Download Euthanasia is Not the Answer: A Hospice Physician’s View by David Cundiff PDF

By David Cundiff

Instances of euthanasia or mercy killing date again to antiquity. although, it's only lately that the remarkable grassroots efforts to legalize euthana­ sia have started development. "Terminal disorder, advice with Dying," a California poll initiative for the No­ vember 1992 election, may well for the 1st time in modem heritage legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide through physicians. comparable tasks are deliberate in different states. To vote intelligently, voters in California and in the course of the usa have to study who's prone to request euthanasia or assisted suicide, and why. How we deal with the terminally ailing finally af­ fects us all. In over half all deaths, a protracted dis­ ease technique corresponding to melanoma or congestive middle failure results in a terminal part which can final for days, weeks, or months. most folk are extra frightened of the discomfort linked to this terminal part than they're frightened of loss of life itself. whilst polled, such a lot americans let us know they might like to die at domestic, surrounded by means of household, instead of in a medical institution receiving high-tech checks and coverings until eventually the final. but the vast majority of humans, even people with time period­ inal health problems, die within the sanatorium. What elements in our tradition and well-being care process have ended in this dichotomy? Unrelieved pain is additionally the first reason behind euthanasia requests.

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The realization that his time was limited seemed to make him enthusiastic about experiencing each day fully. 31 Euthanasia Is Not the Answer MR. MICHAELS Mr. Michaels, a 45-year-old AIDS patient, dropped out of medical school after one year to work as a chemist and computer programmer. He found that he was infected with HIV when his commonlaw wife tested positive. In retrospect, the only possible times that he believed he might have been exposed to HIV were when he had dressed a very bloody wound for an injured friend, and during a single homosexual experience.

Twenty milligrams of IV morphine would be possibly lethal only in a cancer patient who had previously taken little or no opioid. I have cared for patients who required over 100 milligrams per hour and showed no signs of respiratory depression. If Debbie was killed with only 20 milligrams of IV morphine, then she previously suffered with untreated pain from the cancer. This suggests that her request for euthanasia was because of inadequate pain treatment. Her pain, like the pain of most cancer patients, could probably have been controlled with adequate medication.

Fifteen defendants were acquitted, and the court dismissed six cases. Four of the cases involved children, which meant to the court that they were victims of involuntary euthanasia. I will briefly review two of the most important court cases. KAREN ANN QUINLAN In 1976, at the age of 22, Karen Ann Quinlan overdosed on drugs and was rushed to a local New Jersey hospital, and placed on life-support machines. Unfortunately, her brain had been without oxygen for so long that she did not wake up. Although she 56 The Right to Die was brain-dead, it was necessary for a court to rule that she could be taken off the respirator before her physicians could do so.

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