|Definitions||Active vs Passive Euthanasia|
|What Are The Terminally Ill Asking For?||Signs of Common Sense|
|What Aren’t The Terminally Ill Asking For||Mark Pickup|
|Arguments Against Euthanasia Rights||Marie of Montréal|
|Advice to Those Who Oppose Euthanasia||Gordon Brown|
|Palliative Sedation||Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel|
|Euthanasia in Canada||Catholic Hospitals|
|The Oregon Experience||Recent Developments|
|The Advantage to Pro-Lifers||Judge Lynn Smith|
|Why Do I Care?||Good Life, Gentle Death. David Lewis’s Suicide|
|Mind You Own Business!||Books|
In a case when someone is comatose and can’t express their wishes, then a living will should prevail. Failing that, a combination of law and a physicians’ consensus prognosis should decide when to pull the plug. If you force someone to stay alive against their will, that is torture, a crime I consider more serious than murder. If there are any capital offenses, torture should be on that list.
Nobody wants anyone killed against their wishes. I am furious with meddling religious fruitcakes accusing people like me of wanting to kill people who don’t want to die, especially the disabled or mentally retarded. I am in favour of freedom. I don’t approve of coercion in these matters either to force people to die or to stay alive.
Basking in Former Glory
When I was growing up in the 1950s my great aunts on my mother’s side and my elementary school principal Mr. Allan talked of the empah as if Britain still dominated the world. Brits liked to bask in former glory. Americans do the same today, refusing to notice how their country has become shabby, for example:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
- There used to be only a couple of countries with lower (better) IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) than the USA, the usual international measure for health care quality. Now the USA ranks #51 in the world. Even Cuba, a third world country, is #42, 9 rungs better than the USA.
- Two tiny unarmed countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, fought the USA to a stalemate and the USA had to withdraw. That does not bode well if an armed foe ever attacks the USA. In the invasions, the USA was so desperate, it resorted to torture and banned weapons. What sort of message of weakness and panic did that send to America’s enemies?
- The USA is in deep hock to China, its main global rival. The USA used to be the richest country.
- The USA education system now ranks #17. It has abandoned science and embraced the medieval fundamentalist superstition of creationism.
- All the America economy does nowadays is consume and speculate. It does not manufacture. It even outsources computer programming. That is not a sustainable way to earn a living.
- There is no river or lake left in the USA where it is safe to eat the fish. American have meekly handed over their country to corporations to be despoiled.
Putting Humans Down
From the point of view of science, a human is just another animal. It should be no more difficult to put down a human than a kangaroo. It is really no big deal. Leave it to the experts. The trouble comes when no-nothings legislate.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
These are how I use these terms in this essay. Be warned, not everyone agrees on these definitions. Some debaters even deliberately switch definitions in mid flight in a fit of debating legerdemain to make their opponents look ridiculous.
Catholics consider suicide the most unforgivable of sins. This view has merit if a man effectively deserts his family as a way out of the shame of financial ruin. But, when someone is terminally ill, no one his harmed by the suicide. The patient escapes pointless suffering. The family is spared having to witness the suffering and spared caring for the deathly ill person and spared bearing the futile and huge medical expenses.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Though I speak with the royal we, what I am about to say is my personal opinion. If you want a wider perspective check out these links further down to various groups concerned with the issue.
We ask for the right to assistance to die when life becomes unbearable. We ask for the right to determine for ourselves what unbearable means. Since suffering is subjective, how can any one but the patient decide just how much suffering is too much? It is the arrogant to think you can make that decision for someone else. It is heartless to think you can make up a rule that says no amount of suffering is too much. If you are not the one doing the suffering, you have no right to enforce such a rule. If you want to enforce merciless penance on yourself, you are welcome.
We ask that doctors or others who help us be free from prosecution. Such assistance is sporadically prosecuted now in Canada.
We ask that there be a formal legal procedure to request assistance in suicide. The intent is to allow a cooling off period, to bring in counselors, to alert the family, to summon treatment for depression and when the suffering cannot be sufficiently alleviated, a quiet and dignified death, surrounded by family and friends.
We demand physician-assisted suicide and request physician-attended suicide.
At the bare minimum, we ask that family and friends who come to be with us at that very difficult and frightening time when we elect to die at our own hand, will not be prosecuted for murder or assisting a suicide.
Suicide is not about ending life but ending suffering.~ Massima Nasto
|God owns you!||The number one reason I hear against euthanasia (and suicide too for that matter) is that you can’t do it because it is not your decision. God owns you and it is up to Him to decide when you die. This is a religious superstition. Surely the concept of separation of church and state should protect non-Christians from Christians trying to force their religion down unwilling terminally-ill throats. Oddly, Christians have no objection to painful or desperate measures to prolong life unnaturally. Surely this is just as much interference with God’s time. A variation on this theme is that illness (particularly AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)) and suffering is God’s punishment and you have no right to try to escape any of God’s vengeance and further that it is dangerous to do so. Oddly even fundamentalist Christians have surgery with anesthesia and go to the dentist when they have a toothache. Apparently it is ok to escape some of God’s meted suffering.|
|The value of human suffering according to Christian teaching, physical suffering is part of God’s divine plan for humankind. Suffering has a spiritual significance and should be faced head-on, in the knowledge that it leads to a growth in virtue and helps in redemption.||Some people believe that God wants everyone to wear yellow pajamas. However, we don’t enforce that with law. We leave it up to each individual person to decide whether it is really necessary to wear yellow pajamas to please God. To me, the notion that agony in your last moments is good for you is even nuttier than yellow pajamas. You can only put into law ideas that also make sense secularly.|
|Hitler did it. It must be bad.||Euthanasia means literally good death. Hitler murdered people who did not want to die and called it euthanasia. Hitler abused the language the same way he abused people.|
|Euthanasia is murder. It makes no difference if the person wants to die.||We are demanding physician-assisted suicide,physician-assisted suicide, not physician murder, physician-attended suicide. The physician provides information and materials to ensure a peaceful, pain-free death. The patient takes the final plunge to actually use them. With modern technology, if the person still has control of even a few muscles they can still trigger the relay that starts the final IV pump.|
|The Bible says both murder and suicide are sins.||We are not demanding that everyone use assisted suicide as a way to end their lives. Most of the time, there
would be no need for it. If people in torment fear God and seriously believe He wants them to suffer
excruciating pain, they are welcome to their delusions. However, it is unfair to force such religious
superstition down the throats of atheists, Christians and Muslims who believe God is loving and kind. Further
it is against the Canadian constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion. You are not allowed to
force your religious beliefs on others. You can use persuasion, but not force. Use your
churches to browbeat your fellow Christians into refraining from physician-assisted suicide and
physician-attended suicide, but kindly leave the rest of us alone. This should be a religious and moral issue
up to each individual conscience, not a legal one, where Christians force their
religious beliefs on everyone else. The arrogance of
the Kristians is so infuriating. They think they have an exclusive handle on Truth and the determination
of right and wrong. So strong is this conviction, they believe they have the right to push their standards on
everyone else, even when those other people live more upright lives than the Christians themselves do. They
don’t even see themselves as boorish when they attempt this. They think of it as fighting for God. The
idiots! Using force to bully other people is fighting for Satan.
