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Euthanasia in Holland
Posted: 09 November 2008 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Here is a source at the BBC, so it should be less biased:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/background_briefings/euthanasia/331270.stm

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 09 November 2008 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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TadTG, the article you cited was dated from November, 2000. Is this really the most-current news you can find on this subject? Your research skills are truly prodigious, but fail to make any case about the current status of assisted suicide.

This article contained only fear-mongering and unsubstantiated suggestions (not even allegations), and presented no evidence that the Dutch law was being abused, even eight years ago. Let’s reiterate that you need to provide evidence, rather than rumor-mill tripe that legalized euthanasia is ever performed against the desires of a patient under a doctor’s care.

I live in the only state in the US that has legalized physician-assisted suicide, and it gives me peace of mind to know that if I make my wishes for end-of-life care known to a doctor, I can both preserve my dignity and thumb my nose at busy-bodies like you as I head out the door.

In no case have you demonstrated that any assisted suicide has been performed against the wishes of the patient. You need to present us with evidence, TTG, rather than ancient sensationalist journalism that relies entirely on innuendo.

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Posted: 09 November 2008 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Salt Creek - 09 November 2008 05:14 PM

I live in the only state in the US that has legalized physician-assisted suicide, and it gives me peace of mind to know that if I make my wishes for end-of-life care known to a doctor, I can both preserve my dignity and thumb my nose at busy-bodies like you as I head out the door.

For the rest of us mortals in less enlightened lands there is always the Ernest Hemingway option, assuming we are mentally/physically capable of holding a gun.  Messy, but can be very effective, and the state and busybodies be damned (or whatever curse is deemed appropriate to born again atheists).

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Posted: 09 November 2008 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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TadTG, the article you cited was dated from November, 2000. Is this really the most-current news you can find on this subject? Your research skills are truly prodigious, but fail to make any case about the current status of assisted suicide.

This article contained only fear-mongering and unsubstantiated suggestions (not even allegations), and presented no evidence that the Dutch law was being abused, even eight years ago. Let’s reiterate that you need to provide evidence, rather than rumor-mill tripe that legalized euthanasia is ever performed against the desires of a patient under a doctor’s care.

I live in the only state in the US that has legalized physician-assisted suicide, and it gives me peace of mind to know that if I make my wishes for end-of-life care known to a doctor, I can both preserve my dignity and thumb my nose at busy-bodies like you as I head out the door.

In no case have you demonstrated that any assisted suicide has been performed against the wishes of the patient. You need to present us with evidence, TTG, rather than ancient sensationalist journalism that relies entirely on innuendo.

Hey, what about you guys? SC, have you or Jefe shown any evidence yourselves that would shoot down Mr. Berlinksi’s argument? Don’t think so.

i did happen to find one more article I know is up to date, but you ain’t gonna like it:

http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/2008/04/netherlands-euthanasia-statistics-not.html

Wesley J. Smith, owner of this website is an anti-biotech activist whom I very often disagree. But he does his homwork. If he is reporting falsely about euthanasia Holland, then how so?

[ Edited: 09 November 2008 07:27 PM by Tad Trenton's Ghost]
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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 09 November 2008 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Without taking a position on doctor-assisted suicide, the burden is on people like Smith to show why doctors would be motivated to euthanize without consent. I don’t see how it would benefit them personally or professionally.

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Posted: 09 November 2008 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Tad T G, the slippery slope has been with us for many years (I suppose that makes it a slippery flat).  Doctors have been ‘playing God’ for millennia and still do. 

Babies with severe congenital diseases are sometimes left unattended (as if they were normal) ‘to let nature take it’s course’ with and sometimes without the consent of the parents.  Babies born with certain types encephaly are routinely killed or allowed to die - yep, even in the bible belt of the good ol’ US of A and often without parental consent, “I’m very sorry, your child was born severely xxxxxxxxxx and I’m afraid s/he did not survive”.  Could the babies have been kept alive?  Yes.  Would they survive without being permanently on life support?  No.

Spouses and families of the very elderly and/or extremely ill are routinely advised “do not call the ambulance or paramedics if s/he takes a turn for the worse, call your doctor instead, and they will talk you through it”.  This is because (by law) the ambulance/paramedics must attempt a resuscitation, whereas the doctor can witness/ease the death of the patient.  Did the patient consent to this ‘treatment’?  Sometimes and sometimes not.

And of course there’s the old “not for resuscitation” clause in hospitals, just exactly what do you think that means?  I’ll translate “patient is to be allowed to die, and the crash cart is not to be employed”.  Usually this is with the consent of next of kin, but if there are no known next of kin?  And if they have no medical insurance?  The patient is not for resus!

And so it goes.  I doubt that you will find a non religious fundamentalist doctor that has not ‘allowed a patient(s) to die’ by withholding treatment, or even ‘ended their suffering’ with a slightly larger dose of pain killing drug cocktail than necessary (but still within permissible doses therefore legally defensible).

