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randy
09-30-2005, 09:24 AM
My mother died with ALS (Lou Gehrigs) and I don't think this man should have ever gone to prison. All I can say is you have to walk down that road to understand. :)

Doctor Says He Won't Aid Deaths on Parole

Fri Sep 30, 2:32 AM ET

If released from prison, former doctor Jack Kevorkian says he'll still campaign to legalize assisted suicide but won't resume helping people to die that way.

Kevorkian, 77, is serving a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder for giving a fatal injection of drugs to a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease in 1998. Kevorkian, who has said he assisted in at least 130 deaths, is not eligible for parole until 2007.

In an MSNBC interview recorded at a Michigan prison and broadcast Thursday night, Kevorkian said he also hopes to travel and visit family if granted parole.

He emphasized that he would not help those who want to die by breaking the law or encourage other doctors to do so.

"I have said publicly and officially that I will not perform that act again when I get out," he said. "What I'll do is what I should have done earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get the laws changed."

When asked by interviewer Rita Cosby if he regretted the actions that put him in prison, Kevorkian replied: "Well, I do a little."

Kevorkian also discussed the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose feeding tube was removed in March after her husband won a court order to allow her to die.

Kevorkian said that had the woman's situation come up 10 years ago, he would have considered taking her as a patient.

Lyn Is Snide
09-30-2005, 09:34 AM
:thumbsup
Yet again, I'm in total agreement with Randy. :banghead

randy
09-30-2005, 09:46 AM
:clap

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Now Lyn it's not so bad now is it. Great minds and all. :)

Poodles
09-30-2005, 09:55 AM
http://www.neurologychannel.com/als/


--Link to information Lou Gehrig's disease---

PurpleButterfly
09-30-2005, 11:08 AM
Another whole-hearted agreement here. I hope we wind up with many more doctors like this, but more importantly, more laws like Oregon's. I'll be watching that Supreme Court case closely. I'm praying they uphold the law, which will open the door for other states to at least begin considering it.

Nothing is as asinine, IMHO, as being able to put a beloved pet out of thier misery, but not a beloved human family member.

Bleep
09-30-2005, 11:32 AM
Randy, my condolences on the death of your mom and the horrible end that ALS brings.

Helping someone to end their life in such circumstances is still a difficult job. There are only a few who can do it.

I have been asked several times and couldn't. But I got tricked into doing it once by a team of well meaning nurses. I was in training, but already licenced. It was late at night, I was on call on a new service and they were taking care of a young woman with a brain tumour who had been comatose for several days and it was clear the end was coming. Her family had gathered around her bedside and were praying and singing for her. She was breathing in a very laboured way and there were signs she was in pain (grimace on her face). The family asked for something to ease her pain. The nurses suggested a certain dose of morphine. I administered it. It was not a large dose, for someone who took morphine regularly. It eased her breathing completely- she died about two hours later. Later the nurses told me they knew it would likely hasten her passing, since she was not getting morhpine regularly. I still have mixed feelings about this, even though her family thanked me and the nurses thanked me... :confused:

randy
09-30-2005, 11:52 AM
Randy, my condolences on the death of your mom and the horrible end that ALS brings.

Helping someone to end their life in such circumstances is still a difficult job. There are only a few who can do it.

I have been asked several times and couldn't. But I got tricked into doing it once by a team of well meaning nurses. I was in training, but already licenced. It was late at night, I was on call on a new service and they were taking care of a young woman with a brain tumour who had been comatose for several days and it was clear the end was coming. Her family had gathered around her bedside and were praying and singing for her. She was breathing in a very laboured way and there were signs she was in pain (grimace on her face). The family asked for something to ease her pain. The nurses suggested a certain dose of morphine. I administered it. It was not a large dose, for someone who took morphine regularly. It eased her breathing completely- she died about two hours later. Later the nurses told me they knew it would likely hasten her passing, since she was not getting morhpine regularly. I still have mixed feelings about this, even though her family thanked me and the nurses thanked me... :confused:


Thank you very much Doctor, I really do appreciate your kindness a great deal.

I have always wanted to talk to a physican about this. I not only have had my mother to deal with but my father as well and within only a few weeks of each other. He passed from peritonitis, he was on perotoneal? dialysis and an elderly aunt who was diagnosised with cancer that had spread through her upper torso. In all three cases I had to make life and death decisions for them. Luckily each one had talked to me at great length before they were ill and were still quite rational and in good health. All had expressed a desire not to continue living when all quality of life was gone and they were terminal and definently when they were in pain.