The pro-life Christians see it his way. Suffering is God’s punishment and no one should be allowed to escape it, even atheists. They believe that early suicide would lead to eternal torment, which is worse than any amount of suffering while here in this life. They offer no evidence this is so, but they are utterly convinced it is. These lunatics believe they are helping you by refusing to let you cut the suffering short. I wonder what stops them from insisting on operations without anaesthesia.
|My religion says all forms of euthanasia are wrong.||Go right ahead then and avoid all forms of euthanasia. My religion says euthanasia is preferable to avoid horrible pain, such as attends death by pancreatic cancer. I certainly don’t want to impose my religious beliefs on you. Why do you think you have the right to impose yours on me? Who do you think you are, my Mother? Even she would not dare to be so presumptuous.|
|Euthanasia is selfish.||The main motive for euthanasia is to avoid pain, mental or physical. Granted this is a selfish desire. Yet the motive can be quite altruistic. You may not want to put your friends through the emotional wringer of watching you in agony day after day after day. You may want to spare your loved ones the spectacle of you slowly losing your mind and saying hateful or obscene things. You may not want to tie up a very expensive intensive care hospital bed that would better be used by someone with at least a year of life left in them. In Canada such beds are paid for my public health insurance. There is no way you can spare your loved ones that pain whether or not you elect euthanasia. You are going to die soon anyway.|
|If we allow this, it will be the slippery slope. Soon people in old age homes will be bumped off in the night.||Right now, assisted suicide occurs all the time. It is treated with a wink. Nobody dares investigate. Sometimes the motives may be nefarious. Sometimes the patient may not have given informed consent. We don’t know. With a formal process to handle assisted suicides, with safeguards and witnesses, any suspicious death would be investigated. This would reduce the incidences of murders of the elderly. The hoary slippery slope fallacy flows in the other direction too. If we allow fundamentalist Christians to put into law their beliefs about euthanasia and force them on everyone, what will they enact next? jail sentences for teaching evolution? death for disrespect to your parents?|
|If we allow this, there will be a huge increase in suicides.||Quite the contrary. Consider AIDS. Since physician-assisted suicide is illegal, if you have AIDS and fear your end may be particular dreadful, you must commit suicide while you are still healthy enough to handle it yourself. If you knew you could count on help if the going got really rough, you could postpone it — perhaps indefinitely and die a quiet natural death. Applying for legal assistance for suicide will ring alarm bells. All kinds of help will swing into action who may have otherwise ignored your plight. Family will be able to comfort you knowing your plan. Counselors will be able to help you with any psychological problems making matters worse. Doctors may prescribe additional pain-killing medications and anti-depressants to help you over that rough spot. People who might have rashly committed suicide, will elect to apply for physician-assisted suicide. In the cooling off period, most will elect to continue living.|
|Taking your own life or taking anyone else’s is just plain wrong, under any circumstances.||Any circumstances? You right wingers often make exceptions for:
|The Bible says that physician-assisted suicide and physician-attended suicide are both forbidden by the Bible. You will go to hell if you are involved in any way with them. Therefore, they should be illegal.||Surely then avoiding any of God’s pain should be illegal, such as anesthesia for operations or dentistry. By that logic anything you think the Bible forbids should be illegal. For example, there should be laws against:|
|If we allow this, when I am old, people will push me into killing myself rather than permitting me to live out my days.||This is an exceedingly selfish argument. Because you are concerned with the faint possibility of dealing with a little pressure, you are willing to condemn others to excruciating torment. Shame on you! Further, assisted suicide would be a formal legal process, at least as complicated as buying a house or getting married. Nobody could make you do it. There would be a waiting period, so you could change your mind after some greedy relative talked you into it.|
|If we allow this, it will be the first step on the road to hell. We will browbeat all disabled people into killing themselves to save the government the expense of caring for them.||Assisted suicide is for people in pain who can’t bear to live. The disabled, by in large, are cheerful group actively enjoying their lives. If someone told them to submit to suicide, they would tell them where to get off, just as any able-bodied human would.|
|If we allow this, people will kill themselves every time they get a little stomach ache. We can’t make suicide too easy or attractive.||Would you do something so foolish? Why then do you think everyone else would? It would not be attractive. Applying for a physician-assisted suicide would be about as much fun as a tax audit, convincing the legal authorities you were serious, of sound mind etc.|
|With modern painkillers there is no such thing as excruciating pain any more. There is no need to use death to escape pain.||I think everyone has experienced some very high level of pain in their lives that painkillers did not help. Imagine that pain stretched over months. Childbirth and kidney stones come to mind. In my own case I have suffered for years from nausea as a side effect of the HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) drugs I take. Nothing modern or folk medicine has offered, even Stemetil (a drug used to counteract chemotherapy), works. Imagine the prospect of feeling nauseous every hour after hour for the rest of your life. Imagine the gall of someone else perfectly healthy, telling you that suffering was necessarily bearable, that you had no choice but to bear it indefinitely.|
|There’s no need for physician-assisted suicide. You can always shoot yourself or drink drain cleaner or eat rat poison. You can buy illegal drugs on the street. You can drive your car into a lamppost.||The patient is terminally ill, bed-ridden. They have no energy for racing about collecting poisons. People don’t like to think about death or plan ahead for it. Even able bodied people can have extreme difficulty finding the correct drugs, even when they are willing to travel to Mexico in search of them. They want a quiet dignified death. The want to die peacefully and certainly. With street drugs, they have no idea of what they have actually purchased or what dosages are needed. They can’t very well blast their brains out in a hospital ward spraying the other patients with their innards.|
|Just take an overdose of sleeping pills. You don’t need anyone’s help for that!||Modern sleeping pills contain a small quantity of emetic. When you overdose on them, you automatically throw them up. This is a safety feature to prevent accidental fatal overdose. To use pills, you need specially made ones without the emetic. The stomachs of the terminally ill are often too sensitive to hold down any food, much less an overdose of any medication. At that point you need something taken intravenously or by gas.|
|Just use some gas! like carbon monoxide, nitrogen or helium.||If you tried carbon monoxide, you would likely end up harming anyone else in the same building. If you are terminally ill, dragging a giant metal cylinder of nitrogen or helium to your bedside would require somebody’s assistance. Currently, your helper could face criminal prosecution. Hospitals would almost certainly interfere with the proceedings given their current legal liability. Helium plus a large plastic bag makes the most sense. You can rent a cylinder for about a month (plus fill and deposit) and keep it ready for use. The lightest Q-sized cylinder is 70 cm (2.30 ft) tall and 14 kg (30.86 lbs). It is not something you could hide away in a drawer. You can pretend it is for balloons without raising too much suspicion from the vendor. Helium is not flammable and it rises, so is unlikely to suffocate others if there is ventilation (e.g. a skookum fan and open window). However, it still takes substantial effort to drag the cylinder into position and set up the equipment. You also have to jerry rig something to hold the valve open. The standard balloon filling valve automatically closes as soon as you take off sideways pressure. People who are ready to die are too weak to set up the equipment unassisted. They must do it while they still have the strength to do it at home and on their own.|
|Just use some of the stuff they use to put down dogs — seconal.||Seconal is a strictly controlled drug. Your veterinarian will not give you any because he would be liable to criminal prosecution.|
|People might die two weeks earlier than natural.||One hundred years ago, there was no such thing as hanging on for months or years while very ill. Once you got sick, you died quickly of an infection. Modern medicine has turned death into a protracted ordeal. What would be so terrible about cutting out the worst couple of weeks of your life? What is this Puritanical need to absorb and appreciate every last sling and arrow? Let those that love life so much that no amount of suffering is too much, live and let those for whom the suffering is too much, die. How can anyone but the patient know what too much is? Everyone has their limits to bearable pain.|
|The terminally ill need to be protected.||The terminally ill are overwhelmingly in favour of choice. However, they don’t have much energy to press their case. They want the option to die early if it gets just too awful. Knowing that option is there would give them courage to handle the daily tribulations. What they really need protection from are Christian fanatics who want them to suffer to placate a cruel and unjust god — those rigid fundamentalists who lack imagination or compassion. The fundamentalists want to protect the terminally ill from themselves. They treat the terminally ill like children who have no idea what is in their own best interest. The motives for doing something like that are highly suspect. What they are really asking for is legal sanction to help prevent themselves from sinning should they be terminally ill and in agony. It is not enough they put themselves through needless agony, they are demanding everyone else join them in their folly.|
|Just go to the Netherlands.||The Netherlands have legal physician-assisted suicide. To use that option you would have to be well enough to travel. If you were well enough to travel, why would you want to kill yourself?|
If you are firmly opposed to euthanasia under any circumstances, get a lawyer to write up your wishes. Make it clear that no matter how much pain you are in, no matter how much you protest, you want even more pain to appease your sadistic deity. Make it clear that even if you become so brain damaged, that you start exposing yourself, eating feces or molesting children you want to soldier on. Then you will be safe. But please mind your own business. Not all of us think the way you do. We are adults too. We have the right to our own end-of-life decisions.