Anyway ‘assisted suicide’ and unauthorised assisted and unassisted termination goes on all the time and is widely acknowledged by, and kept within, the medical profession.  But I’m sure you knew all this, so what exactly is your problem?

Voluntary and involuntary euthanasia are already being widely practised (below the radar) in countries where it is illegal, so what is ‘slippery’ about a codified system that can be monitored for abuses as it is in Europe?  The figures quoted in the articles and the bloggers opinions would not be possible without the European legalisation.  Why, because just like in the US, the figures wouldn’t exist.  What does it feel like to know what is going on in Europe, and be blissfully ignorant of (and not even be able to know about) your own country?

My experienced and educated guestimate is that in the USA, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is more widely practised per 1,000 head of population than in Europe.  But how the freight truck would anyone know?

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Posted: 09 November 2008 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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little baby cheeses - 10 November 2008 02:50 AM

My experienced and educated guestimate is that in the USA, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is more widely practised per 1,000 head of population than in Europe.  But how the freight truck would anyone know?

Exactly.  As squeamish as we may be, the fact is that doctors bump off their patients: always have, always will.

Charles Krauthammer wrote a column once saying that this is okay, but euthanasia should remain illegal so that doctors will only do it “with fear and trembling” as a last resort.

As a physician friend of mine observed, the problem with illegal euthanasia is that, like illegal abortion, it is unregulated and untracked.  It also results in travesties like the “heroic” (to many) Dr. Kevorkian, who was a nutjob and a loose cannon.

The majority of people, seeing what modern medicine has wrought, want access to merciful death.  It’s hard to see how that can be accomplished without some form of legalized assisted suicide. 

In related news, as someone with chronic severe pain, I have had to change doctors recently and am having a difficult time finding someone who will prescribe morphine for me—something my primary care physician at Kaiser did without concern for a couple of years, after I’d gone through their pain program and a workable protocol had been established.  I present my letter from him to everyone I see, but it doesn’t help. 

I’m already trying to make an appointment with the third doctor recommended to me.  God help me if he can’t see me within the month; the orthopedist I just saw assured me that he would refill my medications “this once” but, beyond that, it’s “up to you to find someone else.  And you’d better get on the ball, because you’ll go through horrible withdrawals if you run out.”  Gee, thanks.  No concern for the PAIN I’ll suffer after he horrible withdrawals are over with, of course.  I’ll get clonidine so that the horrible withdrawals will be mitigated, but only because I know about it, not because this doctor suggested it.

The DEA is so terrified that someone will use pain medication to get high that they are willing to put someone like me through months of anxiety and expense—not to mention suffering, if I can’t find someone to come through for me.  And I’m in the Bay Area, not the Bible Belt.

I can’t imagine what would happen if I wanted to end it.  I guess I’d have to join my ex-husband in Oregon.

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Posted: 10 November 2008 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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M is for Malapert - 10 November 2008 04:43 AM

I can’t imagine what would happen if I wanted to end it.  I guess I’d have to join my ex-husband in Oregon.

I tell everyone I know to “take me hunting and make it look like an accident.”  I don’t want my family giving money to a hospital for my hopeless carcass when they could use it to enjoy life, I’m not worth it.

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Posted: 10 November 2008 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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“Just stuff my ears with tuna fish and hold the cat to my head.”

Those of you from Oregon might have heard of Shaniko. It’s a ghost town of about twenty people in Wasco County. The last time we went through there the store/post office/gas station had a sign on the counter:

Oregon has assisted suicide.
Oregon allows concealed carry.
Anyone attempting to rob this establishment will be assumed to have requested assistance.

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Posted: 10 November 2008 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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little baby cheeses - 10 November 2008 02:50 AM

Babies born with certain types encephaly are routinely killed or allowed to die - yep, even in the bible belt of the good ol’ US of A and often without parental consent, “I’m very sorry, your child was born severely xxxxxxxxxx and I’m afraid s/he did not survive”.  Could the babies have been kept alive?  Yes.  Would they survive without being permanently on life support?  No.

I’m not arguing that this does happen or doesn’t happen, I don’t understand the motive for doing so without consent. Given the litigiousness of American society, deliberately lying to the parents seems fundamentally anti-survival for both the doctor and the medical facility. Plus, if both had a callous dollars-and-cents attitude toward medicine, they might see permanent life support as a lucrative income stream.

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Posted: 10 November 2008 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Oh, an ID’er from the DI huh? Well Berlinski is totally discredited then.

Nice work Jefe. As usual. grin

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Posted: 10 November 2008 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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M is for Malapert - 10 November 2008 04:43 AM
little baby cheeses - 10 November 2008 02:50 AM

My experienced and educated guestimate is that in the USA, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is more widely practised per 1,000 head of population than in Europe.  But how the freight truck would anyone know?

