Euthanasia : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

This is a request to help me with a survey. I have been so saddened by the fact that the country I grew up in and have been proud of for its mostly good history is now the first one to legalize assisted suicide. They already are leaders in the abortion holocoust and now this. I am going to try to find as many Dutchman/women who, as we did, emmigrated to the USA after ww2. (We were looking for a better economy and the USA took us in. I have never regretted that.) I want to know where the people are,I want to know how they feel. So many people gave their lives to help those who were helpless against an agressor who was killing them off. Maybe the Netherlands let go of too many citizens who felt it was a good thing to protect the weak and helpless and unfortunate.(Not all the Jews were helpless, they did their part for freedom.) So, number one : I am trying to find these people. ( I have already diffrent websites of the world. Numer 2: How do you feel about the subject as American homesteader. I hope many of you will help me do this. If all goes well I may publish it and you will get credit or if you do not want to be included just say so, but please give me your opinion. Thank you, Ada

-- Aagje Franken (, November 30, 2000


I have a living will which goes out of its way to specifically specify I don't not want to be maintained on life support if there is no possibility of recovery within reason. I don't see euthanasia as much different. Call me a coward, but I think at the absolutely end I would welcome assistance.

And, I understand it is done in the U.S. more often than people likely think.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 30, 2000.

Being the Liberal person I am the ultimate freedom of choice to me, besides the right to choose is the right to die in the manner in which you choose. The very scary part of this conversation comes in the living will or organ donation. You could have these documents tattooed on your body, and the doctors will do exactly as the family wants, not you as you are lying there, unless you are in control of your faculties.

In my fathers case the decision was not left up to my Mom and sister standing there but up to a court when his sister and brother sued the hospital, because the hospital was afraid of this suit they did not uphold my Dad's will or my families wishes. Not until 1 week more on life support was my Mom able to pull the plug, and this was only after she won a restraining order against the sister and brother. During this period of legal limbo, the doctor, not the hospital stepped in and let my mother pull the plug, without letting the other parties know. So, it goes beyond knowing what your legal rights are it also is important that your family knows and agrees with your wishes. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, November 30, 2000.

I wouldn't want to be left on life support, take me off, if I die, I die, I'm ready-not in a hurry, but ready. That's not the same thing as helping someone commit suicide. That's God's call. What I'm going to say will not be popular and maybe misunderstood(you all know I don't put things in words well), however; to help someone die, to me, is cowardice and wrong. The wrong part isn't the hard part to understand. Compassion is wonderful, but out of balance if you help someone die. Life is too important, and I've learned that the hard way. I won't go into details on that or how I understand suffering. I guess what I'm trying to say is there's always hope. If you help someone die, or someone helps you die, how will you ever know what could have happened.

-- Cindy (, November 30, 2000.

I beleive in assist suicide .You only need to watch someone die slowly in pain to come to this decission.There needs to be a check system in place.We can be kind enough to put an animal down when it's suffering why not a person ?

-- Patty (, November 30, 2000.

We should have the right to die with dignity and peacefully. There is no dignity or compassion in forcing the body to go on and on by mechanical means, and no one will convince me that it is peaceful for the dying to go through the stokes breathing and gasp for hours for that last breath. Death is as much a part of life as is birth and I can only hope that when my time comes there will be the necessary understanding in this country to alleviate my suffering and give me a peaceful and dignified exit. Dr. Kervorkian was put in jail instead of given a medal, which is horrendous in its own right.

-- Marci (, November 30, 2000.

I usually don't chime in on controversial issues, but I can't keep quiet. There is a big difference between living wills, declining life support or heroic measures, and assisted suicide or euthanasia. If a person chooses to decline further treatment or life support, that is his/her decision. To let the euthanasia genie out of the bottle is a whole different thing. I don't want doctors or relatives deciding when the quality of my life is so bad that it's time to give me the pink needle.(Sorry, I'm a vet tech and that's the color of the solution, so it won't be mistaken for anything else.) There are too many scenarios where the size of the estate, the quality of the insurance or the bad mood of the doctor might decide my fate. I've read of many cases in the Netherlands where doctor decides. Life is too precious to be playing God. Besides, I have one already, and He will decide when He wants to welcome me home.

-- melina b. (, November 30, 2000.