Palliative care people who oppose euthanasia, will still perform euthanasia, when it is disguised a little. They gradually increase the pain medication of a patient each day. Eventually the patient becomes delirious. Eventually, they become unconscious then the patient dies. They pretend this is not euthanasia because it is gradual, because the intent is supposedly pain relief and because death is an unexpected side effect.
I would find this sort of death, delirious with opiates, horrible and degrading. I didn’t take those sorts of drugs during my life. Damned if I will accept them as I die.
In Canada, there is an irrational restriction on medically assisted suicide. Your death must be foreseeable. In other words physicians must be able to approximately predict the date of your death, and it must be in the near future. I have two main objections:
This restriction amounts to forcing Christian superstition down my throat. Christians believe Yahweh owns you, and has a right to make you suffer as much as he pleases. You have no right to escape torment. Yahweh would not improve of suicide to escape his wrath.
Anti-euthanasia people seem willing to accept euthanasia if it is made sufficiently unpleasant. The sophistry is mind-boggling. For example, some think euthanasia is OK, so long as it is effected by slowly starving to death. As long as there is sufficient suffering, they will sign off. Another strange proposal from the anti-euthanasia camp is that people be put into permanent general anaesthesia. They would die but at an unpredictable time. It would tie up hospital beds for possibly months at a time to no useful purpose. It would deny the loved ones a final definitive goodbye. It has the exact same effect as euthanasia, just drags it out in a hideous above earth burial while the living corpse slowly goes gangrenous. Why should non Christians humour Christians with such nutty rituals who don’t even know the patient? It is insane. We must not allow Christians to impose their nutty death superstitions on the rest of us.
Others think euthanasia is OK, if you first degrade the patient by turning him into a drug addict oblivious to his surroundings and then the death must occur via a nudge nudge wink wink accidental drug overdose. This is malice. It is like saying, I will let you die if let me cut your arm off first. The Christian sadists want to make people suffer so badly they will not elect euthanasia.
This goofiness reminds me of Israel where they impose a religious superstition each Saturday to make all elevators stop working properly, but not entirely. Christians worship a sadistic god who allegedly enjoys watching people suffer particularly just before death. Christians are not content to offer up their own suffering, they demand the right to force non-Christians to suffer in a pointless sacrifice. Their auxiliary argument is that Yahweh is the owner (in the sense of slavemaster) of all humans and we humans have no right to destroy his property. The freedom of religion clauses in our constitutions should give us freedom from their forceful and painful imposition of the Christian religion. If they won’t back off, we should set about rooting out their religion, root and branch.
On 2016-04-14 the Liberals revealed there proposed physician assisted suicide law. It has been watered down from what the Supreme Court requested. The following groups are denied assistance.
What counts is unbearable suffering. The mentally ill, youth and any human can experience this. Why should some folk be forced to endure massive suffering? This is deliberate torture of youth and the mentally ill.
Those not close to death will be excluded. This is backwards. Those people have even more suffering to endure. If someone is going to die anyway in a few days, they are not as needy of help.
Canada’s new euthanasia law requires someone who wants to die to apply to a panel. They decide if the petitioner is suffering enough and is close enough to natural death to be worthy of physician assisted suicide. They reject 9 out of 10 people. The panelists base their decision on the law, their religious superstitions and their imaginings of how they would suffer in the petitioner’s circumstances.
Suffering is subjective. The petitioner knows better than anyone else just how intolerable their suffering is. If they are rejected, they can legally starve themselves to death. Why do panelist opinions, based on very incomplete information, trump the petitioner? Whose life is it anyway?
Requiring the petitioner to be close to natural death makes no sense. If you had only 3 days of terrible suffering to endure, you might be willing to suffer. But if you had a year of unbearable suffering, you would demand relief.
The panel should decide if the petitioner is mentally competent, (or has provided written instruction) and is fully informed of the options, and if so, get out the way. Every hour delayed creates needless suffering.
The law is designed to maximise suffering and prolong the end of life process, permitting relief for only the most egregious cases. The only reason for this is Christian superstition. That should be unconstitutional.
Young Pontificate to the Old
The most infuriating feature of the euthanasia debate is the way young, healthy, arrogant experts are so convinced they have the right to override end-of-life decisions of the terminally ill.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Oregon has had a physician-assisted suicide law since 1998. There have been no reported abuses. It takes two physicians to prescribe a dose of fatal drugs. Only one in six people is accepted. The rest are routed to various alternate therapies such as symptom control or treatment for depression. These people might previously have attempted suicide on their own and would have received no treatment. One in ten who applies actually gets and uses a prescription. It often acts as insurance against some horrible death, such as slow suffocation from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
Kill me, you fucking fool!~ Kingsley Amis (1922-04-16 1995-10-22 age:73), to his son.
Did you know that the way things are now, in British Columbia, if you don’t provide a specific living will, a hospital can put a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on you without your consent! Today, euthanasia is effectively happening, under the table, both to people who want it and to those who don’t want it.
By requiring a formal procedure to request euthanasia, it would be much harder to slip euthanasia by with a nudge nudge, wink wink the way it happens now.
Gloria Taylor was a woman with ALS and the only person in Canada currently with a legal right to physician-assisted suicide. The KRTLS (Kelowna Right To Life Society) tried to take that right away from her. The KRTLS argued that taking the life of a human being is not an act of compassion.
Of course, taking a life is not an act of compassion, but that is not what was happening in the Gloria Taylor case. If the KRTLS had right on their side, why are they lying about something so basic? Christians were trying to ensure she suffered long after she had found life unbearable. That is far from a compassionate act.
Christians were doing this for sadistic-religious reasons. Christians have a warped S&M (Sadism & Masochism) view of suffering. They enjoy contemplating their enemies being roasted alive for eternity.
