost impossible for the old man to change his mind–as the article states, he had done before.”


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