O.K. I have to chime in on this one. My brother had AIDS before there were the drugs we have today that extend a good quality of life. He had the tumors Karposies (sp) sarcoma, all over his body. He died bit by bit for a year, he was 36 but looked 96 at the end. He was 6ft 1in and weighed about 85lbs at the end. The tumors finally found his urethra and he could no longer pee. He was a horror to behold and suffered greatly every moment even with morphine. He got to the point where he said "enough" I helped him take the pills and as he drifted off to sleep his last words were "I love you". I got on the floor in his room (at home, no hospital), and prayed that god take him. About six hours later I saw him take his last breath, it was peaceful and dignified. Mother and I wated 8 more hours till the next morning to call anyone, first we called family and they came over and paid respects. Then we called the funeral parlor and told them he was dead, and cold and not to come with any sirens or anything because it was all over. They brought a van and took him, wrapped in his silk sheets and covered with a body bag. Very low key. This was the hardest thing I have ever done and if you have not been there then you have no room to ridicule. 10 years later it is still hard to talk about but these things need to be done sometimes. I believe making someone go on to the bitter end, in the hospital, with tubes everywhere, where they are helpless and in pain in criminal.

Yes, care needs to be taken so this is not abused, I understand that. I only hope there is someone there if I need help.

This issue has nothing to do with abortion. It is about a persons right to choose to die with dignity. If someone says "let god decide" then I say to them "don't take any medication or have any surgery because that is not god doing it either"

Anybody see the movie Soilent Green? not sure of the spelling but it was out in the 70's.

-- Tina (, November 30, 2000.

First,to Tina, I cried when I read your post. What a brave and wonderful thing for you to do. I hope that if I ever find myself in a similar situation that I will have the option of a dignified death. As a certified Vet Tech I see that as loving pet owners we are able to give our pets that last great gift when they are suffering. People should have that same option.

-- Dianne (, November 30, 2000.

This is not an easy subject because there are no easy answers. In my 30 years of Nursing/Medicine, I have seen hundreds of people die..some die quietly and some die painfully. I have seen the sufferings of family and friends as they are relegated (usually) to the role of bystander. I have seen medical people with compassion for the suffering and dying. I have seen medical people who are so callous it would make a sane person vomit in disgust.I have held babies in my arms as they breathed their last. I held a 35 year old woman as she looked into my eyes and her last words were, "Why can't you help me?" I tended a hospice patient who had such severe pain from a radical vulvectomy for cancer that it made me cry to see her.After all of these experiences, I have my own opinion on assisted suicide. My firm belief is that God has said "Do not murder". Assisted suicide is murder, even if well-intentioned murder, therefore, I believe it to be an evil thing prohibited by God. In a more ethical view regarding medical assited suicide, I am fearful that some young professionals who are in their vibrant 20's or 30's will develop attitudes concerning the quality of life for others if life becomes so easy to terminate in an acceptable manner by society. Young people have a hard time picturing a bedridden 90 year old with failing eyesight as leading a "quality life". I believe that assisted suicide is merely a first step toward a Nazi mentality. For me, and my religious beliefs, God will decide when to take me home and relieve my sufferings, and I have instructed my family accordingly. For those who may wonder, I hold a firm anti-capital punishment and anti-abortion view as well. God bless.

-- Lesley (, November 30, 2000.

I just wanted to say that any anyone that assists in a suicide is committing murder. If that individual chooses to not be on life support or commits suicide themself, that is their choice. My father- in-law passed away Thanksgiving morning after a pretty hard time of it. Although we knew he was ready to die at any time, we also knew he would never approve of us helping him get there. I also think this is not far from the abortion issue where the poor child has no choice if he lives or dies. Where do you draw the line at the quality of life?? I am due with my 5th baby in 2 weeks. It makes me sick to think that I could go have an abortion & that would be ok. Even at this late stage. I have also had twins born at 24 weeks. We had the option of stopping life saving measures & were painted a very grim picture of what their life would be if they made it. Well, we didn't stop their care & they are both happy, healthy 9 year olds. Doctors don't always know what's going to happen. If we would have stopped their care they would have both died. I think the choice is up to our Creator. I wouldn't want to be put on life support either, but I also would never let my family think it was ok to put me out of my "misery". We all have our crosses to carry in life.

-- Wendy (, November 30, 2000.

Tina, my heart goes out to you. When the terminally ill are in need of pain relief, giving it, even if it hastens their demise is not assisting suicide. You did the right thing and I commend you for it.

Alleviating pain is the first line of care. It irritates the hell out of me when doctors and nurses refuse to dispense or give adaquate pain meds to the terminally ill. You needn't worry about turning a pancreatic cancer pt into a junkie. It's a self limiting problem. If medical personel treated pain appropriately people like Dr. Kervorkian would never have been given a license to kill.

Marci, of the many pts. that Dr. Kervorkian assisted, only one I know of suffered from a terminal illness. Two of his last few suffered from fibromyalgia. Those individuals needed proper medical care, to include treatment for the depression that usually accompanies that disease. They didn't need a potassium infusion. What Jack does is murder. If you doubt it, find a web site w/ some of his artwork on it.

