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 you...you 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.