Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Physician assisted suicide - could you do it?

I live in Canada and there's a new law that's soon to be passed that will make it legal for physicians to provide assisted suicide/euthanasia.

Physician assisted death - this article talks about the repercussions that physicians would have when they participate in these.

I think that those who participate in this should spend time in areas where they will see the suffering that occurs when people are dying. We give our pets the decency of a fair death without suffering, I think the same is only fair and right to have occur with the people we love and cherish.

I've seen the suffering of a terrible death - of families desperate for options that can provide a death with dignity - to have their family member just "drift off" and pass away. Everyone says that palliative care and hospice provides this. I don't necessarily agree.

In the article it notes "you come at a moment where you say there really is no alternative and applying euthanasia actually is an act of empathy, of compassion. It's the only thing you can do to take the suffering away." - this sums up how I feel..... and I think MANY physicians who would be privy to this option should see it as well. 

I've seen it where the patient hangs around for years after they are afflicted - be it a traumatic brain injury, stroke, cancer, alzheimers/dementia, Lou gerigs disease, etc.... and they are a burden - something that they would NEVER have wanted to be.

Also - who would readily put up their hand and volunteer to suffer?! I know I wouldn't. Give me a good death. ~6 1/2 yrs ago my gramma died in her sleep - THAT is the kind of death I would give anything for. No burden, no suffering. I think that if people can CHOOSE this route for themselves, then they should be able to find someone who can help them attain that.

Honestly, I think that were I to ever become a doctor or a NP (if they'll allow them) - I absolutely would be one of the health care providers (HCP) who would help another attain a death that a human being deserves. I'm sure that others will question whether they are depressed and that's why they're making such a decision. I think that after any terminal diagnosis that any patient would experience depression. I think that a HCP can see through this and get to the root of it all if they spend enough time with that person. 

I think that if the Supreme Court actually does their job, they'll be able to provide regulations associated with this new law so that it doesn't get misused and abused. I think it's possible - it'll just take time and lots of work and dedication.

1 comment:

  1. I actually did a project on euthanasia a couple years back in one of my first nursing classes. At the time, I didn't really agree with it because I couldn't see how I could be able to do it. However, I have since taken a Jewish Philosophy course and it has started to get me thinking. Did you know a married Jewish woman can go and request to see her rabbi in order to ask for an abortion if she feels the life of another child would decrease her quality of life? Now, I do not necessarily agree with this, but it makes a good point. If a life's quality will be negatively impacted because of some event, and this event could be avoided, then would it be okay to avoid it? For some/many Jewish believers, life does not start until birth. So, in order to save the mother's sanity, the unborn fetus could be taken away in order to help the mother be able to better cope with what she has already been given.

    Back in the Bible times, if people had certain terminal illnesses, they were banished from the community. This was to help prevent the spread of the illness. But, it was also unlikely that they would be able to live much longer. So, if they had the desire to continue living, they would find a way to survive outside of the community. If the did not want to continue to live, they could simply stop looking for food and water. It was not a great way to die, but they would probably die anyway without a cure.

    I'm not saying we banish anyone, but I think it is worth thinking about what the person would want. Make sure they have a choice in the matter. Jewish beliefs do not look favorably upon suicide, but they do understand that everyone has an individual choice. If the person sees no way in which they can go on living with any type of life quality, and there is no cure for that individual, why should we force them to continue with treatments or force them to continue to live.

    Personally, I have signed a DNR and I want no extra life saving measures taken (feeding tube, ventilator, etc.) if there is reason to believe my quality of life will be poor after whatever crash or injury caused the need to question such measures. In a way, that is choosing to end my life because I don't see how I can live without my functioning.

    So, I still don't know how I stand on physician assisted suicide/euthanasia, because I don't believe that I would be able to perform the action if I were a doctor or NP. However, it warrants further soul searching and thought for sure.

    Thanks for sharing!