This is such a complex issue, there are no convienient, "one size fits all" answers. Who can tell, as in the case of the twins mentioned before, what can or will happen.

Ada, I am saddened that your homeland is a leader in this tragic trend. Ours is not far behind I'm afraid. We cheapen the value of life at both ends of the age spectrum, and then wonder why kids throw babies into dumpsters. We are enlightened and celebrate diverse lifestyles, that cut the average lifespan by about 25 or 30 years for males who participate. For the past 30 or 40 years we have been told that life is a beer commercial, the babes will be right over. Were all fit and trim. Sex w/in 20 minutes is the norm for movie land couples, so it must be ok. Nobody gets herpes in the movies.

All these lies come from the same source. We have forgotten there is a God. I appoligise for digressing, but Think it needs saying. Again and again. John

-- John in S IN (, November 30, 2000.

Tina Thank you ,for speaking, and acting so bravely. God bless.

-- sharon wt (, December 01, 2000.

My father wanted to live for as long as he could. The family got to pay for it to the tune of $46,000 a year, without medications or therapy. People on this site will howl, I know, about how we should have taken him home, but they do not know what they are talking about. He suffered from blood clots that neccessitated emergency surgery to remove them, and at the time we were told that they might have to amputate both his legs. He was an active man, who never envisioned any such thing, that he might have to be an amputee to live. Knowing him, I think that that would have been cruel to him beyond belief. We didn't get a chance to find out -- he suffered a massive stroke while on the operating table and they saved his legs, but due to the surgery, he could not be given the anti-clotting medicine that would have saved his brain, or he would have bled to death.

Remember, it was his decision that he wanted to live as long as possible. He had told his family this repeatedly. So he wound up in a nursing home, slightly better than a vegetable, on stomach tube feeding, and in diapers. I cannot imagine how humiliating and spirit- killing this was for him, if he was aware in there somewhere (as we hoped for, honouring his wishes). Finally, he gave it up and died. Afterwards, and having had to experience every step of the ordeal, my mother asked me to SWEAR that when her time came, no one would stop her from dying with life support. She also asked me to be the one in her living will to have power to pull any life support on her, which I agreed to do -- my brother would not promise to -- since she knew from all the years with my animals, loving and caring for them, and ultimately releasing them, that I would honour her wishes.

My great-aunt lived to 106. No one 'helped' her to die, altho she frequently wondered aloud WHY God wouldn't take her. She had nothing to live for, everyone she had known and loved was dead and gone, she had to live in a nursing home and had sold her home to afford it, she was functionally blind so she could not read, or birdwatch(which she loved) or watch tv . Her arthritis was so crippling and deforming of her hands that she could not do anything for herself, not even knit, which she also liked to do. Her legs had failed her and she spent the last 6 years in a wheelchair after she broke her hip in a fall, so she could not even walk in the small garden at the home. She COULD sit in a room where she was not allowed to close the door for any privacy, or to shut out the constant screams of "HELP! HELP!!! HELP!!!" from patients whose minds were gone. Nor could she stop some of the mentally deranged ones from coming into her room and stealing what few little possessions she had there. We were constantly replacing them, but just having them come in was distressing to a woman who had been a pioneer, travelling by covered wagon and dog-sled, and self-sufficient for 94 years. She was a catholic and I don't think she ever considered assisted suicide, but then, she was relatively healthy, just worn out and wondering WHY God wouldn't help her.

My uncle was a smoker, and ended up with throat cancer that ate out his entire neck so that you could see clear to the backbone. He was kept alive all this while mind you, and the pain killers did not work. 'Pain management' was a very bad joke. Because he was in the hospital and hadn't made a living will (not available back then), and my aunt said 'SAVE him! I don't care what you have to do!!' So he got to suffer indescibable non-remitting pain until he died from it -- the death certificate said he died of starvation, and no mention of the cancer that ate him alive. My aunt has been wondering how to make ends meet ever since the hospital cleaned out their $86,000 of life savings and if it wasn't for my dad and mom, she would not have had a house to live in, or money to pay her bills, and she lives as frugally as almost anyone on this board.

Death is a big business for hospitals. I have met some of the nicest and most caring people I have ever known in hospitals, ones who have empathy with complete strangers, but the fact remains that there is a LOT of money to be gotten from dying people. I believe that part of the Hippocratic Oath has something to it about 'Do no harm". To me, that includes to the soul and spirit as well as to the flesh. Much harm is done to the flesh in hospitals, and when the person doesn't wish to be tortured anymore, shouldn't they be given the option of freeing themselves? If you keep them in that torture, who then is the same as the Nazi?