In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful and that they may give to God more copious thanks for it, they are permitted perfectly to behold the sufferings of the damned… The saints will rejoice in the punishment of the damned.~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 1274-03-07 age:48)
Mother Theresa refused to give pain killers to people dying of extremely painful diseases like pancreas cancer. She would tell them they should enjoy the pain as Jesus’ kisses.
Christian women titillate themselves contemplating the suffering of the near naked Christ. Christian men in some cultures whip themselves bloody in emulation of the suffering of Christ. Nuns and priests torment themselves in penance hoping to placate the god Yahweh. The point is Christians have a rather unhealthy relationship with suffering, especially the suffering of others. They see it as a Good Thing™.
In this case, busybody Christians were trying to pretend they knew more than Gloria Taylor when her life was unbearable. They were sadists trying to force their nutty religious views on her when she was at her weakest. It was absolutely none of their concern. If Christians want to impale themselves on the altar of their cruel imaginary god Yahweh, they are welcome to it, but please leave Gloria, me and everyone else alone.
My biggest nightmare is on my deathbed to fall into the clutches of arrogant, meddling Christians like those in the KRTLS.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I am HIV+ (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus Positive (infected)). I have been since the summer of 1985. Over that time my health as dipped up and down. Most of my friends have died of AIDS, some with excruciating deaths.
I get extremely angry at busy-body Catholics poking their nose into what I consider a most personal of issues. They have some very warped ideas about what the creator expects of us and like medieval torturers are willing to put people through extreme pain to save their souls. As I said on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), "It is none of their damn business!"
I think it should be my decision when suffering is too much. To retain that control I will be forced to kill myself early, while I still have enough strength to handle the suicide totally unaided. I have been quite sick of late and I have been making preparations. This is ironic. Meddling Christians are pushing me into premature suicide. If they would simply mind their own bloody business, I could in all probability safely postpone that suicide indefinitely and enjoy a natural death.
The conviction of Dr. Kevorkian for murder shows the public are bloody fools and can’t tell the difference between an axe murder and mercy. The sanctimonious A&E biography of Dr. Kevorkian reiterates that blindness. Nobody cares a fig about the person begging to die. The victim of euthanasia is the only seriously interested party and he is the only party given no say in the debate. He is presumed incompetent simply because he can no longer stand the suffering. The selfishness of the meddling Christians and their superstitious arguments makes me nauseous. Christians pretend the suffering does not exist because it conflicts with their superstitious beliefs.
The judge who sentenced Kevorkian chastised him as if he were a serial axe murderer. She refused to see the difference.
I get furious at Christians forcing their crazy superstitions about death down the throats of those who want no part of them. Why should a man with ALS and a month to live have to put up with the final hours of slowly suffocating to death? Someone who helps is merciful. Someone who turns away is a Nazi.
Consider also those who are not terminally ill, but who have had some dreadful accident, such as burns to 90% of the body or a broken spinal chord so they are paralysed from the neck down. No matter how much they might scream I want to die. Please somebody kill me! they are trapped with no means of escape no matter how utterly intolerable their existence is. This is Christian mercy solidified into law.
Imagine the outcry if some religious group were able to push through legislation to also outlaw euthanasia for animals. No matter how horribly injured your pet were, you had no option but to sit by and watch him suffer and slowly die. We would consider it sadistic. Why do we have more compassion for our pets than our loved ones?
More Humane To Horses than Humans
A man was charged recently for failing to shoot a horse that was suffering badly from the effects of old age. Yet at the same time the crown charged another man with murder who provided drugs for early exit to an elderly suffering parent. Why do we treat humans less humanely than we treat horses?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I find the anti-choice folk a meddling bunch of busybodies. Most of the time, they are fabulously healthy, deeply religious and have no inkling of what it is like to be terminally ill. They think they know better than the terminally ill what is in their best interest. The terminally ill are overwhelmingly pro-choice. The terminally ill are only physically incapacitated. They still have their marbles. They are the ones who have to endure the end-of-life trials. Surely, who is more qualified than they to make such important decisions? I’d say, if you are not terminally ill, you have no business forcing your opinions on those who are. You have not been there. You don’t know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, the terminally ill have no energy to make their voices heard politically. The have no political clout since they will unlikely ever vote again. So they are at the mercy of energetic fundamentalist busybodies.
Pro choice means just that, that you want the option to die left open for you and others. You don’t want to close off all possibility of early death no matter how intolerable life becomes. The non-terminally ill have this right naturally and just like most terminally ill people, elect to keep on living. It is unfair to take this right away from the terminally ill, at the very time it is most reassuring that there exists an escape should life get too terrible.
Mr. Novakowski has been pontificating on the Robert Latimer case. He has a daughter disabled with cerebral palsy, which he considers makes his situation identical with that Latimer found himself in. The situations are completely different. Novakowski’s daughter is healthy and happy. There is utterly no reason to help her die. Latimer’s daughter was screaming in pain. Novakowski says euthanasia is not the answer in his case. Of course! Nobody said it was! The right to die is about letting people choose to escape suffering, not bumping them off because caretakers are fed up with caring for them. When Novakowski talks of the slippery slope he is projecting his own desires on the pro-euthanasia camp. He is the only one who feels tempted to bump off his daughter. Nobody in the pro-euthanasia camp is willing to let him get away with that. Novakowski imagines taking away the right to die somehow increases respect for the individual. It is the very opposite. He wants the government to meddle and bully where it has no business.
Gloria Taylor had ALS, an incurable disease. My friend Geoff Sirois died of it on 2001-08-19. It is one of the most horrible ways to die. Gradually your muscles stop working so you can’t move, cannot eat, cannot speak and finally cannot breathe. It is like being buried alive. My friends at the BC Civil Liberties Association and three others in a similar boat to Ms. Taylor sued and overturned the law in Canada making physician assisted suicide illegal. The judge declared it inconsistent with the constitution. If parliament does not fix the law by 2016-06, it will become invalid.
This has brought on a firestorm from meddling Christians who wanted to make sure Ms. Taylor did not miss a microsecond of the suffering they believe their god Yahweh was inflicting on her. This is as insane as insisting she have her appendix out without anaesthesia. They wanted to force their religion, complete with unsubstantiated superstitions about suffering, death, ghosts, bodies possessed by souls and after death torture on non-believers. Christians like Will Johnston refuse to respect the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, which includes the right to reject Christianity.
Back in 1990, I comforted my friend David Lewis as he ended his life to avoid the final stages of AIDS. At the time Christians meddled outrageously as well. I wrote an essay about it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
People supposedly motivated by Christian compassion do things literally like this: cut a hole in an elderly woman’s chest without her consent to insert a feeding tube. In seeing it is not working, they allowed her to slowly starve to death. The women had Alzheimers. If they did it to a dog, they would be reported to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Other than the Catholics, the disabled are the most organised opposition to euthanasia. They are afraid they will be killed against their will because someone else thinks their lives are not worth living. This is irrational and paranoid. Physician assisted suicide is a formal legal procedure with maximal bureaucratic delay for the terminally ill. It will require your signature and the signature of your doctor. The disabled, are not ill, much less terminally ill. They would not qualify even if they wanted it. Contrast that with how physician-assisted suicide happens today. Everyone looks the other way. There is no paper work. It is much easier to bump someone off who does not want to die today than when the procedure would be handled in the light of day.
