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Jack Kevorkian Died

Discussion in 'Politically Incorrect' started by Cyn, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    Jack Kevorkian, the controversial figure nicknamed "Dr. Death" for his advocacy of assisted suicide, died of a heart attack. He was 83.

    Washington Post Article

    His belief about assisted suicide/euthanasia for terminally ill patients was always a hot button both in society and in the courts.

    I, for one, supported his idea that people who faced a miserable quality of life as illness and disease would ravage the body should have the right to terminate their life to avoid excruciating suffering and pain, especially in the final stages of whatever disease was taking their lives.
     
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I agree. I admired Dr. Kevorkian for bringing the issue up for debate.
     
  3. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I agree - there are times when it is time to let go of the medical extention of life for the sake of life. He brought to the forefront of society that we should accept that you will die, but you can die with some dignity.

    There is a woman that I know, she is in her mid 80's. For the last 15 years she has lived in incredible pain from a bone disease. She has had 9 or 10 surgeries to stablize her back/spine. She wears a huge brace, it takes her several hours to get up in the morning because of the pain. If she does not maintain her pain med schedule as set up by the pain management team, it takes her 2 - 4 days to get back to any semi pain control. I talk to her nearly every Sunday. Within the last 3 months she says she is ready to die and prays that God will grant her this last wish, to be pain free in death. I think that unless we live that person's pain, we don't know what it is to believe that death is a welcomed event.

    I wish that Kevorkian's beliefs could be accepted into mainstream society.
     
  4. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Did Kervorkian believe in letting people die? Or in killing them?
     
  5. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

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    He believed in giving them the ability to end their own lives, sometimes with assistance, iirc.
     
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Then he believed in actively bringing on death, not just letting people die.

    I think if people are going to seriously discuss this, they should not paper over the differences. Death with dignity is not the same as assisted suicide. If one believes the latter is justified at times, then one should also be willing to be clear and precise about what one is advocating.
     
  7. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

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    Yes, he believed in assisting people to actively bring on their own deaths at a time they chose.
    I think that some may believe that an assisted suicide can be a death with dignity -- I know that I do, even though I don't know if I would ever choose that for myself. But I know what you are saying -- the phrase "death with dignity" is a phrase that can mean vastly different things to different people, whereas "assisted suicide" is much less imprecise.
     
  8. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    And assisted suicide is not the same thing as killing someone.

    In Washington State, the Death With Dignity Act IS the same thing as assisted suicide.

    http://www.doh.wa.gov/dwda/
     
  9. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Well I think that is unfortunate, as I think that people can have death with dignity without active suicide. I think "death with dignity" in that case is a euphemism, and that in something as serious as suicide euphemisms have no place.

    If people support the idea of a doctor such as Kervorkian taking action to actively end a life by assisting with a suicide why do people have a problem with calling it killing the person? Perhaps "mercy killing" would be preferred but why paper it over and deny what is happening?
     
  10. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    In some cases, I believe that death with dignity is the same as assisted suicide.

    Is there a difference in refusing to drink/eat vs. assisted suicide? For many people when someone has consciously made the decision to quit norishing the body, there is intervention with IV and forced tube feedings. The woman I described earlier - did refuse to eat and drink except for her pain medications. Her family intervened with hospitalization/IV and tube feedings. That did not allow her the death by dignity aspect and now her family watches closely for what they call any other attempt at suicide.
     
  11. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Why are you determined to take the power away from the person who is ending their own life?
     
  12. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Yes there is a difference. People can sign advanced directives to prevent intervention that will delay death, that is not the same as assisted suicide.

    I'm not saying anything regarding whether assisted suicide should or should not be allowed, but I question why people won't face head on what it is. If you believe that it is sometimes right to actively end a life, with what you believe to be the full permission of the person who is being killed, why not just say so?
     
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I looked up the dictionary definition of kill – as I thought it implied “against the will” of the person - but it essentially means “to deprive of life”. I guess murder is the term to use with respect to “against one’s will”. So yes, I am okay with the manner in which Dr. Kevorkian killed – as he assisted in carrying out the wishes of the individuals themselves.

    I guess “kill’ is supposed to be scary like the use of “punitive taxes!” when the discussion was about progressive taxes.
     
  14. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I don't have any power to take anything away from anyone.

    Have you faced this situation recently, or is it just a nice idea to you?
     
  15. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    :eek:

    :scream:
     
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    We, as a family, made a decision to take my grandfather off life support and my brother and I held his hand while he died. That isn’t quite the same as what Kevorkian did but we technically killed him – we deprived him of life by the decision. I remember thinking that this seemingly passive act was actually not really passive as I was holding his hand.
     
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    That's a horrible thing to say. The situation where assisted suicide is discussed is tragic no matter what your views are.
     
  18. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Excuse me? I was asking that seriously. :eek:

    Maybe this means something more to me than just a lighthearted chance to dis people on the internet.

    Jesus Christ.

    Fine. I have favored assisted suicide, but I also think it is complex and I have a lot of questions about it.

    But obviously, such opinions are too offensive here.
     
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    Calling it "a nice idea" is precisely the lighthearted chance to dis you mentioned, or at least that's how I read it. There is nothing "nice" about it.
     
  20. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Well I was offended by being told I had power of life and death over people just because I expressed an opinion on a message board.

    And yes I do think a lot of liberal minded people take the idea of assisted suicide as just another belief in the canon.
     
  21. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

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    ^this. :scream:

    And it isn't killing someone...it's giving them the ability to end their own life if they choose. Hell even if it is him killing someone, who cares? It's semantics. The person wants to die. If I ever get Alzheimer's and I'm slipping into a state where I won't be able to remember anyone...it's either a gun or a bottle of pills. I want to go out with memories of those I love.
     
  22. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    He got people to talk about/deal with a very difficult subject. I admired him.
     
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    Has anyone seen the move You don't know Jack with Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian?
     
  24. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

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    I've seen some of it. Al Pacino did a good job in his portrayal.
     
  25. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I really do think people need to think seriously about the possible problems with assisted suicide. I'm sorry if that's offensive, but there is known to be a great deal of elder abuse and it is not always clear when people are communicating their wishes.

    All of Dr. Kervorkian's cases may have been free of any of these considerations, but this is not a cut and dried topic in which all the light is on one side.
     
  26. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I agree. This is why I think a document stating your wishes (like a living will? I think?), drawn up while you are still of sound mind, is a good idea.

    My parents know my wishes, but they aren't written down anywhere. I need to do that...
     
  27. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    Thank you. I'm pretty silly and don't like thinkin' too much (it kinda hurts!)

    But now that I have direction from you, I'll try to smarten up some. I'll get back to you if I have any success.
     
  28. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Why is it necessary to be so insulting? I am trying to have a serious discussion because this concerns me.

    I don't get what is up with this discussion.
     
  29. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    From what I understand this is really the most important thing, and is not controversial, everyone can sign a living will and advanced care directives and if everyone had these, a lot of suffering would be avoided.

    But we all put it off, I suppose. I know I have.

    Here's wikipedia for a starting point: Advance care directives
     
  30. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

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    I keep trying to get my parents to get a will. For one, I don't want to be the one to have to make difficult decisions regarding that type of thing, when it's their life. Also, because my brother is dirt poor, and I don't want to have to divide things with him when he has dollar signs in his eyes due to desperation. I'd rather my parents just decide who gets what, in a will.