If I ever am so unfortunate as to suffer like my uncle or Tina's brother, I pray that there are a series of Dr. Jack Kevorkian centers nationwide by them. If that is 'murder', then it is between me and whatever is beyond, just as faith is a personal relationship, and not to be enforced onto another.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 01, 2000.

Tina, Julie: Thanks for your stories. When I was younger I was a councilor For the terminally ill and their familys so I also have a few stories. When you see it its different isn't it? Is it murder or compassion. Sit in a room for a while and with someone who is really suffering and Dr Jack begins to look a lot like compassion to me!!...Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (, December 01, 2000.

Tina and Julie, thank you so much for speaking the truth, no one should have to endure indescribable pain for unrelenting periods of time. We think of it as a great relief when we do this for our animals, why should it be different for us. Our beloved vet Fred, says it should be as easy for us to leave this world when our time comes, as it is for our pets. We must remember, no one is in the position to judge another's decision in this personal matter. That is up to our Creator only, only he/she is in the position to make that final judgement, not a mere mortal. I, for one, cannot believe our Creator would wish us to suffer such terrible pain, for so long, unnecessarily. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, December 01, 2000.

After watching my sister and father being "eaten alive" by cancer--I would welcome, any help ending my life, if it should ever happen to me!! Most pain medications DID NOT work for them in the end! My sister made this statement to me 2 hours before she slipped into a coma : "THIS IS NOT LIVING"!

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, December 01, 2000.

Many people seem to think that taking someone off of life support is playing God. I think that medical intervention is playing God. Taking someone off life support is only letting nature take it's course. I do not believe in assisted suicide. I feel it is murder. However I see no reason not to give patients whatever they need to relieve pain. I don't want to be kept alive artificially. Let me die a natural death the way God intended.

-- debra in ks (, December 01, 2000.

Well, I was contemplating how much to put into an answer here, and now I see that Julie has taken care of it. Thanks Jules -- I ditto your post (she's my sister if you don't know).

Debra, the amount of drugs that ease the pain sufficiently is so close to an "overdose" that ends the life, that frequently the suffering patient is not given nearly enough to keep the patient pain free. If I were in horrible pain and terminal, I would want enough drugs to take care of the pain, and if it ended my "life" a bit sooner, so be it.

Another conundrum for me -- I have not had morphine myself, but other members of my family have (at merely post-surgical level) and have suffered excrutiating hallucinations. For instance, my dad "dreamt" that he murdered all of us -- but he "lived" that dream as if it were entirely real at the time. If morphine were all that would ease my physical pain, but gave me such on-going mental horrors, I would want an option to end the pain by ending my terminal life. And I would want a competent & compassionate medical professional there to administer the medicine.

-- Joy Froelich (, December 01, 2000.

We lost my mother in October to breast cancer. If I could have saved her that final week, without a doubt, I would have. There was NOTHING to be done. She was in constant pain, and had no dignity left --- nothing to cling to. Her life was over well before the end came -- too long before.

My family is suspect for the "breast cancer gene" -- both of my mothers sisters have battled it (and won) and two of my cousins have been diagnosed with it as well. I told my husband that I would NOT die the way my mother did -- that if it came to it, to put the morphine on the bedside table and leave the room -- I won't go through it and I will NOT put my children through it. It is a horrible, horrible disease and no one deserves to die that way.

-- Tracy (, December 01, 2000.

Pts w/ intense pain, as in Julie's Dads case should be given as much pain medicine as it takes to relieve their pain. Yes the amount needed is incredable, but they develop a tolarence and require increasing doses to achieve relief. Giving pain meds to someone who needs them, even at doses that kill them, is not really what the assisted suicide dialog is about.

Removing the terminal or brain dead pt from life support isn't what it's about either. Those things are common everyday occurances. Have been for a while.

The problem is we don't know what this stuff will lead to. Seems like all these "good ideas" to help people never work out as planned in the long run.

Helping someone in pain, w/ theraputic levels of pain meds, is only common decency. The problem is it isn't at all "common". We do not medicate as required for most terminal cancer pts.

The horror stories of mismanaged pt care is what lends sympathy to and helps to push the agenda of Mass murders like Dr. K. John

-- John in S IN (, December 01, 2000.

Excuse me. READ Joy's post. My father (and myself) cannot take Morphine. I went through considerable pain with invasive body-cavity surgery and ASKED them to stop giving me morphine because the nightmares were so horrific. They cannot be described to anyone who has not experienced them. The pain was so intense that I could physically NOT move, but the nightmares were worse. My uncle Art's pain meds DID NOT WORK. DID>>>NOT>>>WORK>>>! Perhaps some day you will be able to experience this kind of pain and find out what it is like for yourself and THEN tell me about it.

