Sunday, October 30, 2005

And, of course, it will ALWAYS be totally voluntary

Our good neighbor, Canada, whom the Liberals always seem to use as the standard for enlightened thinking, has introduced a bill to legalize euthanasia. The bill has several interesting provisions:
The person "(ii) either

(A) continues, after trying the appropriate treatments available or refusing the treatments that have not been tried, to experience severe physical or mental pain without any prospect of relief, or

(B) suffers from a terminal illness,"
I have some issues with that "trying the appropriate treatments available or refusing the treatments that have not been tried". Does that mean that Canada can keep a treatment from being available (for cost reasons), then allow those patients to be "offed" without penalty to the murderer gentle soul who only wants to spare the soon-to-be-deceased any pain, whether physical or psychic. What a way to balance the health budget! Just keep those treatments from being available, then pull the plug on the suffering!

But, wait! There's more!
(iii) has, while appearing to be lucid, made to a medical practitioner, or to the person who aids the person to die, two requests more than ten days apart expressly stating the person’s free and informed wish to die,
So, the doctor just needs to state that the person WANTED to be dead, and, PRESTO! He can legally kill relieve the poor person's intolerable pain.

And we all know just how noble and unbiased the doctors always are. Like Kevorkian.

I REALLY like the "appears to be lucid" part. R-I-G-H-T! "Honest, although this person is suffering from Alzheimer's and that's the reason she qualifies to leave somewhat - er- prematurely, they just had this incredibly LUCID moment, in which, of course, she expressed her desire not to continue to live like this."

Happens all the time. Honest Injun.

In case it's not totally clear, I'm against this. I'm told that experts in pain management say that NO PAIN is beyond help (that may be an overstatement, but clearly most are within the range of assistance). It may take a pump, it may take narcotics, it may take some time, but the bottom line is that pain is, generally, manageable. The cases that hit the headlines are because some doctor is afraid of using available pain management techniques.

Now, understand, I'm not saying that some people are not honestly suffering pain. But the means to manage it are around. If someone is suffering, the doctor should be called on the carpet. Or, better, find another doctor. Because that one is not doing his/her job. There is just no reason that cancer patients, for example, should have to live in pain. It may cost to get them the treatment they need. But the technology is there.

Now, is there a down side to that pain management? Sure. It can be a trade-off between dulling the pain and keeping that patient mentally alert. In the last stages, the patient will generally be somewhat to greatly foggy in their mental functioning. Eventually, the patient will "shut down" from the massive doses that are needed.

Is that euthanasia? No. The death is an unintended side effect of the pain medication. It isn't the intent.

Frankly, I don't understand why more women aren't in this fight. We are the majority of the elderly that will be affected by legislative actions such as this. The majority of the "snuffed" are women. Doesn't that bother the media that cater to women? Where are Ladies Home Journal, O, Oprah's Magazine, Redbook, et al? How about AARP? Their website shows only THREE hits to a search of "euthanasia". I can't believe that they have so little interest in the subject - hell, they show 75 hits in a search on "sex".


Oops! I hit the publish button, but forgot to credit The Curt Jester, who first alerted me to this action.

Tags = Medicine

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