I can only imagine what it must be like in your profession to deal with this subject on a daily basis. I would never presume to full comprehend all the personal implications of doing so. I respect your personal opinions regarding this subject and would never expect you to act against them and your personal belief system. However, I would have another expectation of you as my Doctor. I would expect that you would tell me before that point was reached in my life. I would expect that you would give me the option of transfering to another Doctor when I transitioned into the "hospice" phaze of my treatment. I would expect that as a Doctor you did not attempt to impose your personal values on me.

I am not trying to personalize this too much Doctor. I certainly do not know you and am quite sure you are a fine Doctor that has contributed to a high quality of life for many. But my issue is with Physicians who feel that these end of life decisions are soley their perogative and require medical expertise and IMO they are not. They are social issues and I as an individual would like the right to decide how my life will end. I do understand that a Doctor because of morale and religious reasons may not and cannot participate but I would expect that person not to plant themselves and block the path that I would like to choose for myself and my loved ones who have implicitly made the same decision.

Please consider using your influence with your colleagues to advocate for a patients right to make this decision.

THANK YOU!

TwiggyAZ
09-30-2005, 02:13 PM
My mother and I cared for my father with prostate cancer. Hospice was there and it is the most discusting, depressing, angering thing I had to do in my life, watching someone you love, respect, and was vibrant with life, wither away day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, then to finally die. It pains all involved, not just the dying. He never wanted to die that way, but no one could do anything.

I think people who want to keep their loved one alive no matter what are selfish. THEY are not that person that is suffering, they have no idea.

I have seen on TV women(never men, tho I am sure there are those) that give up their ENTIRE life to care for someone that is in a comotose state for years and years and years. I don't get that, I just don't. If anyone ever did that to me or themselves, I'd come back and haunt the hell out of em!

Bleep
09-30-2005, 07:17 PM
Randy,
I agree with almost everything you say. I personally could not willingly do this. I would never prevent a patient from making the decision for themselves. Would I advocate for the right with others? I don't know, perhaps under special circumstances. One can never predict exactly how one will feel or behave as the world changes. I have a lot of personal questions.

And I believe that these sorts of arrangement to ease the passage of a terminally ill person in hospice type settings are probable. But they are likely unspoken, as the incident that I was involved in, was. So I am not sure that it needs to be advocated. I think there are people who can do this work, like Dr. Kevorkian. I do not think anyone should stand in his way, but I think we should all be looking over his shoulder while he works. It is not for us to judge, but for the patients who seek him and others like him, to decide. And the practice, because of its extreme nature and the rarity of people able to do the job, needs to be carefully monitored to avoid abuse.

Fortunately I am not in daily contact with death anymore. In my present work, death comes relatively rarely, but usually to people I have known well and seen frequently, often young people. :(

Peregrina
09-30-2005, 07:26 PM
Doc, you just summed up why I could never be a doctor or nurse. I admire and respect physicians with your brand of empathy and ethics.

randy
09-30-2005, 08:48 PM
Doctor, thank you again for your reply. Your obviously a very gracious man.

I have something else that I would like to ask. I have had surgery and was put under with general anesthesia (sp) where they do the IV injection and have you count backward, in fact I have had that 3 times in my adulthood. I never made it past 93. What I would like to know is if a person was first anesthetized (sp) that way and then given drugs to stop their heart and lungs from functioning and they died, would they be aware of any pain, in your opinion?

Bard
09-30-2005, 09:35 PM
WTF randy! You planning to off somebody or what dude? :rofl

And the good DR is a she...

randy
09-30-2005, 09:46 PM
LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Well obviously I believe in euthanasia and desperately want it for myself when the time comes. Not that I am in any hurry or anything. I just want a death with dignity and as PAIN FREE as possible.

I wonder about weird stuff I guess. I just was interested to know if you were completely put under and then given drugs to stop your heart and lungs if that would be pain free. Actually I wouldn't mind going that way myself when I become terminal and it gets close to the end.

I will remember that the Dr is a lady. It's hard to tell Bard unless somebody says something. :)

Bard
09-30-2005, 10:06 PM
That's why I said something randy, merely so you would :happy

By the way

I personally do not think you would feel a damn thing under those conditions. :thumbsup

Yet, none know, do they? :ohwell

Cheery aren't I? :happy

Peregrina
09-30-2005, 10:09 PM
I went under the general anasthesia for some oral surgery on my back teeth adn didn't feel a thing until they told me to wake up. I would think that in that state, it would be just a matter of ....never waking up. there wouldn't be any pain, it would be like lying down to take a nap. no pain, no panic, just peace.

randy
09-30-2005, 10:14 PM
Well Thank You Bard, I do appreciate the info. Maybe it will help me keep my foot out of my mouth with the good Doctor. Lord knows I stick it down deep in there enough. LOL

I hope you and Peregrina are right. Sure sounds like the way to exist to me.