The wealthy elderly are concerned that relatives will pressure them into suicide to get their inheritance a few months early. Movies make elderly paranoid on this matter, but probate takes so long, very few people would consider murder to get their money a few months earlier. Most people cling to their elderly relatives and want them to live on, even if they suffer.
Also, the elderly with chronic conditions are worried hospital administrators will pressure them into suicide to free a bed. What they refuse to recognise, is they can be pressured now and killed quietly without any questions asked. If we had a formal procedure, the patient would be interviewed by many professionals, some of whom would ask, Are you choosing to die of you your free will? Is anyone pressuring you? At that point, all you have to do is tell the truth to summon help to get those pressuring you off your back.
In quixotically trying to conquer death doctors all too frequently do no good for their patients’ ease but at the same time they do harm instead by prolonging and even magnifying patients’ dis-ease.~ Jack Kevorkian (1928-05-26 2011-06-03 age:83) Prescription: Medicide: The Goodness of Planning
One of the smarmiest, lawyerly, cowardly and cruel notions Christians have foist on the world, is passive euthanasia. In their view, it somehow does not count as killing you merely starve or dehydrate someone to death, never mind that dehydration is a crueler way to die that being eaten alive by lions.
I say this is bloody nonsense. What counts is your intent and the result. If your intent is to kill and the result is death, it does not matter what your means it, it is still killing.
Consider that if you kill an infant by neglect or a beating, it is still murder. If a kidnapper kills his victim by starvation or a gun, it is still murder. Why should killing a patient actively or passively be any different?
If you are going to euthanise someone, be at least as kind as you would to a beloved pet dog when you put it down. Use a method that is painless and quick such as a shot of seconal.
It is monstrous to hold out only the torture of passive euthanasia to someone terminally ill in such pain they cannot bear any more. It is downright sadistic. It is similarly monstrous to euthanise someone that way who is not able to protest. If there is a hell, I hope all Christians who try to fob passive euthanasia by dehydration off on others spend eternity there, suffering exactly as they made others suffer.
According to Dr. Eike Kluge, professor of ethic at the University of Victoria, in a hospice, if the caretakers, even at the request of the patient, oversedate him causing death or withhold medication or treatment causing death, or if they select a treatment that would shorten life relative to some other treatment, even if that other treatment would cause excruciating pain, the caregivers are technically guilty of first degree murder. This is insane, but that is the law. Members of parliament are afraid of outraging the Catholics and other anti-euthanasia advocates.
However, in practice, sanity often prevails. There is something called prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors don’t have to take the caretakers to trial, especially if they think a jury would ignore the law and refuse to convict them. So in practice, if you are suffering great pain or nausea that cannot be controlled by drugs, often caretakers will at your request oversedate you and allow you to die in peace. If they are prosecuted, usually they will be charged only with administering a noxious substance. If convicted, they would usually only get probation or a requirement their work be supervised. Unlike for murder, there is no minimum sentence. The caretakers would not lose they right to practice medicine. Of course, if the Catholics get wind of this and butt in, all bets are off what will happen.
The other piece of good news is that you have the right to refuse any medical procedure, including resuscitation. If your doctor ignores your request, he can be changed with assault. The catch is, if you are considered mentally incompetent, you lose that right. All you need do is make your wishes clear on an advance directive card in your wallet.
On 2013-06-12 Québec tabled a bill to legalise euthanasia, with many conditions. You must be in the final stages of an incurable disease.
Christians often recommend sedation or putting the patient into a coma as an alternative to physician assisted suicide.
- This lets Christians feel safe from retribution from their imaginary sadistic god who reputedly likes people to suffer and disapproves of physician-assisted suicide.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Putting someone into a coma and waiting for them to die is equivalent to physician assisted suicide without the patient’s consent or even knowledge.
- With a coma, the patient misses his death, and the goodbyes.
- Barring physician-assisted suicide reduces the patient’s choices.
- It very expensive to keep someone alive in a coma. If the patient is not going to recover, there is no point to it.
- It is cowardly appeasement, letting Christians impose their superstitions on non-believers.
- Sedation and coma are almost the same. You might as well be dead. You cannot greet your friends. You cannot have experience.
Mark Pickup is an anti-euthanasia advocate. He has multiple sclerosis. Be became depressed and wanted to die. He was not in physical pain and he was not paralysed, but felt worthless. He was well enough kill himself, but did not actually attempt suicide. He wants to keep assisted suicide illegal because he fears had it been available, he might be dead now. This is a groundless fear. Had he applied for help with his suicide, he would have been treated for his depression and for his delusions of worthlessness. As it was, his problems with severe depression went untreated. He would have been in less danger of rash suicide had he applied for help dying. All assisted suicide programs have an assessment and waiting period. It is not death on demand.
Pickup also argues that the terminally ill person has no right to choose when to die. He should stay alive to please those around him no matter how intense the pain. This is insane, considering postponing grief of more importance than avoiding torture. Pickup imagines modern medicine can always manage pain. I have only once been near death, but I have been seriously ill many times in which modern medicine could in no way begin to manage the pain. Try a passing a kidney or gallstone, or being so nauseous you threw up continuously for 30 minutes. Then imagine that level of pain bedeviling you for the rest of your days without letup.
What gives people like Mr. Pickup who have never felt serious pain, the right to tell others who have, how much pain is unbearable? How much pain is too much is a highly subjective thing and it is not something you can decide for someone else. Just because I can bear a particular pain does not mean someone else is equally insensitive to it. My sister prefers to have dental work done without anaesthesia. However, that is no reason to demand everyone do it.
Pickup also expressed worry that people might bump themselves off because they felt too much of a burden. I look at it this way. If somebody finds being a burden even more awful than death, then who am I to condemn them to a fate they consider worse than death? I likely would not feel tortured in that situation, but obviously they do. The compassionate solution is not to force them to suffer by cutting off their only escape route, but to help them over their guilt about being cared for.
On 2007-11-22 Paula Todd aired a show on CBC ’s The Verdict on euthanasia. She had an anti-euthanasia guest identified as Marie of Montréal. Marie’s view what that shooting someone in cold blood, killing them when they were terminally ill without their permission, killing them at their request when they were terminally ill, providing them with the means to commit suicide, committing suicide, (and presumably abortion and the morning after bill) were all killing and hence all were equally wicked and should be considered the same thing without distinction. This allowed her to provide an argument against killing the terminally ill without their permission, then apply it to all forms of killing since they were perfectly equivalent in her view.
Many people promise their loved ones approaching death that they will not have to endure severe pain. However, the only way you can promise that is if you are willing to help arrange physician-assisted suicide.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
This women’s dishonest and irrational way of debating suggests she is a member of some church and she is simply parroting the views of the church. She believes her church to have an exclusive hold on absolute truth, hence everyone should adopt those views. What she is doing has little to do with euthanasia and a lot to do with proselytising. Whether someone’s views are rational or not has nothing whatsoever to do with their right to lobby for them. Most of the people against euthanasia are meddling religious busybodies who think they have a right to interfere in other people’s most personal choices. It is cosmically unfair that those most affected by euthanasia legislation have little energy to promote their views and those with least interest and maximal nuttiness have the loudest voices.
Assisted Suicide for the Mentally Ill
I am bipolar. Lithium completely controls it. I have had no incidents of either type of swing in over 20 years. Why should my suffering be discounted because I am Mentally Ill? What counts is competence, understanding the gravity of suicide, capable of balancing the pros and cons, not whether every part of my brain works perfectly without medication.
