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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thank you Dr. Kevorkian, May You Rest In Peace!

For those of you who haven't heard yet, Jack Kevorkian(Dr. Death) died on Friday, at age 83. Through the 1990s he was a hot news topic on the subject of assisted suicide. And of course as with any other similar subject there were a great many people on both sides of the discussions.

As for myself, I've always been a supporter of assisted suicide as well as euthanasia. Of course I feel there should be guidelines, but for the most part I see no reason why we shouldn't have the right to be at peace when we or our families choose, as the case may be.

My opinion may not be the most popular but I've seen death, and it's ugly! If my cat or dog were so sick that death were inevitable I would put them out of their misery, why can we not do the same for our human loved ones? Why must grandma, grandpa and Aunt Em suffer through organ shutdown as the cancer eats their brain waiting for death to relieve them? And for that matter why should those who choose suicide for other reasons be forced to risk permanent damage when such archaic methods as hanging or pills don't work, when we have such reliable methods as lethal injection? I mean, if they are going to do it anyways, why shouldn't they go peacefully?

So here's how I think it should work. Persons who choose assisted suicide because of illness or other reasons should have a 30 day wait period from the time they find a doctor UNLESS they are already terminal. This would allow for those who are simply going through a down period to change their minds. Persons who are terminal should have the right to forgo that period simply because they are just speeding the inevitable. From then, I like Kevorkian's set up. He would give them an IV and allow them to administer the injection when they were ready. Again, this gives the control to the individual but allows the procedure to be under a doctors care to assure that injection levels are proper and death rather than injury occurs.

For patients who are terminally ill I feel the option should be left to them to give their family control of death or not. For those who would prefer to wait until the are beyond help they could sign the paperwork that would allow for their spouse, children or other caretaker to decide when it was time to administer death. Yet, it would prevent families from simply "getting rid" of family members whom they no longer wish to care for in the case that they don't choose to give their family that power...

I know there are many people out there who disagree with me because of their beliefs. And I say to those people, if you disagree with suicide, don't kill yourself. But for those of us who would prefer a peaceful transition in to death over allowing a horrid disease to take us, I feel we should have that right. I know if they doctors ever said to me "There is nothing more we can do" I would wait until I had no quality of life left, and I would end it... Why? Because my children shouldn't have to see their mother that way. My husband shouldn't have to change my diapers. I want my children to have memories of me healthy and happy, not sick and shriveled.

I find it ironic that the man who was known best for aiding the suicide of others died of natural causes! But as it stands today, for all his efforts we are still fighting over this issue. I am however thankful to him for starting the conversation. Hopefully by the time I get to that point the proper changes will be made and my family won't have to suffer simply because I am.

So I say Rest In Peace Jack! Thank you for all you did!

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