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When will "Dr Death" Kavorkian kill himself?
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MichaelC



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 1988

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much of the suffering/death of these patients is the result of the 'treatments'?
I believe it is a lot.
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dilbert_g
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ormond et al. brings up a lot of good points.

Trusting the GOVT and PRIVATE HMO's and PRIVATE Hospitals with death is not a good idea. In many cases, trusting families is no good.

There is PLENTY of money for Social Security. But just gave it away to billionaires.

I am intimate with a similar situation with my father. He had to lay on a hospital bed in a near-coma for a month. He was absolutely terminal. Brain cancer had receded on chemo, then come back. I absolutely know he was aware of every minute at least at the beginning weeks of his last month, because I was able to feed him iced tea via a straw and he was able to suck it. They said "He can hear you." I gave him some last words, told him I loved him, and that it was OK to go. I think I told him that I wished I could do something more for him. (My mother was more superstitious, emotional, afraid, no faith, and was initially angry with me for talking about that with him. It got pretty crazy.)

However, I was not able to 'pull the plug'. There was no plug to pull. He just had to wait interminably for death to come, like a living carcass. It did, early the following morning. I wish I had had the balls to have obtained an overdose of heroin for him from one of my friends. He was able to communicate, non-verbally. At that age I couldn't have, but now I know I could have asked him if that's what he wanted and given him sufficient time to back out. I might have gone to prison for murder, but I would not have cared in that case. (The State had prosecuted some family members recently for similar actions.)

Yes I would have cared, actually, I can imagine the trial. My family there. Maybe fighting, certainly crazy as hell. I can imagine the court sticking it to me hard. Would my youth and sincerity have helped? I was an immature 17. Hard to say. Prosecutors would have tried to make me out as some kind of Oedipal monster and a drug user. I would have had to try to prove I was a compassionate son ... despite being a drug user. I certainly would have spent some time in county jail. I would have probably been released by now ... if I survived prison. Facing prison, I probably would have been suicidal. (Not anymore, but I was not very strong then. I did not possess moral clarity or detached acceptance.) It would have been like the kangaroo trial Camus described in The Stranger. "He drank a "cafe au lait" afterwards, and went out and got drunk and stoned with his friends to celebrate after he killed his father." "No shit, Sherlock. Of course I got drunk. Who wouldn't? You think it was easy helping my father escape his pain-wracked body?" GUILTY of 2nd degree murder.

I actually had some guilt for NOT being willing to risk my freedom for my father, but not much. I was young. I was incapable of making that choice at the time. I accept that. Can't change it anyhow. He was only totally imprisoned (immobile) for an additional 30 days. Though I have to mention, being an invalid, not death, was his greatest fear.

I know a compassionate nurse who told me about families keeping the very elderly on ICU support for months, probably out of some family guilt if not religiousity, when it was medically clear that that patient would NOT survive, and if they did, would not have a 'life' other than being bedridden and comatose or near comatose. They were clearly at the end. She in her compassion and doctors tried to convince the family that in this particular case, artificial life support was not helping.

Yet I'm glad the State could not FORCE them to make that decision.

I wish there was something that could be done to bypass all the "death-phobics" religious freaks (only God can decide when), that was not some "slippery slope" to an economic Malthusianism. I wonder if there is a way that laws could be written which would allow some type of unanimous decision by families and doctors as to whether this was appropriate, some guidelines which could not be easily abused.
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Hocus Locus



Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 847
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These days there is the 'DNR' do-not-resuscitate order, the only compromise with death we've been able to work into 'the system'.

We are capable of bringing people back from places from which no sane human being would ever wish to return. That is a Good Thing. When someone they love and trust is here on the outside, making calculated decisions knowing of risk and reward, overseeing the journey. When and if recovery is complete, every moment of life lived thereafter, a 'thank you' beyond words.

But we are also capable of keeping them there, trapped in living hell. Where neither those on the inside nor the outside could find a way out. When my beautiful Mother checked out in 2003 we all were with her one hundred percent, always will be.

Rumpl4skn, give your Dad's hand a long squeeze for me. They're so important. Books on tape, music can also be good, so long as the hands and the mind can clearly communicate their desires. Sometimes things just need to be turned off.

Short clip, Saul "Goes Home"
From the movie Soylent Green [1972]

Recommended,
Griffin & Phoenix [2006] and
Griffin and Phoenix: A Love Story [1976]

The 2006 with Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney is a worthy treatment of a beautiful story. The 1976 is a rare and precious gem, Jill Clayburgh and Peter Falk come together with an unexpected verve and a quiet intensity.

Nope, as usual, no answers here.

___
PHOENIX: [eyes shut] Is this where the polar bear comes to get me?
GRIFFIN: I hope not. I only have enough hot chocolate for two.
PHOENIX: You've gone quite mad. You know that don't you, Griffin? Really insane. How many of the pink pills did you take today? Okay. Enough, you know I hate surprises! What's going on??
GRIFFIN: What's going on, Sarah Phoenix... what's going on is *this*.
PHOENIX: [laughing, crying] It's Christmas!