Further, if someone is not competent but is in terrible suffering, they too should have access to suicide. After all we put down pets, lovingly, who are in great suffering. They cannot give informed consent. You should have the right to designate someone to make the decision for you in case you became incompetent.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Gordon Brown was the Prime Minister of UK. He was is adamantly opposed to physician-assisted suicide on the grounds, if it were permitted, families would pressure their elderly into committing suicide. I find this argument invalid on four grounds.
Gordon Brown’s policy could be compared with a mandatory automobile passenger restraint device, presumed by its inventors to be beneficial, but never tested scientifically, that was excruciatingly painful for a sizable proportion of people.
Dr. Emanuel is an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote a famous essay called Why I Hope to Die at 75. In his practice, over the years he has seen many people suffer the last decades of their lives with poor health and greatly diminished capacity. He feels we would be better off if nature took its course swiftly and promptly. To that end, he advocates a rather extreme measure: at age 75, even if you are healthy, to ever after refuse any drugs or medical treatments whose primary purpose is to extend your life. However, he considers it acceptable to use measures to reduce pain or increase quality of life.
On 2014-12-07, Michael Enright interviewed Dr. Emanuel on CBC radio The Sunday Edition. He pointed out that Dr. Emanuel had also written an essay opposing the legalisation of physician assisted suicide. Mr. Enright asked him to explain how he could hold such apparently contradictory views.
Let me deal with Emanuel’s points one by one:
Given Dr. Emanuel’s background, I would have expected well-thought out, consistent and compassionate arguments for his positions, but they struck me as juvenile, off-the cuff, shallow and incredibly self-centred.
I can’t help the feeling that Dr. Emanuel is pulling my leg. He is like a brilliantly polished Onion spoof of a dotty radio guest. This could almost be a generation X+1 This Is That skit.
All over the world, populations are aging. Every country will be swamped with people with Alzheimers and no budget to care for them. This means the level of care will be nightmarish. Personally, I see no point in a life while demented. It is just degrading and a costly nuisance to others. Presumably, there are other people who think as I do. Unfortunately, the Christians are in control and work tirelessly to prevent people from avoiding that nightmare using physician-assisted suicide. We have to get rid of this stigma. I am not for a second suggesting involuntary euthanasia for people who want such an existence. I just want people to be free to choose to check out early when they are faced with looming dementia.
What are the best methods to commit suicide?
In Canada are hospitals that were historically run by the Catholic church. Some are still run by Catholic corporations such as Providential. They are fully funded by the province. They are demanding exemption from the coming euthanasia laws. They demand the right to impose Catholic religious superstitions on the non-Catholic patients unfortunate enough to live near one of these Catholic hospitals. They claim allowing euthanasia would be religious discrimination, even if it were performed by non-Catholic doctors on non-Catholic patients. The hospitals have no concern whatsoever for the religious freedom of the patients. They are purely self-centred. I think the hospitals should be expropriated to force them to comply with the charter of rights and freedoms. The government has no business funding the imposition of religious dogma.
By Catholic logic, the hospitals should also have the right to refuse to treat gays, or even to kill them. They should be able to refuse any procedures related to birth control, abortion, sterilisation, even though the patients have pre-paid the premiums for these procedures.
This should be treated as a balance of rights. Yet the hospitals either ignore or spit on the rights of the non-Catholic patients. They are only concerned with rights of Catholic doctors to follow silly, irrational Catholic superstitions. Such rights are not serious. If denied, they do no harm at all other than create distress at displeasing an imaginary god. But the key point, the Catholics are not asking for rights for themselves, but to impose their religious beliefs on others. They have no legitimate claim to such bullying. Their behaviour is high handed, based on a paternalistic belief Catholics know what is best for everyone else.
Early Christians frequently committed suicide. Their lives were so miserable and the sales pitches for heaven were so appealing, and they were so naïve, they would kill themselves by jumping off cliffs, drowning themselves, falling or swords or taking poison. The bible itself is silent on the morality of suicide. Augustine, around 400 AD announced without scriptural justification that suicide was a cardinal sin, and committing suicide would block you from going to heaven. Modern day Catholics take this as given, to the degree they impose the rule on non-Catholics too.
The Terrible Thing of Leaving People Be
Catholics rail that if euthanasia is permitted, large numbers of people will prefer physician assisted suicide. Why is that a bad thing? Why is letting people get what they prefer terrible? Catholics are insane. They think they have a right to force their superstitions or others, even if it makes them suffer.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
On 2011-11-14 and 2011-11-15 the CBC Radio 1 aired discussion of euthanasia and allowed phone-in callers. Unlike previous such shows, there was no mention of hell, god and Yahweh being the slaveowner of all human bodies. Instead the lines were swamped with callers all saying the exact same thing, namely that legal euthanasia was a plot to encourage elder abuse and extorting them of their worldly goods. There was almost no input from the opposing view.
The anti-euthanasia people are primarily motivated by a desire to impose their religious beliefs on others. They discovered such arguments would not fly, so are now pushing a bogus argument that legal euthanasia will lead to increased elder abuse. Nonsense! Obviously there is much more unbiased scrutiny of legal euthanasia than illegal. Further, people rashly attempting suicide will be much less likely to carry through if they go the legal euthanasia route which would necessitate reevaluation and talking it over with a trained counselor.
What it boils down to is, who is in a better position to make wise decisions about my end-of-life, me or Dr. Will Johnston, (the B.C. spokesman for EPC (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada)). Who has more at stake? Dr. Johnson or me? Whose business is it anyway? How arrogant he is to claim he knows better than I just how bearable my suffering is. Suffering is multi-dimensional and subjective. Nobody else can possibly know as well as I just how bearable my existence is. Johnston is motivated by religious dogma, but he carefully hides that. He relies almost exclusively on straw man arguments, pretending the debate is about some Hitlerian purge of the disabled without their consent. He advocates under-the-table euthanasia accidental overmedication without any formal consent, since in his legalistic mind the god Yahweh would not count this as murder. Yet he claims a formal procedure to bring physician-assisted suicide out into the light of day will increase abuse. The man is nuts.
This notion that all pain is manageable is ridiculous. Have these meddlesome busybodies never had an infected tooth, a kidney stone or HIV-induced nausea? In my experience, pain laughs at any analgesic modern medicine can throw at it.
On 2012-06-12 the BC Supreme Court struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide. The argument was peculiar — equality. Severely ill or disabled people cannot kill themselves as able-bodied people can. Denying them the right to die is denying them equality. I would have used a freedom of religion argument, that Christians do not have the right to impose their religious dogma on others, but all’s well that ends well.
On 2015-02-06 the Canadian supreme court overturned Harper’s anti-euthanasia law. They gave him until 2016-02 to write a new one. Harper did nothing. Justin Trudeau won the election on 2015-10-19 He has asked for a 6 month extension.
BC Supreme court judge Lynn Smith did an interview on the Lee Carter case. She said that Canada argued that legal euthanasia would put the disabled and frail at risk of being murdered. This risk exists, but it would be considerably less than it is now. Today, euthanasia goes on all the time under the table without review. The new bureaucratic rules would add protection. The new rules do not need to be perfect, just better than what we have now. This is so obvious, I suspect those making this argument have little concern for increased murders. They are motivated by a desire to impose their Christian beliefs on everyone else.
