Doctor: Assisted suicide should be safe, available and rare......sound familiar???
There is a heart rending story catching everyone’s attention and lighting up social media. Brittany Maynard, an attractive young lady, recently married, got the devastating news that she has a stage four brain tumor. There is no known cure. Prognosis with treatment varies, but is usually 6-9 months. It is the doctor’s duty to give you the facts and let you decide what treatment protocol you wish to pursue. Typical protocol is surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. It lengthens your life but there are risks and some quality of life may be lost. Some may choose not to pursue treatments ,seeking hospice care for pain management when that time comes.You can die at home surrounded by family and this time of departure can be a precious and meaningful time for all.
So what I find appalling is that this woman is being used to promote legislation to legalize assisted suicide. Brittany Maynard is defiantly trending with the media is glamorizing this situation. Washington Post says:
Maynard is using her last days to help for others in similar situations, volunteering for Compassion & Choices, an advocacy organization for terminally-ill patients in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. She has launched the Brittany Maynard Fund to fight for death-with-dignity laws in other states. Later this month, she plans to videotape a testimony for California lawmakers and voters, People reported.
This is what I find disturbing…she is being used as a fund raiser.I wonder if I had received this diagnosis would I enjoy the bevy of publicity I was getting. Everyone loves attention or would I want to spend my precious days with family and loved ones.
My husband and I both lost our previous spouses to this very same brain tumor. They both sought treatments and were surrounded by family and loved ones when they passed.Their passing was peaceful. The time between diagnosis and death was precious. Anyone who attended loved ones with a terminal illness will agree. We discussed the story at the dinner table. He rightly pointed out that she can forego any treatment, die at home, surrounded by family, be pain free with assistance from hospice. Putting moral and religious significance aside, why glamorize suicide in this way?
[Oregon] along with [f]our other states — Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington — have similar laws [legalizing assisted suicide]. Bills have been introduced in seven other states.
Yep, that is what this is all about. I wanted to look for other opinions on this case since most of the press was fawning and glamorizing her planned suicide on November 1, two days after her husband’s birthday. This headline, When Assisted Suicide is not the Answer by a physician caught my eye. He talked about real life cases and his ethical struggle to aid his patient and remain true to his oath.
However, I still believe that for most terminally ill patients, hospice care is a better option than assisted suicide. Hospice offers team-based care with family involvement, often in a patient’s home, that focuses on pain management and dying with some comfort and dignity.
Yah… I said…then read his conclusion….
Unlike hospice care, assisted suicide is obviously a final and irreversible act. Ruling out the presence of clinical depression that may cloud a patient’s judgment is not always straightforward. When depression lifts, the desire to die often lifts too. Only between 10% and 15% of people who attempt suicide eventually die by their own hands, suggesting that the desire to die is often changeable.
Still okay with this article but then one of the final sentences sent a chill down my spine…
As a doctor, I would like assisted suicide to be safe and available, but rare.
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