Exactly.  As squeamish as we may be, the fact is that doctors bump off their patients: always have, always will.

Charles Krauthammer wrote a column once saying that this is okay, but euthanasia should remain illegal so that doctors will only do it “with fear and trembling” as a last resort.

As a physician friend of mine observed, the problem with illegal euthanasia is that, like illegal abortion, it is unregulated and untracked.  It also results in travesties like the “heroic” (to many) Dr. Kevorkian, who was a nutjob and a loose cannon.

The majority of people, seeing what modern medicine has wrought, want access to merciful death.  It’s hard to see how that can be accomplished without some form of legalized assisted suicide. 

In related news, as someone with chronic severe pain, I have had to change doctors recently and am having a difficult time finding someone who will prescribe morphine for me—something my primary care physician at Kaiser did without concern for a couple of years, after I’d gone through their pain program and a workable protocol had been established.  I present my letter from him to everyone I see, but it doesn’t help. 

I’m already trying to make an appointment with the third doctor recommended to me.  God help me if he can’t see me within the month; the orthopedist I just saw assured me that he would refill my medications “this once” but, beyond that, it’s “up to you to find someone else.  And you’d better get on the ball, because you’ll go through horrible withdrawals if you run out.”  Gee, thanks.  No concern for the PAIN I’ll suffer after he horrible withdrawals are over with, of course.  I’ll get clonidine so that the horrible withdrawals will be mitigated, but only because I know about it, not because this doctor suggested it.

The DEA is so terrified that someone will use pain medication to get high that they are willing to put someone like me through months of anxiety and expense—not to mention suffering, if I can’t find someone to come through for me.  And I’m in the Bay Area, not the Bible Belt.

I can’t imagine what would happen if I wanted to end it.  I guess I’d have to join my ex-husband in Oregon.

DEA = IRS = KGB

The best way for a doctor to lose her/his license and be perpetually bullied is to help too many pain patients or donate too much to charity. Get on either radar and you will have to dodge flak or be shot down. Apparently, the DEA employees know more about alleviating suffering than physicians; but, they aren’t revealing the secret.

[ Edited: 10 November 2008 10:16 AM by Beam]
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Posted: 10 November 2008 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Carstonio - 10 November 2008 11:09 AM
little baby cheeses - 10 November 2008 02:50 AM

Babies born with certain types encephaly are routinely killed or allowed to die - yep, even in the bible belt of the good ol’ US of A and often without parental consent, “I’m very sorry, your child was born severely xxxxxxxxxx and I’m afraid s/he did not survive”.  Could the babies have been kept alive?  Yes.  Would they survive without being permanently on life support?  No.

I’m not arguing that this does happen or doesn’t happen, I don’t understand the motive for doing so without consent. Given the litigiousness of American society, deliberately lying to the parents seems fundamentally anti-survival for both the doctor and the medical facility. Plus, if both had a callous dollars-and-cents attitude toward medicine, they might see permanent life support as a lucrative income stream.

Absolutely! If money is the motive, a physician does well to keep patients on life support. Critical care and the associated procedures pay much better and are infinitely easier than telling people to quit eating cheese puffs and to get off of the couch. There is no incentive to ease someone’s pain with narcotics other than human decency and empathy.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 10 November 2008 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Beam_Me_Up - 10 November 2008 03:07 PM

DEA = IRS = KGB

The best way for a doctor to lose her/his license and be perpetually bullied is to help too many pain patients or donate too much to charity. Get on either radar and you will have to dodge flak or be shot down. Apparently, the DEA employees know more about alleviating suffering than physicians; but, they aren’t revealing the secret.

Oh, please.  Don’t make me more anxious than I already am.  I know about doctors and the DEA, but I thought things had eased up a bit due to the unconcern of my Kaiser PCP.

But what’s the deal with the Kaiser doctors, then?  They are willing to write prescriptions for narcotics out the wazoo.  Does the HMO offer an umbrella of protection, or what?

I might have to rejoin Kaiser on my own dime, just to get the drugs.  Or REMARRY my ex-husband, if they won’t have me due to ‘a pre-existing condition’.

[ Edited: 10 November 2008 07:09 PM by M is for Malapert]
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Posted: 10 November 2008 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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My encouraging you to practice rigour in your posting of opinion pieces is in no way indicative of my position on euthanasia, so don’t start propping up that strawman.  I’m not saying you’re wrong.  I’m not saying you’re right.  I’m asking you to produce evidence that backs up your support of berlinski and the 10 year old docs you started with.

You’re automatically assuming I’m supporting Berlinkski. I’m not taking a position on euthanasia either. I posted Berlinksi’s claims, oringially, in the hope that someone could shed some light on the subject. So far, no one has. There has been much evidence presnted on this forum that countries such has Sweden indeed enjoy a greater degree of sociatal health. This is first I’ve read yet, that there may be another side to the story—only it’s just Holland Berlinski’s talking about.

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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