The Slippery Slope
Various groups representing the disabled have reacted in horror to the Canadian supreme court ruling that physician assisted suicide is now legal under certain conditions. They are worried about a Nazi-like slippery slope, when they will be euthanised without their permission, or when they are forced to request euthanasia.
The slippery slope is a paranoid delusion. Nobody wants anybody, abled or disabled, killed against their will. Nearly all Canadians would be horrified at the idea of killing people who did not want to be killed. There is no pressure to slide along this imaginary slope. Nobody wants the state killing people who have not requested it, especially themselves. That is insane! The disabled feel marginalised and unwanted, and have projected this dejection into a delusional plot to kill them.
This is not only nuts, it is selfish. The disabled believe their imagined paranoid worries about the future should trump the actual suffering of the terminally ill.
Further, a formal procedure to request death offers additional levels of protection from being killed. There will be many lawyers, doctors and bureaucrats to complain to about improprieties. The way things were, all euthanasia (both requested and murder) occurred on the quiet without review, a situation far more prone to abuse.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I was present when David Lewis took his life in 1990 to avoid the final stages of AIDS. So many people wrote to the newspapers to pontificate on the event. They had absolutely no clue what it was like. After several weeks of lobbying, the newspapers finally let me tell what actually happened. What follows is what I wrote based on an essay I wrote the night he died:
In recent weeks pundits have pontificated on TV and in the press over David Lewis’s decision to commit suicide rather than face a lingering death. None of these men ever even met David. I was present the night David died. Here is what really happened Friday night 1990-08-24.
In some eyes, David is a coward and a sinner and I am a murderer for not interfering. If you were present, I think you would see it differently.
Before, when I heard people talk of death as a natural and even beautiful part of life, I thought them ghoulish. I still hate death, but now I can at least understand that point of view.
I know that the way David chose is the way I wish to die as well, eventually.
David was terminally ill with AIDS. He had a stroke so one side of his body was paralyzed, he was partially deaf and partially blind. He was incontinent. He could not eat any food without immediately throwing it up. He had a rapidly growing painful brain tumor, He had toxoplasmosis — a festering of the brain. He complained of the nausea and the pain of the brain tumor. He was expected to die within days or weeks.
David did not want to die. He enjoyed his life immensely, even to the very last second. Unfortunately, living was not one of the options. Two of the choices were:
The press have been phoning every few hours over the last week to ask Is he dead yet? The seven men and three women David chose to be with him do not want to be named. They wish to avoid media hassles and the potential of legal action. David wanted his death to have a greater meaning. He hopes his death will make it possible for other terminally ill people to die gently.
David held a barbecue last Sunday. Friends, sexual buddies and relatives came to say goodbye. We laughed and joked and David told ribald stories of the distant and recent past and how one of his medications made him very horny.
The Friday night was much more subdued. David already had the IV in his arm that he put there himself. It was dripping harmless saline solution.
David kept asking, "What’s going to happen to me after I die? I don’t know, I just don’t know. I’m so scared. Probably nothing. Probably nothing at all — just poof."
I told him about all the myths I knew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Tibetan etc. One person suggested that perhaps he would meet his lover who died of AIDS last year. I wanted so badly for those myths to be true.
We joked that perhaps, like an Egyptian, he should take a small gold cat with him, or some change. Because of the Social Credit policy of making all experimental drugs free except those for AIDS patients, David detested Premier Vander Zalm right to the end. BC is the only province to attempt to reduce its NDP-voting gay population by charging $425 per month for drugs. If possible, David will haunt the premier’s theme park, Fantasy Gardens.
David talked of his experience, many years ago, when he was dead for a short time on the operating table and how he did not want to come back to life then.
I told David, "Look, you have set up this theatrical event here. You don’t have to go through with it just because we all came. I think you are doing this too soon. I will not interfere. I want this to be 100% your decision. Don’t let anybody rush you. If you want to call this all off, or stall, it is fine with us. "
Other people said similar things, though with more heart. I nearly always sound like a robot.
One guy said, You know this already David. I don’t want you to go. Please stay. Then he just started to cry and cry. We all cried.
David has a huge bed. We sat around it and in it. Someone wiped his forehead. Another massaged his foot. Another held his hand. He rested his head on one of the women’s breasts. David told us how frightened he was. Someone would say, You don’t have to do this. Then he would firmly snap "But I have to! The alternative is too terrible."
We sat in silence. We would cry. David would tell a little joke and we would all giggle. Finally David said, I want you to leave the room. We each hugged him for the last time. David sobbed and clung to us. "I love you so much. I miss you all so much. I hate to leave all this love, but I have to" were his last words.
A few stayed behind. They read from Steven Levine’s Who Dies page 243. Louis Armstrong sang on a tape It’s a Wonderful World. David changed the bag from saline to a sleeping potion. A while later he went peacefully to sleep. A while later he stopped breathing.
David was always the clown. I never saw him sentimental in the twenty years I knew him till that night. David died supremely happy, at first frightened, then peaceful.
David felt unconditionally loved. He received it before, but never felt it inside. When he threw up, no one batted an eyelid. He was still just as lovable. We adored him the way parents adore a new baby. David felt his own love for his friends more deeply then ever before at any time in his life. He made a proper and fitting farewell.
Outside during all this, a beautiful family of strangers stood a candlelight vigil. They held a sign Your life is precious to us, we care, David. In his last hours David talked of his gratitude at the kindness of complete strangers who had sent good wishes or various unusual offers of comfort.
Some of us cleaned him up, put on fresh sheets and clothes. We all came downstairs. Ms. Brutus (his enormous basset hound) jumped up on the bed. David had asked that we allow Ms. Brutus to lick his face. She made snoring noises. I could not help but think David — this is another of your practical jokes. You are not really dead. I can hear you snoring. It was like being five years old waiting as your sibling played dead — holding the breath. I held his arm. It felt cold, but it felt cold ever since the stroke. I felt his forehead. It was very cool. It took a long time for it to sink in that David really was dead. This body was not David. It looked like a respectable middle aged man — not the outrageous David I knew.
Then I began to feel joy. It was as if David was saying to me I’ve escaped. I’m free of the suffering. I feel sorry you guys trapped in your bodies. The real David, if he was anywhere at all, was somewhere else. The corpse seemed like a giant wax puppet, of no further importance.
David had asked that we toast him with Champagne. Nobody felt festive. Eventually we followed orders and toasted David. I took a glass down to him and put a few drops in his mouth. The gesture was irreverent, so I knew David would approve.
It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Trade agreements hurt some people and help others:
Advantages of Trade Agreements
- Trade in general increases. The economy as a whole is stimulated. Mainly the wealthy benefit. Even the middle and lower classes enjoy lower prices for consumer goods.
- There is greater specialisation which improves the quality of goods and lowers cost.
- Trade agreements create ties between countries that help forge peaceful bonds.
- Exporters have access to larger markets. They can offer lower prices. This increases their sales. This works primarily for exporters who specialise.
- Importers can buy goods all over the world at cheaper prices without tariffs.
Disadvantages of Trade Agreements
- Businesses flee the country to places where labour is cheap. People lose their jobs.
- Foreign corporations gain veto power over environmental legislation. In theory, this need not be so, but in practice it is always a part of the agreement.
- Governments are hamstrung. They cannot do anything that would reduce foreign corporate profits. Again, in theory, this need not be so, but in practice, it is always a part of the agreement.