Bard
09-30-2005, 10:20 PM
By the way, you must be one bad ass man, I never made it past the count of twenty :rofl

randy
09-30-2005, 10:28 PM
NOOO, they had me count BACKWARDS from 100!! LOL LOL

Bleep
10-01-2005, 08:42 AM
Man/woman, makes little difference in these matters, but last time I checked I had not grown the balls people sometimes accuse me of! ;)

if a person was first anesthetized (sp) that way and then given drugs to stop their heart and lungs from functioning and they died, would they be aware of any pain, in your opinion

wow. very interesting question. :confused:

General anesthesia is not nearly so general as we'd like to think. It only knocks out a small part of consciousness- cortical centers for processing pain and movement. It is more "dis-associative" than truly being knocked out. Most of the brain continues to operate as normal. Remember Terry Schiavo, who was considered Brain dead? Her lower brain centers were still working and she would still orient to sound and pain, smile, etc. How much was she aware? Who knows?

Consider this:
Many patients under a GA awaken with some sort of memories of what went on in the operating room. I woke up from wisdom teeth extraction under GA, humming the music that had been playing in the OR. Lots of people have memory of out of body experiences while under GA and remember how the OR looks, or who was there, even if those people arrived after the GA was administered. As surgeons we are warned NOT to say things like "Oops" or uncomplimentary comments about the patient during surgery under GA, because it is proven that such negative comments are retained by the patient and negatively affect recovery.
Now if someone is paralyzed with curare and the anesthetist is not on their toes, and the person gets "light" in their anesthesia, it is extremely frightening for the patient who is partially awake and aware that they cannot breathe or move, but they lack the higher brain function to tell them "Its OK, you are under anesthetic". So yeah, I think, even if anesthetized, there might be some awareness of the heart and lungs stopping and that would be very frightening for the few minutes before the brain conked out from lack of oxygen. Especially since the body responds with a huge outpouring of adrenaline when heart and lung function stop. Adrenaline can cause a person to wake up partially from anesthesia.

So I think that method might be dicey, but the research to figure this out will never pass an ethics committee.



Myself, I always though a morphine OD would be OK. Opiates give most people a real sense of well being, are excellent pain blockers and are very close to natural brain chemicals, which other anesthetic agents are not. So they are more likely to block more receptors in the brain and cause a true sleep.

But this is way out of my field of expertise, and my opinion in this matter is probably no more expert than anyone else's.

In my family, historically, some of our elders, who have lived a looong time, simply decided it was their time to go, stopped eating and drinking and died within a week or two. Is this suicide? Of course, the body is ready to let go when you're that old, and the ones I had opportunity to talk to before they died, were not afraid and were remarkabley calm and died in their sleep. That is the death to be wished for. They were well cared for and no heroic or invasive measures were taken. Myself, I hope I live to be 100 and then will probably make a similar choice.

randy
10-01-2005, 09:43 AM
Thanks Doctor!! I really appreciate your taking the time to explain that to me.

I really admire what you and others do by entering the medical field. I know for myself there is NO way I could work in it and it is because of SIGHT and SMELL. When I was a sophmore in college I decided that I would be a Registered Nurse. This was back in the mid 70s and the RN program there was and had been predominently female and they had an affirmative action program for males so I was GUARANTEED (now isn't that dumb,) a slot and I applied and got one immediatedly. I had my interview with the Program Director and she called a friend of hers at a local Nursing home and got me a job as a Nurses Aid for the summer. WOW, got in the program and got a summer job all within 2 days, was I absolutely brillant in my planning strategy or what now. :) Went to work my first day and the LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse in Texas, called Practical Nurse in many locations I think,) a very nice lady attached me to her hip and I began my ONE DAY medical career. Within two hours I found myself in an elderly lady's room. "We" had to remove a catherter (sp) that had remained inserted too long, like 2 months too long I think? The LVN began removing it, I looked at this whitish/grayish something film on the tuving and braced myself but when the smell hit me, I HIT THE FLOOR DEAD FROM PASSING OUT!!!

