” The display was greeted with a mixture of applause and boos.”
It would appear the DIY death eases suffering, gives one power over one’s own decisions regarding life/death, power over the decision of what is ‘quality of life’ and probably- as crass as this may sound, but in the world of an illegal anchor baby born every millisecond shutting down our ERs and medical institutions, it probably saves hospitals and families money as well as protracted grief. Recently I watched a family member pass , and to be totally straight with you, I vacillated between guilt and anger – wishing old Jack were around because although they say “oh they aren’t in any pain, they would let you know,” how is someone going in and out of consciousness with old -age dementia going to let you know anything?
It was maddening, yet at the same time, I felt like I was privvy to something sacred, as cliche and cheesy as that may sound . Still, that didn’t take away from the fact it seemed nature was prolonging the inevitable and was downright cruel at times. I would sit there as the nurses could occasionally come and poke and prod and turn and try to give water and my relative would say “Leave me alone, I’m trying to die.” It had been a few years since my family member had said much of anything that made sense or recognized me, yet towards the last days and weeks, some of that would came back, at least in parts. The priest and I had a discussion about this, saying this is not uncommon.
So it would appear the rules of the game in Old Age death at least- they pretty much give you drugs if you’re lucky- that speeds things along a nurse told me, and let you starve to death, however long it takes. I found out at least in our neck of the woods, this thing called ‘hospice’ only amounted to a couple visits a week if , and they don’t do a heck of a lot- it was hard enough to even get them to call back. We were lucky enough to have a very good Orthodox priest to do what has a different name but amounts to last rites/funeral rites.
In studying other cultures, Asian cultures in particular- they don’t seem to have the Old People Problem that Americans seem to have. They revere and actually want to help take care of their elders.
I suppose Kevorkian’s point was trying to say that we should have the right to off ourselves orrrrrrrr else-we’re-like-the-Nazis-who-won’t-let-us-do-anything because anyone who says No is for certain mean and probably a Nazi too..but… um.. wait. That doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t Nazis have been more than OK with the good Dr. and probably help him with his cause? Yeah, I think they would, if the person wanted it. His swazi-flag doesn’t make his point.
Example, the case of Ramon Sampedro- in researching his story, I came upon sites/blogs of disabled people (or advocates for) that resented the movie, though I found it beautiful . Of course it was not represnetative of how many disabled people feel about life, quality of life, and death- but are most movies accurate representations of anyone’s life? I certainly didn’t take the movie to mean that his wishes were representative of all or most disabled people. In fact, I thought that although Sampedro chose to die, and suceeded, that the majority of the film was quite life-affirming and at the least gave the non-disabled a chance to look at what we take for granted, as well as gaining a different perspective that was far and away from most repugnant shallow ‘date movies’ constantly marketed towards us, about people that are nothing like us, the Sea movie showed the many complexities that stem from out own ‘infirmities’ whether they be physical, emotional or whatever, and in his case, his great inner capacity for humor, warmth, intelligence, and yes, intimacy were just not enough.
Most people don’t enjoy suffering, and especially don’t enjoy seeing someone they love suffer but they do align themselves with various causes bcause that cause was adopted by their larger social/political/religio group. They take ‘Right to Life’ and think it’s linguistic opposite must be horrible and even if it’s not some evil plot to make organ donors out of anyone who listens to REO Speedwagon, it could lead to anyone being exterminated rather than being cared for.
I think what people are missing here is that hospitals are going to be inept and give substandard care period, and let people die, not give them antiobotics after major surgery,make it hell just to get an appointment even for regular clinic stuff that isn’t life or death and that so many people still can’t afford health care and companies like wal-mart are telling their employees, hey ifyou’re still so poor working here you can’t pay into our plan, (that makes it not even worth it to work for such low wages to start with) get on the state welfare/medicaid deal. YeahI feel the disabled geta raw deal, but rest assured the non-disabled are getting sub-standard care from this overtaxed medical system. ‘Cared for’, whatever that means in today’s world of health care .