- Massive amounts of goods are shipped all over the world, emitting more greenhouse gases in the process. As we get more and more serious about climate change, this factor will rise in importance.
- It requires extra energy to transport all those trade goods. As fossil fuels run out, those prices will inevitably rise.
- Countries no longer have a reliable local food supply or a supply of basic goods. The supply can be disrupted by national disasters in other parts of the world, or by wars or blockades.
- The economies of third world countries become less stable. Overnight, corporations move operations to a new country with labour a few pennies cheaper.
- There is global race to the bottom for wages, worker safety and worker health. The third world competes with the developed world more directly for the lowest wages.
- Shipping goods all over spreads disease and invasive species.
Reneging on Trade Agreements
Donald Trump has said he will make the USA revert back from a free trade policy to a protectionist one in order to save the jobs that were lost under free trade. He suggests reneging on all trade agreements. I don’t think this is wise for the following reasons:
- Breaking your word is a serious breach. There is no guarantee other countries will ever negotiate any kind of treaties with you ever again, knowing you will renege if ever the treaty favours others. Trade agreements have legitimate, but time-consuming ways to get out of them. You must be patient to maintain your reputation.
- After the break, protectionist tariffs will allow former exporters to sell to the domestic market. However, their global export market will dry up because of tariffs their competitors have to pay. With a greatly reduced market, they will have to lay workers off and might even have to close plants or go bankrupt. Ironically, we would have the exact opposite of the intended effect.
The essential problem is corporations do not care in the least about the welfare of workers. They have no loyalty to any one country. All they care about are profits. They don’t give a hoot what their trade agreements do to ordinary workers. The solution may be trade agreements where only fair trade goods may be exchanged. Further, retraining needs to be an integral part of every trade agreement.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Advantages of Trump
People outside the USA are wringing their hands in fear at what a Trump presidency will bring. It is not all bad for non-Americans.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Trump has promised to explode the debt of the USA, then default on it as he did with his own four bankruptcies. This will be the end of the USA as a major economic power. The baton will pass to other more trustworthy countries.
- Trump has promised to renege on all trade treaties. This means tariffs will go up all over the world on US exports. Its exports will plummet. The USA will go into a major recession. It will no longer be able to throw its economic or military weight around.
- Trump has, by his own admission, no sexual impulse control. He gang-raped a 13-year old virgin and sexually assaulted 18 women. He is scheduled in court for fraud at his Trump University. Now that he is president, these court cases will attract world attention and shame America. Think how much fuss something as minor as Bill Clinton’s blow job created. Americans are such a pain in the ass, such bullies, with their We’re #1 crap. This will shut them up for a while.
- Since the Trump presidency is built on a stack of lies, and preposterously high expectations, he will be a huge disappointment. He will be a one-term president. He will poison the fortunes of the Republican party for decades to come.
I find it hard to believe there are monsters on this earth eager to condemn innocent people to extreme suffering at death, simply to conform with their religious beliefs. Why is it any of their business? What right to they have to impose unbearable suffering on others. If they want to impose suffering, let them impose it on themselves.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Hobby Lobby Decision
The Hobby Lobby US Supreme Court decision permits an employer to withhold paying for health care for their employees if it violates his religious convictions. This decision is far too easy to abuse. If I, as employer, simply want to save money, I can refuse to pay for diabetes treatments by claiming my God hates people who eat too much. I can refuse to pay for HIV treatments since my god hates people who have sex outside of marriage. I can refuse to pay for liver disease treatment since my god wants everyone tormented who drinks alcohol etc. I could even go further and attempt to withhold 10% of the contracted salaries on the grounds my employees might use the money to buy drugs. To avoid this abuse, Hobby Lobby should have to pay an amount of money to its employees equivalent to the family planning/health care services it refuses to pay for directly.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Terminal Medical Bills
If people want futile medical procedures for themselves or for their children, medical insurance (i.e. the general public) should not foot the bill. If the treatment is expensive and will give only an extra month or two of life, ditto.
On the other hand, once medical science says they have tried their best shot and I have only a limited time to live, I should have the option of a quick death rather than a protracted painful one. From practical experience, I have zero faith in medicine to control pain. For me, the effects of even the most potent painkillers are barely noticeable. Others obviously have had a different experience, but their reaction should not be used to justify making me suffer.
Even children should be given the option of a quick death. They should be able to override the parental wishes. It is outrageous that parents, out of clinging and wishful thinking, impose suffering that would put them in jail if they inflicted it on the family dog.
Withdrawing medical care and letting the patient die slowly creates suffering just to help cover medical ass. It does not benefit the patient. Slow painful death should be an option for masochistic Christians who believe their deity loves watching them suffer, but not the only one.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Every other industrialised country but the USA has a universal health care system. You would think having to pay for health care out of pocket would encourage Americans to take better care of their bodies, yet they do very badly. They have far more trouble with life-style induced diseases such as obesity, diabetes and clogged arteries than people in other countries. Perhaps the problem is the out-of-pocket cost discourages Americans from regular visits where physicians can implement preventive measures and harangue them on life-style choices.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Anti-Euthanasia Is Always Religiously Motivated
Pretend as they will to ethical credentials, the anti-euthanasia propagandists are always religiously motivated even if they try to buy credibility by concealing the fact.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) mirroring Richard Dawkins’ observation about anti-evolution propagandists.
Euthanasia ≠ Murder
Christians like to end their euthanasia debates with But it is murder. No it is not murder. It is physician assisted suicide. The motive is different. The means is different. What it seeks to avoid is different. The consent is different. The legality is different. Who initiates it is different. The amount of life it cuts is different. Murder is unlawfully killing someone. As soon as physician assisted suicide is made legal, it ceases to become murder in the eyes of the law. Christians are deliberately trying to mislead people, much the way they try to mislead in abortion debates by referring to single cells as babies and third term abortions as partial birth abortions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The reason euthanasia is illegal under all circumstances is that Christians believe that suicide is a sin because humans are the god Yahweh’s property. In their view, suicide under any circumstances is a form of vandalism or robbery. They believe they have a holy right to impose this odd religious belief on others. Because Christians are in the majority and so damn arrogant, they steamroller the constitutional freedom of others to avoid having Christianity imposed on them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Euthanasia Should be Private
Why is there even a euthanasia debate? What would give someone the idea they had the right to override someone else’s end-of-life decisions? What would give strangers the notion they were in a better position to decide than the terminally ill patients?
The anti-euthanasia forces are fueled by religious fanaticism. They think they have a god-given right to impose their religious superstitions on others. They imagine there is merciful, perfect god, like a cosmic hotelier, who will be horrendously offended if you check out a couple of weeks early from Hotel Misery, who will then torture you for eternity for insulting him.
Further, they assert that their cosmic slave master god owns all humans (Christian and otherwise) and therefore any sort of euthanasia is illegally destroying their god’s property.
They think they have a right to force others to act out their fear.
They say this crap with a straight face. There is no evidence for this paranoia, but that does not stop these fruitcakes being 100% certain it is so. They are like adults terrified of bogeymen hiding under the bed.
We have freedom of religion in Canada and the USA. This should give us constitutional protection from religious interference from these nitwits.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
|recommend book⇒Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, third edition|
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|recommend book⇒The Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified death|
|This is about the pioneers who challeged the religious-based anti-euthanasia laws: |
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