I came to about 10 minutes later with the LVN and Administraitor tending to me. It was decided that I might want to look for other career opportunities. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

BRAVO to those of you who can and are willing to give of yourselves!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

stinky*felix
10-01-2005, 10:01 AM
Dr. K is a murderer, perhaps even a serial killer.

He should never be released from prison for his crimes.

randy
10-01-2005, 10:08 AM
Stinky that is kinda harsh don't ya think?

Patients CAME TO HIM begging for him to end their suffering. MOST of them were ALS patients. Are you familiar with that disease, what it does and how it progresses? It is NOT pretty Stinky. It is very painful at the end and the patient is FULLY CONSCIOUS AND AWARE.

We need compassion here.

Mr. Lemon Pocket
10-01-2005, 10:11 AM
Murderer: The killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated MALICE.

To kill brutally or inhumanly.

Nope. Hes just a killer.

and considering the diseases the people he's aided in thier suicide and the indignities suffered as a result, he may be a euthanaisa-er

stinky*felix
10-01-2005, 10:12 AM
Stinky that is kinda harsh don't ya think?

Patients CAME TO HIM begging for him to end their suffering. MOST of them were ALS patients. Are you familiar with that disease, what it does and how it progresses? It is NOT pretty Stinky. It is very painful at the end and the patient is FULLY CONSCIOUS AND AWARE.

We need compassion here. Absolutely, Randy!

Unfortunately I don't consider murder a very compassionate act.

Mr. Lemon Pocket
10-01-2005, 10:14 AM
Murder is stabbing crushing violent inflicted death, so it isnt compassionate.

randy
10-01-2005, 10:17 AM
Where would you draw the line Stinky between the relleiving of pain and the act or murder.

Often morphine is used to control pain. The closer death approaches the more morphine is required to relieve real pain. It reaches a point where to control pain the respiratory system is depressed to the point that it ceases to function and death occurs. Is that murder? Stinky my Mom was a proud and independent woman, very strong. At the end she had no control over her bladder or her solid elimination processes. I was an only child. I had to clean her. She cried Stinky when I did, I was careful not to hurt her but her dignity was smashed. That killed a small part of me watching that happen to the person I loved the most in this world.

I know these are hard questions but we have to arrive at some answers that work.

stinky*felix
10-01-2005, 10:25 AM
Where would you draw the line Stinky between the relleiving of pain and the act or murder.

Often morphine is used to control pain. The closer death approaches the more morphine is required to relieve real pain. It reaches a point where to control pain the respiratory system is depressed to the point that it ceases to function and death occurs. Is that murder? Stinky my Mom was a proud and independent woman, very strong. At the end she had no control over her bladder or her solid elimination processes. I was an only child. I had to clean her. She cried Stinky when I did, I was careful not to hurt her but her dignity was smashed. That killed a small part of me watching that happen to the person I loved the most in this world.

I know these are hard questions but we have to arrive at some answers that work. Randy, I cannot be ojectionable about this thought. I am against human beings killing other human beings, whether it be in war, as punishment for a crime, or to end a debilitating illness.

The only killing that I can palate (and even then it's difficult), is when one is defending their own life, or the lives of others being threatened nearby.

My position is that if we make esceptions for one type of killing, it opens the door to others, perhaps those that we may later regret permitting.

Bleep
10-01-2005, 01:07 PM
Felix I am curious what you think of my relatives' choices, to simply stop taking nourishment to complete their lives?

I felt worse not being able to help those people who asked me- they all had end stage neurological disease- ALS, parkinsons, all were cognitively intact, but functionally incapable.

Judge not, lest ye be judged...isn't that in the bible somewhere?

stinky*felix
10-01-2005, 01:26 PM
Felix I am curious what you think of my relatives' choices, to simply stop taking nourishment to complete their lives?

I felt worse not being able to help those people who asked me- they all had end stage neurological disease- ALS, parkinsons, all were cognitively intact, but functionally incapable.

Judge not, lest ye be judged...isn't that in the bible somewhere? Dr, I do believe that The Bible also indicates that suicide is a mortal sin.

While I cannot support what your relatives have done, I would never blame them for their actions.

But I have an absolute belief: Only God determines when a person's life begins and when it should end. This is because I believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us, and even though it may it may not be evident to us, or may mean suffering on our or others' part(s), it may provide enlightenment to those who are left behind.

randy
10-01-2005, 01:31 PM
"But I have an absolute belief: Only God determines when a person's life begins and when it should end"


Stinky, just for the sake of discussion, what if you are wrong??? How much needless suffering would have been endured by innocent people? If you are right shouldn't each person still be allowed to decide that for him/herself?