I knew that my surgery would likely not kill me and that if I hung on it would eventually get better -- like after a YEAR. Terminal people know that they are not going to recover, my Uncle, who could not even speak with one of those little laryngeal appliances anymore because he had lost ALL his throat, repeatedly wrote messages "I want to die." and no one would let him. If I had been older and known anything about assisted suicide then, I would have helped him. And I would now. It is very un-funny to hear Jack Kevorkian called a mass murderer. Every time I see a mass murderer on television, the family is screaming and crying and accusing the murderer -- WHY then, are the families of Kevorkian's patients defending the man and what he has done to help these unfortunate, suffering souls? WHY do the patients leave notes thanking him? Because he did something for them that they could not do for themselves and gave them final dignity and end to intolerable suffering.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 02, 2000.

Julie. I think I must not have said this right before. Not at all trying to offend. I'm an advocate for proper pt pain management. I said to give pain meds, even at doses that may kill them, if that's what it takes. I'm an RN. I can't legally say, "give 40 or 50 oxycontin at once." I'm not saying that as "Legal Advice" now. CYA. Give what's needed to relieve pain, all the pain.

Morphine, if it causes reactions or side effects is not the only pain reliever. This illistrates what I meant by "mismanaged pain control". I really, really, didn't mean it to sound like was your fault, if that's how it came off. Someone in health care should have been on the ball. Lot's of other meds and surgical proceedures to explore that obviously weren't.

Unfortunatly, this happens too much and too often. So much of the suffering could be alleviated, for both pt and family.

Please understand, I don't have a problem w/ helping a terminal pt to alleviate his pain. Even if it kills them. If that's what it takes to relieve pain. It's done now. Doctors should have the treatment option of relieving pain in a permanant manner. If that's what it takes for the terminal pt in pain. Docs are scared of the lawyers.

I was not being funny calling Dr. K a mass murderer. He is not interested in the terminal cancer pt in pain. He kills healthy people who suffer from depression, fibromyalgia, etc. Again, mismanaged medical care leads these folks to a man who enjoys his work and the noteriety that it has afforded him. He just wants to assist and watch the lights go out.

I'm sorry if I raked across your feelings and hurt you and your sister. Didn't intend to at all. Please accept my apology. John

-- John in S IN (, December 02, 2000.

John, thank you for saying what I have been trying to figure out how to say in this discussion. I am also an R.N. and I have given the "final shot" many times in my life. Being in Michigan I am very familiar with "Jack" and I say he is a mass murderer also. There is a difference between taking away pain and having it end in death, and assisted suicide. There was once a time when I was involved in a home death situation, it happened to be my best friends husband. The doctor involved was also a personal friend and we were trying to get our friend out of pain. All we had was morphine and we gave him enough to kill a horse twice over and he did not die nor did we take his pain away. It was all we had at the time. I know now that there are better meds that do work and also surgical procedures that work. We feel today that we were saved from having "assisted suicide" on our conscience by a loving God. It was not our intention, we just wanted our friend out of pain. People think that doctors have all the answers, but most do a very poor job of keeping up with the changes in medicine. They are very busy and often just don't have the time. As the health care recipients become more educated they can actually help the doctors become more informed. Hope this helps, in love - diane

-- Diane Green (, December 02, 2000.

Julie-I too went thru excruciating pain over a very long period of time and could not agree with you more.I hallucinated on the pain killer too.Not morphine but another.And it barely touched the pain.And yet when hubbie went in with yet another kidney stone,and only morphine works for him, the hospital gave him something else that made him sick, as usual, despite me telling them otherwise.They thought they knew best.

My situation was not terminal either,but I said then if I had to go thru that one more time, it's been twice now,That I would kill myself instead.I don't know for sure if I would, but it's in the options box.

So yeah,till you've been there, you don't know what you'll decide.Medicine men & women think they have the answers, but they can't crawl inside your body and feel what you have to live with.So doctors and nurses,Give me my options, explained fully, and let me make my own decisions is how I feel about it..and listen to what I have to say,or those who love me, if I'll not able to speak for myself.They know me, you don't.Don't browbeat my loved ones and make them feel guilty, to talk them into OK'ing things they believe I wouldn't want,just cause you're scared of being sued.We've seen this happen over and over, with elderly relatives.This is the madness that needs to stop.

-- sharon wt (, December 02, 2000.

