Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

I was a bit hesitant to blog about this subject, but I'm going to throw it out there. I've already talked about religion, and I know nothing about politics, but euthanasia is my subject today!

Euthanasia comes from the Greek meaning 'good death' or 'practice of ending life in a painless manner'....this subject just didn't pop in my head, I watched a movie last night about Dr. Kevorkian called "You Don't Know Jack" and, no, I didn't have a clue about Jack.

He was a bit of a funny man, almost like an absent minded professor. He wasn't an evil man, the kind of man the press made him out to be. He was very empathic and caring who never solicited patients, he was sought and actually turned down 90 to 95% of the people. Dr. Kevorkian assisted over 130 people end their lives. Each of the patients were terminal. He interviewed each patient and taped each interview.

During one of the patients death, the camera's panned off to the pictures of the man the patient used to be. He was a pilot, in the air force, all his army pictures were arranged on a mantel showing a strong, viral man who had control of his destiny and now he is a shrivelled up old man dying of lung cancer. I understood at that moment why it was so important that for a dignified demise for such a proud man...and that he was allowed to make a choice.

So many arguments about euthanasia. When my beloved dog Phantom started to have seizures, and was discovered she had a brain tumour, I couldn't watch her suffer any longer. When the vet administered the needle, she was dead within 5 seconds. She looked like she was sleeping, and she was no longer in pain. When we went to pay the vet, she declined saying "it was an act of mercy". So what about a best friend or a loved one who have Lou Gehrig's disease, cancer or Parkinson's disease where they know they are not going to get any better.

Dr. Kevorkian didn't actually kill the patients. He was once a pathologist, and with an Erector set he purchased at a garage sale, set up a system with 3 different drugs, (something to relax, something to put you to sleep, and something to make the heart stop) he would hook up the patient with the IV, however the patient was in control on whether or not to set the drip to start. This is how he got away with 130 assisted deaths, because he didn't actually kill the patient.

During the movie, he was asked why he started a career of mercy killings, and he said that his mother had cancer when he was a young boy, and he had to watch her die a long and painful death. She told him to "imagine the worst toothache in your life....not imagine your entire body feeling that same pain, and nothing makes it go away". Wow...that really blew me away, to be in that much pain, knowing there is nothing medically can be done for just have to wait and die.

I have to say that if or when I get old and diseased and I am suffering a long and painful illness, that there is a Dr. Kevorkian out there that will help me. Let me die with some dignity like my dog Phantom did.


  1. Of course there will be many opinions on this subject. Mine is of a religious belief, I believe there are reasons for everything that happens to us, it may be that if we suffer hard and long it is to bring us to a higher level of understanding. My Jesus died a long and painful death and was persecuted during his short life. So for myself, while I do not wish that type of death for anyone I would endure it as a course of nature and my beliefs. If it were a loved one, I would suffer right along with them and the faith that there is a reason...I am not commenting to change anyone's mind, just stating what I think for me and mine.

  2. absolutely, everyone has a right to an opinion, this was just mine, that is why euthenasia has been a long time debated question! Thanks for your feedback.

  3. As you say Lauren, each to their own opinion. I am with you on your thoughts. Your first commenter said about Jesus suffering, I don't believe that he wants anyone to suffer. I don't beleive agony will get you to a higher plane or positioning in God's Kingdom. I beleive death should be peaceful, being returned to your beginning. I too watched the suffering of my sweet Mum and in comparison, watched the gentle drifting of sleep of her beloved little dog, also suffering of lung cancer. I choose the gentle , peaceful transition. Very good post!

  4. John 3:16...For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not parish, but have an everlasting life...

    I believe Jesus suffered so we don't have to.

    This is a very hard topic to discuss, because everyone has very strong opinons, and that is why it is something that hasn't even been agreed upon in a court of law. I can't imagine watching my mother die in a slow and painful death. What blew me away is Jack's mother told him to imagine the worst toothache he ever had, then imagine that in every bone in your body...omg I couldn't imagine....I will make my next blog a happy one!