Friday, August 14, 2015

Euthanasia: Has it's time come ? Do you have an Advanced Directive?

Health Reform has led to more openness and transparency. Along with preparing financially for death, how many plan how to die ?  Will you have choices ? Who should decide ?  Should relatives or children  be a part of the decision? What if you are unable to make a decision toward the end?

Physicians and patients struggle watching loved ones dwindle, suffer pain and lose any quality of life.Whether it is from incurable cancer Alzheimer's disease or chronic wasting disease,  it presents enormous conflict for loved ones.

Humans like answers that are black and white rather than shades of grey.  Our society is firmly in the grip of the ten commandments, "thou shalt not murder'.

Should we let life run it's course without interference?  Religious people would hypothesize that the process of dying is much like the act of childbirth, with gradual change leading up to the pain and ecstasy of birth.  Could it be dying is the same ?  Does the process of dying prepare us to enter a new realm, or does it all just end and go blank ?  Is suffering an important process of dying.  One might ask about people who are suddenly killed by accident, or intent?

Some would argue that with rapidly growing population and decreasing resources, and more expensive medical treatment that euthanasia is justified for some.

In Belgium and the Netherlands Euthanasia has been legalized beginning in 2007.

Comparison of the Expression and Granting of Requests for Euthanasia in Belgium in 2007 vs 2013

A Study of the First Year of the End-of-Life Clinic for Physician-Assisted Dying in the Netherlands

             Legalization of the right to die   ("Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act" from 2002.)  (Netherlands)

            Legalization of the right to die   The Belgian parliament legalised euthanasia on 28 May 2002.[4][5]

As of June 2015, human euthanasia is legal only in the Netherlands,BelgiumColombia[1] and LuxembourgAssisted suicide is legal in SwitzerlandGermanyJapanAlbania and in the US states ofWashingtonOregonVermontNew Mexico and Montana.


W A R N I N G   The following videos of euthanasia may  be very disturbing to some. The videos present real instances of euthanasia



The author offers no opinion on right or wrong regarding euthanasia, but states that death with dignity should outweigh other considerations and should be protected by law without penalty and only to be performed with the consent of a patient.  The patient's desires should be incorporated in an Advanced Directive.

And for those with hope, there is Dr. Steven Eisenberg




On a Slippery Slope?  Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands


JAMA Network | JAMA Internal Medicine | Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands:  On a Slippery Slope?
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