Sharon: as nurses and doctors we are required to do what you request. But, assisted suicide as a law will drive a lot of us right out of practice for moral reasons. I will not deliberately kill anyone, unborn baby or suffering adult. If it is the law, than I have to do it, so I won't practice. End of story, lost a job in a public hospital because I would not assist in an abortion. If you want only people willing to kill to be practicing medicine, you will not be happy with what you get. diane

-- diane (, December 02, 2000.

Sharon, having had the pleasure of recieving a kidney stone of my own for fathers day last year, I am in complete understanding w/ your husbands problem. If MSO4 works for him, that's what should be given. As far as getting sick, all narcotics work on the nerves that control the stomach. Nausea and vomiting are a real common side effect. W/ a kidney stone in particular, vomiting occurs a lot anyway. I'm not real sure why that is.

Lots of ER Docs have a routine they follow for treatment of stones. I know it varies amoung our docs. Some never use MSO4. Most don't as a first line drug because there are others that are generally more effective.

Everyone is different, in how pain meds work for them and how they react to them. That's one of the reasons there are so many different kinds. You said you were in pain over a long period of time, not knowing the nature of your problem I don't have any answer as to what may or may not have been the best thing to do. Not my place. But if pain meds aren't effective for you a change is indicated. That's where the "management" end of things becomes the "mismanagment" .

They don't call it "medical practice" for nothing. Sometimes it takes repeated tries to get things right. Sometimes it never works right. And sometimes they bury their mistakes. It's not an exact science because people are involved on both ends of it.

Pain is such an indivdual thing. I saw a guy die from a .22 round in the calf. Cardiac arrest w/ no coming back. The shock killed him, not the wound. Young, strong special forces Sgt. Saw others Shot multiple times carrying wounded less injured than them. You figure it out I can't.

We've gotten so it's tuff, for our culture, to figure out how to let people die anymore. Pneumonia used to be called "the old peoples friend". If you fell & broke that hip, you lay in bed for a week or so and then died. Not a bad thing. We've gotten to where we can keep folks alive who probably shouldn't be. But If you don't like what happens when you deal w/ the health care system now, I really don't think you'll like it when they can make decisions like euthanasia. These same people you don't trust now will have the option of deciding if your life is worth living. An interesting career choice has opened up in the last few years in the Netherlands. Old folks in Nursing homes have begun hiring people to watch over them and make sure they don't get euthanized w/o being asked. I'm sure this has developed for a reason.

-- John in S IN (, December 02, 2000.

John, I can't speak for Julie, but I wasn't hurt by your postings. Frustrated, yes, because it seemed that you didn't understand what we meant. But I do appreciate your further clarifications, even if we don't agree on everything. You wrote: "Doctors should have the treatment option of relieving pain in a permanant manner." I certainly agree with that! Perhaps they wouldn't need to fear the lawyers quite so much if there were consent/request forms that the family or patient had to sign. Perhaps there should be a specialty for management of terminal patients, though I don't know how many would be interested. The most common approach of most doctors seems to be adversarial with death -- maybe this is partially why they have difficulty turning around and embracing death as the best "treatment" in the end.

Diane wrote: "There was once a time when I was involved in a home death situation, it happened to be my best friends husband. The doctor involved was also a personal friend and we were trying to get our friend out of pain. " What strikes me about that is that the professionals were personally involved with the patient, which seems to me to be very desirable. For most of us, that isn't going to happen, though.

I really didn't have any specific information about the patients Dr. Kevorkian's assissted in suicide, but a web search revealed this list: Of the 93 patients listed on that page, one-third were cancer patients. So, how is that being uninterested in cancer patients? Yes, there were a few with fibromyalgia. I haven't experienced the disease myself, but my understanding is that it can be excrutiating, and that medicine has no cure for it -- don't even really understand it. Again, as several of us have said, if you or I aren't the ones suffering, how can we quantify how bad that suffering is?

I support having the choice to end our lives (and yes, I remember the Soylent Green scenario -- watching beautiful videos as you drift off sounds good to me). I also support your choice not to participate. But I can't agree with your implication, Diane, that people who are willing to administer euthanasia are automatically going to be substandard or somehow desirous of causing death. I know numerous vets that absolutely LOVE their animal patients, and yet can summon the courage and compassion to euthanize the suffering and the terminal. Why would those treating humans be any less capable of such virtues?

-- Joy Froelich (, December 02, 2000.

Joy, thanx. It bothered me to think I might have hurt you. My wife says I come across like I'm mad at people sometimes when I write things. Not the case.

