Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Doctor is Out

As a living breathing person I have a healthy interest in death. Wow after saying that I realize the true irony of that sentence. But when I booted up my computer a few days ago I saw a little news flash on my homepage that made me a little sad. The world renowned Doctor of Death died. Yet again the irony is palpable. But when I was a young man or should I say boy I did a research paper on Medical Assisted Suicide for school. Aside from being the only suicide that I could condone I found that there were a few things about the subject most people don't know or don't think about. In general I don't quite follow the name Medical assisted suicide, but of course it is the best name to use since Medical assisted murder is very much a difference in what the act actually is. Most people call it euthanasia but at the same time that is wrong.

The difference between euthanasia and Medical Assisted Suicide is the very chose of it. Euthanasia is what you do to a pet when they grow too old or too sick to be the vibrant friend they once were. There is no actual choice in the matter when euthanasia is the subject. You can't euthanize your grandparents when they get old that is pure and simple murder, not to be confused with pulling the plug on a vegetative relative or loved one. While medical assisted suicide is exactly what it sounds like. It is the process of having a doctor administer a lethal amount of drugs most likely a sedative to send the patient into a calming sleep that will then stop the brain and heart functions killing them nearly painlessly, well that is what all the books I read while studying the subject. The biggest reason to do something like this would be if you are in too much pain that you would rather die now than live on suffering. People suffering from severe forms of cancer sometime choose this option rather than suffer through chemotherapy. Chemo is defiantly a god send in comparison to not having it but at the same time it is not an easy process.

But I'm not here to talk about chemo therapy I'm here to give my thoughts on the late Doctor.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian (Born May 26, 1928, died June 3, 2011)
Kevorkian started advertising in Detroit newspapers in 1987 as a physician consultant for "death counseling". His first public assisted suicide was in 1990, of Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old woman diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1989. He was charged with murder, but charges were dropped on December 13, 1990 as there were, at that time, no laws in Michigan regarding assisted suicide. However, in 1991 the State of Michigan revoked Kevorkian's medical license and made it clear that given his actions, he was no longer permitted to practice medicine or to work with patients. Between 1990 and 1998, Kevorkian assisted in the deaths of 130 terminally ill people, according to his lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. In each of these cases, the individuals themselves allegedly took the final action which resulted in their own deaths. Kevorkian allegedly assisted only by attaching the individual to a euthanasia device that he had made. The individual then pushed a button which released the drugs or chemicals that would end his or her own life. Two deaths were assisted by means of a device which delivered the euthanizing drugs mechanically through an I.V. Kevorkian called it a "Thanatron" (death machine). Other people were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide which was called “Mercitron " (mercy machine).

But with his death we lose a man who was only trying to help others, just like the oath he took as a doctor asked him to. With his death we lose a good man.

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