Case in point-In the last year, two people I know that are not elderly have had surgery, both insured, both were not given antibiotics after the initial surgery – and both contracted staph infections and had to have further surgery because of the infection and stuff attached to them for two months. Why aren’t they getting the antiobiotics after the inital surgery like they used to do? Is it because of all these weird drug resistant strains being brought in- likestaph and multi-drug-resistant-tuberculosis? Sure I can see not wanting to dispense antiobiotics for evey cough and cold that comes down the pike, but not giving them to people who have just had major surgery as a regular precaution seems to harken back to the bad old days where people thought -and for good reason-living with ailments might be safer than seeking medical help-
Children attending day care centers from cities located in the north and south of Mexico showed higher prevalence than children from DCCs in the central region; 1.75%, and 1.71 vs. 0.08%, respectively (P < 0.05).
That last .05 means it is statistically significant. Hmm, you think any of those from the north end have made it to the USA. With our crappy border control, I’d have to say yes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19178880?dopt=Abstract
People get so wrapped up in the for or against debate and hurling invectives , extreme scenarios at each other to try to win the debate that they miss where the problems originate and just want something simple to be for or against, even if that only being against people who have a real logical argument.
We’ve got 93 year old citizens freezing to death indoors in Michigan , because the electric or gas company put some kind of limiting device on his heat as he was behind on his payments- http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=251524
Schur, 93, left his entire estate – reportedly worth about $600,000 – to Bay Regional Medical Center-“I think he was attempting to pay, but his phone was shut off. He had his bills on the table and cash paper-clipped to it, from what I heard, but he literally had no way to connect with the outside world.
The outside temperature ranged from a high of 12 degrees to a low of minus 9 on Jan. 15, the day he was believed to have died. A heating pad was on his favorite armchair by the window. The oven door was open, perhaps to heat the place. http://www.transformhouston.com/archive/marvin-schur-wwii-veteran.php
and then we have a mother with 6 kids going to fertility clinics to add 8 more becoming a cause celebre:
She is getting the media hype, but she is not the first- the other group got a free 6 bedroom house from Fannie Mae http://timepassonline.blogspot.com/2009/01/nkem-chukwu-and-iyke-louis-udobi.html
The Chukwu / Uwobi family moved to a new 5,200 square-foot home in League City, Texas, in September 1999, which was donated to them by the Fannie Mae Mortgage Company. The house has six bedrooms and is located on a cul-de-sac in a quiet area about 15 minutes from the hospital where the octuplets were born.
and then we go into the far reaches of what is termed ‘bio-ethics’, such as
Why grant apes rights? On this episode of What It Means to Be Human, Discovery Institute senior fellow Wesley J. Smith exposes the radical Great Ape Project, which seeks a UN declaration welcoming apes into “a community of equals” with humans. The point is not animal welfare, but to break the species barrier and destroy the unique status of humanity, completely transforming Western civilization. What could the Great Ape Project, championed by infanticide proponent Peter Singer and anti-religious crusader Richard Dawkins, hope to accomplish? Listen in and find out.
“Nature Rights” “Plant Rights” and the Defense of Human Exceptionalism
In this installment of BNB, Wesley J. Smith discusses the ongoing assault on human exceptionalism. Exceptionalism holds that human life is intrinsically unique and valuable, different from life as experienced by other organisms. Rising to challenge this idea is an array of figures including philosophers, academics, environmentalists, and materialists. Such people seek to erode any separation between humans and other species, and wipe away the idea that humans are beings with a soul. Smith warns that this trend could eradicate any foundation for human rights, and even pave the road toward classification of humans based on superiority and fitness. http://bravenewbioethics.podomatic.com/enclosure/2007-07-17T16_31_43-07_00.mp3 audio
For more : http://bravenewbioethics.podomatic.com/?p=1