It frustrates me to see how so many people don't get properly cared for in this country. We have the greatest health care system in the world and we can't (or don't anyway) treat people in pain properly. This is a big issue for me as I worked oncology for a few years. I know that w/ docs who are willing to be creative and pts and families that will work w/ them, most pain issues can be alleviated. John

-- John in S IN (, December 02, 2000.

Sorry Joy, I did not mean to imply that. My point was that a lot of people would have no choice but leave the health care system. I still firmly believe that everyone has a right to pain control, and would do everything I could to see that they got it. I have literally hounded doctors in the middle of the night to get it for my patients. If we legalize assisted suicide it will be an opening for things we just don't want. I wish you could see Kevorkian. He admitted in an interview that the elderly were "wasting space" and if people were no longer useful the responsible thing to do was to die. His agenda was evil, and I personally believe he was one of those people who got off on watching people die. He just managed to get away with it for a very long time. If you don't have a doctor that cares about you, search until you find one. They are out there, I have always been able to find them, no matter where I lived. Sincerely, diane

-- Diane Green (, December 02, 2000.

Hi everyone. I am so sorry that this survey has caused some of you such pain as you in trying to answer felt it so deeply again. I thought I had put it under 'political', I don't know why it did not get put it under that heading. My object was to find out how you feel about the GOVERNMENT making those decisions rather than us as individuals. I am well aware that fam. members are helping terminal suffering patients and even dr and nr's.are doing it. I would never judge you on that even tho I personally totally opposed to it.I can only defend it however on my beliefs that God is the controler of all life and therefore it is precous to me to the piont of not participating in a suicide. The other object was of course to find my countrymen to find out how they feel about it now after so many years since they were exposed to cruel behavior by authorities. Please keep your thoughts coming, I am treating each with respect and am not in private judging any of you. I am rather praying for you if you don't object, for peace of your mind. Ada

-- Aagje Franken (, December 03, 2000.

Interesting discussion. We covered this same topic in my Medical Law and Ethics class this week. It also generated a great deal of commentary, even more so than the week we discussed abortion, actually. Similar positions to those posted here were taken, and people came to their own conclusions. Of course, from the health care perspective, the point of the topic has to do more with sensitivity to other's needs and feelings. But in order to have that empathy, one needs to have a pretty clear picture in one's own thinking.

And no, there weren't any fights breaking out in the class. Just differences of opinion. Respect goes a long way.... :)

-- sheepish (, December 03, 2000.

Aagje, I am sorry for the pain you feel over your homeland taking this stand. The pro-death aspects of the world are a burden on the hearts of people who realize that this life is a gift and an opportunity for God to use you as a work to glorify Him.

There is a gigantic difference between letting someone go and easing their pain in the process through medication and giving them drugs to murder them. We have advanced far enough medically to keep people alive well past the time when they should have been called home and it is done for a price sometimes with little regard for the torment of the patient. It is frightful to me to think that we want government to literally cover you from the wound to the grave and lessen the will of the Creator more each day through legislation.

A long time ago a proposition came up in CA for assisted suicide and a good friend who's mother had died from cancer gave me a lot to chew on regarding this. He said that if ever there is legislation to give legal power to helping someone die, it will not be long before people are perceived to have the DUTY to die if they become sick or infirm. Follow everything out ot it's logical conclusion. That is where this leads.

If someone you love is dying horribly it is most assuredly better for you both to pray over it and follow God's will than a government mandate.

I am sorry to the folks who relived the telling of their losses. I haven't been in those particular shoes, but I certainly understand the pain of loss. It is never easy...sorry.

-- Doreen (, December 04, 2000.

After hearing about this thread on another one I decided to stop in and check it out. I am so touched by all the pain here. I do believe that euthanasia is wrong, for reason detailed by Doreen above. The real problem here to me is the continual push by the medical community to extend life beyond what is reasonable. Many times the person who does suffer at the end has been kept there before they ever get to that point through intervention. We have such alousy way of dying in this country. Wake our cancer patients and feed them all kinds of poisons to "heal" them and then we continue to prolong their pain. We hassle patients families who would just like to have their loved ones at home. I am a firm believer in self-administered pain medication through the form of a pump,for terminal patients. This way things are between the patient and God. I don't think a family member should ever have to make that decision. It is a horror. I personally would like to see a more holistic approach to terminal disease. I would like to go back to Death being a natural result of life. I don't want to die in a hospital hooked up to machines. I want to die at home with those who love me. I also don't want to poor poisons into my body to "heal" me. I want to eat healthy food, and spend as much time loving those who care for me as possible. I say it is time for the medical establishment to get out of the way of natural death, and for that matter natural birth.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, December 04, 2000.