~dialogue: Griffin and Phoenix [2006]
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PatrickSMcNally



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 846

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dilbert_g wrote:
I wonder if there is a way that laws could be written which would allow some type of unanimous decision by families and doctors as to whether this was appropriate, some guidelines which could not be easily abused.


Perhaps I missed something, but I had always been under the impression that Kevorkian only helped terminally ill patients who requested suicide as an option. I don't see how Kevorkian's practice would conflict with what you suggest. Unless someone knows of specific cases where Kevorkian made a decision to put someone to death without their consent, then I don't see how his practice conflicts with the sentiment you've indicated your father had.
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Ormond



Joined: 14 Apr 2006
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Location: Belly of the Beast, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kavorkian claims he ended the lives of over one hundred people. He says he did it because they asked him to, and he was careful to get it in writing.

I am not endorsing heroic efforts to keep patients who's suffering has them resigned and fully ready to pass. I'm pointing out that this issue didn't come up yesterday, it's always been part of the medical equation --and has already been wisely worked out long before now. This is about something new and different, to enable decision of life and death to be openly carried out by the state. It is loaded with great potential for future abuse and extension through 'gradualism'.

How hard do you think it is to make somebody wish they were dead in a hospital if they're given treatment to make them feel like dying, when better treatment is available but withheld? Today's public a soaring rise on people who have no families, or can't afford health insurance. The implications of this change in policy and law during this age of aggressive government and globalist re-engineering of society are legion.


As I've already written here, euthenasia is practiced in terminal cases routinely, it's done through overdosing on morphine to put the patient out of suffering, and a process is begun which accelerates death.
this is routine with terminal cancer patients, and any terminal case which causes unbearable sufferring. I've known medical people and also have spent weeks in hospital rooms witnessing how it works. I didn't think it was criminal, the way it works. The difference between the way it is and the 'quick shot' by signing a 'release form; is a very different matter. I don't think the difference is being fully understood here. If this thing goes legal it will make doctor's influence over the decision of patients and families safe for the doctor. He takes little risk. What do you think public hospital risk will be to indigent patients, who have no families?

There is a reason it has never been made legal for a doctor to give the patient an instant death just because either they or their family asked them to. Hundreds of thousands of doctors administering the 'final solution' as accepted medical legal routine removes the wise safeguard that when a doctor's patient dies, he is accountable to both the relatives, peers, and the law that nobody jumped the gun. To grant the medical profession legal tools and protections for actively causing death will enable some who don't have such high mental and emotional hygene. For all we know Kavorkian smacks of a psychopath who simply figured an alibi and how to play the profession against the law. Here's some of his peers that weren't quite as shrewd.



Good Dr. Shipman
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/shipman/killing_27.html

Richard Williams was indicted in 2002 for killing 10 patients 10 years earlier.
http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/angels/male_nurses/14.html

On December 29, 1997, police arrested and charged Orville Lynn Majors, a 36-year-old former male nurse, with lethally injecting six patients at an Indiana hospital. No stranger to deadly nursing care, Orville lost his nurse's license in 1995 after 130 of 147 elderly patients died in his care.
http://www.crimezzz.net/serialkillers/M/MAJORS_orville_lynn.php

Bobbie Sue Dudley, RN
http://www.crimezzz.net/serialkillers/T/TERRELL_bobbie_sue.php

Dr. Michael Swango
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/swango/index_1.html

Macon Hospital Murders (unsolved)
http://www.crimezzz.net/serialkillers/M/MACON_HOSPITAL_murders.php

"Doctors Who Kill" By Katherine Ramsland
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/doctors/index_1.html

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atm



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well argued, Ormond. In medical school one is obliged to abide by the Hippocratic oath:

Quote:


Classic Version of the Hippocratic Oath

http://www.answers.com/topic/hippocratic-oath

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.

Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.



I prefer the classic version.

BTW don't forget Beverley Allitt either, the homegrown English NHS psycho nurse:

http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/angels/beverly_allitt/1.html

atm
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dilbert_g
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The implications of this change in policy and law during this age of aggressive government and globalist re-engineering of society are legion.


Hard to argue with that. You say better to leave it a gray area.
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paradox



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So according to you guys, if I had some life ending severity, like a cancer, I would have no choice but to live until the bitter end?

I understand the logic, that by making the oath ironclad and escape proof, doctors such as Mr K wont be able to end life on a whim.

Still, it seems to me that the most basic freedom of life is to chose death. Mind you this is coming from a guy who lost his father by suicide. He would have refused 'intervention' proposed by K, but is there any way to have people who would otherwise chose to depart in messy ways, have better alternatives?

Perhaps alternatives with plenty of counseling, discutions, group activities and other stuff, you know, to really test the desire for life.

But as an adamant believer in freedom and free will, I cannot see God denying those who suffer respite from the world, even if the calm comes by suicide.
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Ormond



Joined: 14 Apr 2006
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Location: Belly of the Beast, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So according to you guys, if I had some life ending severity, like a cancer, I would have no choice but to live until the bitter end?