I have had several kidney stones and I will stick with the morphene as a pain killer. They have tried several others and none were as good for pain relief. But on another note. On the smoking thread it was stated that they had the right to kill themselves by smoking, so shouldn't everyone have the right to kill themselves also? Even with assistance? The great thing about this country is the premis that you have the right to your beliefs. Isn't there room for all beliefs in this area. Why shut any of them down?

-- Nick (, December 05, 2000.

I find it interesting that some people who disagree with euthanasia because it is interfering with God but at the same time they have no problem with medical practices to save a life which is also "interfering with God". At least be consistent. If you truly believe in following God's will, there should be no intervention in saving the life of a person. God has put them in that situation for a purpose and therefore we should not intervene. I'm not saying I believe in this because I don't. I also believe in euthanasia at the patient's option. I'm just saying using the God defense to say euthanasia is wrong and on the other hand believing it is okay to take whatever measures are necessary to save them, is showing that you "really" don't want to live by God's will. It is only a convenient argument to avoid the euthanasia issue.

-- Colleen (, December 07, 2000.

I usually read these posts without contributing, but feel the need to speak up here. I have worked as a caregiver for hospice pts for a # of yrs. First, let me say I don't care for Dr. K. I feel he ejoyed his work too well, and certainly the attention it afforded him - that doesn't seem to mesh with my idea of compassion. Second, I do believe in assisting terminal pts with all pain relief. I know there is a thin line between pain relief and overdose, but I have seen pts hanging on that should have been gone according to dosage of meds. That brings me to something no one has mentioned - I have observed that pts are often not mentally released to leave this life. Two reasons - the pateints isn't spiritually ready to face the afterlife as they believe it esists, or they have family members that aren't ready to let them go either because they (the family member) has unresolved issues or they are selfishly afraid to face their own life alone. Legislation can only touch the physical realm, I believe we should teach about death and grieving. The greiving starts long before the terminal pt is gone. And no I don't have the answers about how, where or how this should be done, I only know that we as a society do not deal with aging, illness, or death in a respectful manner. Only big business seems to be interested, and respect has nothing to do with it.

-- Jackie at Acorn Hill (, December 07, 2000.

Hi Aagje, I'm an immigrant from the Netherlands, however, I reside in Canada. I am glad that what doctors have been doing for quite some time is now no longer illegal. It is not anything like we hear about in North America. People are NOT being euthanized without a lot of very serious doctor/patient/family discussions. I have talked to many Dutch people about this some pro, some con. It is not taken lightly there. I have not had any personal experience (anyone I know) with this but read the pain here...

-- Titia (, December 13, 2000.

My pastor's cousin is a missionary to the Netherlands -- a few years ago one of the little boys in his church was in the hospital (I forget whether the child was ill or injured) and he asked for prayer for the safety of the boy while he was in the hospital, as they, church and family, were afraid that he might be euthanized while he was there (I do remember that he was unconscious for a period of time). I believe he came out all right, but how awful to have to live with that kind of fear at a time when you are already having so much worry and concern over a loved one.

We do extend people's lives artificially way past when God would have them called home -- I want, when my time comes, to have the right to stay home and go in peace. However, I also don't want anyone else to have the legal right to make that decision for me. Human life is becoming more and more devalued every day. When humans are accepted for a special part of God's creation, made in His image, then they are each considered a valuable part of His plan. When they are believed to be nothing more than a form of animal, then society starts thinking they can use the same criteria to cull that a farmer would use to cull his livestock. So when a person becomes economically non-productive, they will be culled, just like a cow that can't have any more calves, or a horse with bad legs. I know some of you don't want to hear this, but this is exactly where Hitler started, getting rid of the mentally ill and the disabled. Then he went on to anyone he didn't like, such as the Jews, and he was starting in on the Christians before the war ended. It's coming more slowly, and will probably not hit full steam ahead until after the Christians are removed from the Earth by the Rapture, but something as bad as the Holocaust is coming, and it starts with a little bit here, a little bit more there (abortion, then letting handicapped babies die after they were born -- and some of them weren't really all that handicapped -- now euthanasia of the terminally ill, next euthansia of the mentally ill or the handicapped, or the terminally elderly. Eventually it will get to whoever isn't politically correct.). You can say whatever you want about this, I know it seems hard to believe and I've had people tell me I'm crazy, but I've been watching this for a long time (my mentally handicapped daughter is now twenty years old) and it IS coming.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, December 14, 2000.

Rapture? Tried looking this word up in my Strongs Concordence that lists every single word in both Herbrew, Greek and Aramaic giving translations into English, of the Bible. Couldn't find it anywhere.............. :) Yeah I know! But couldn't resist!

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, December 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