Ever spend time in a terminal cancer ward? Believe me, it's covered. They dose the patient with drip morphine so heavy they are unconscious.
On that dosage of morphine death occurs in about 6 weeks. You won't be aware of a thing.
The doctor and staff are not given a 'waiver' in this case.
Conventional wisdom in medicine is that doctors weigh 'quality of life' with possible treatments. For the definitely terminal, suffering patient, the doctor speaks with the family and informs them that it's terminal, and various treatments, including the 'we can make them comfortable till they pass'.

The patient is administered drip morphine just short of lethal. They are feeling no pain. I assure you...I have sat with two people who went this way.
There are reasons it's done this way. It's called accountability and oversight.
Changing this to a patient simply signing a waiver holding the doctor responsible because the patient decides they want to die is a fantastic systemic alteration circumventing the premise upon which medical practice had followed for over two thousand years. (why am I having to explain this stuff?)

A law through which a patient signs a waiver relinquishing a doctor of his Hypocratic Oath is....well...throwing out the Hypocratic oath. It's a license to kill.
In law there is a term called 'coercion under duress'. That means there are circumstances in society in life where one person can coerce someone who is in a weaker position. Like someone who's ill without insurance in a public hospital, with no family or advocates, for example.

Hospitals are watching their bottom line. We do not have universal health care in the United States. Very sick people are routinely shown the door at doctor's offices and hospitals simply because they do not have insurance, and can't pay up front.

I'm pointing out that the Kavorkian op isn't about mercy. It's about euthenasia.

Anybody here have any law school or medical school background? I keep making a point and only Dilbert_G and ATM picked up on it.

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Don Smith



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get it.
The nazis used euthanasia as a way of conditioning the people to the use of state ordered death. First it was the mental "defectives" and from there they came up with reasons as needed.
At the end they didn't even bother with reasons, having passed the "fog and night" laws, by which the gestapo could "disappear" whomsoever they chose, usually for reasons of "state security".
Has a familiar ring to it, huh?

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paradox



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are people who want to kill themselves. There's about 100 suicides in this town, by people who jump in front of metro. Who knows how many die from car accidents and other hazards, which in fact are suicides.

These people could have been saved. Yes, there are already programs. But all these programs are denying want they want. They want death. The programs, patronizingly, answer, nonono, you don't want that. So who can take seriously a program that doesn't even offer the possibility that what the person wants is, in fact a good choice?

IIRC, Native tribes had a custom for the elderly to depart from the village, never to be seen again.

I've heard stories of people with terminal cancer, in which the pain was so intense as to overwhelm the near-fatal dosing of morphine.

Death is a part of life. Your fixation with keeping people alive at any cost is telling.

But whether I'm right or not, I think people will still kill themselves. In fact, I know they will. Why not offer them a more human alternative then mangling their bodies under cars and buses, jumping off bridges to become bloated corpses, or quietly hanging themselves to be found to the shock of any passerby?
________
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Ormond



Joined: 14 Apr 2006
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Location: Belly of the Beast, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Death is a part of life. Your fixation with keeping people alive at any cost is telling.


Gee whiz, Paradox. You're misunderstanding me. I've said nothing about keeping people alive at any cost, and that's not where I'm coming from at all.

It has surprised me how many people think the 'quality of life' issue has never come up before. Also how many people believe doctors and hospitals are keeping people alive at 'any cost'.
The spin on Kavorkian in the media all along is supporting this premise that it's a 'right to choose to die' issue. plain and simple. But this road has been gone down before. This is really about is a paradigm shift of law which prima fascia is being sold as another 'right to choose'. But it places a lot more choice in other hands than they've had in a very long time.

This is no simplistic issue solved with a simple equation or transaction. It's a complex issue of law and medical practice.
It's a pardigm shift. It takes some knowledge and study of the laws and practices as they are, to see those implications. They didn't come up on Kavorkian's CBS 60 Mintues interview last week.

Quote:

Death is part of life


Obviously. But I don't get the impression you've been around much dying close up yet.

I suggest you spend a month visiting a terminal ward in some capacity, better to follow the case of a terminal cancer patient till they expire. You can do that by volunteering. There are organizations to visit the elderly and terminally ill. Hang around and watch the processes.
Play devil's advocate. You think Kavorkian's right, so prove it to yourself beyond a reasonable doubt. Ask your own questions of the people who work in that situation. Watch the dramas of the family and patient interactions.
Talk with the hospital attorney about malpractice law, and medical accountability. Ask if this euthanasia law lets a doctor and hospital off that hook. As importantly, ask him what a 'living will' is. This is a currently legal document.
Got health insurance? Ask your agent what's the position of the health insurance industry on euthanasia. Let me know what they say. Might be 'telling'.

Ask your own doctor whether this changes a fundamental paradigm of medical practice, and what they think about it. Ask all these professionals who deal with this matter as part of their job what they think of Kavorkian and the media coverage of him.

Quote:
IIRC, Native tribes had a custom for the elderly to depart from the village, never to be seen again.


Yeah, and the Aztec and Mayans were into human blood sacrifice...so there ya go!

The Navaho, Tewa, Hopi, and Lakota Souix I knew in New Mexico and Arizona never had such a custom that the elderly had to get out of camp when they hit an expiration date. Go to the Pueblos in Taos and ask some real tribal people what they think of that custom.

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