Thursday, December 14, 2006

Slippery Slope

Jack the snuffer:

Russ Marlan, a spokesman for Michigan's prison system, said Kevorkian acknowledged he had broken the law during a flamboyant eight-year campaign to legalize assisted suicide.

"He said that anything that would bring him back to prison, he will avoid. He said prison is no place to live," Marlan said.
Remember when he got sent away? I was amazed each time he taunted the courts... he was just asking for it. And I was so pleased when they locked him up.

I understand both points of view on the question of euthanasia. I've seen loved ones die in pain and I have sympathy for anyone who has been in that situation. But what decided me against euthanasia laws was a doctor from the Netherlands I heard on the radio. He was campaigning against euthanasia laws, whereas a few years earlier he had been a big campaigner in favor of them. What happened to change his mind was an incident where another doctor euthanized one of his patients over the weekend without even contacting him to get his approval. The law allowed for this even though the patient was capable of recovering. (and would have recovered in the opinion of the primary physician) This was chilling. Even more so when the interviewed doctor gave the reason for the incident: to free up more beds.

2 comments:

talnik said...

Think I'll cancel my hernia surgery...

William Hallowell said...

Yeah, this certainly is a tough issue. It’s important to note that at the time of Kevorkian’s conviction, the nation was divided on the issue (see the states here: http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/major_proposals_detail.cfm?issue_type=right2die&list=12). Support for physician-assisted suicide has increased substantially over the past 50 years, and doctor-assisted suicide is now legal in Oregon. But surveys also find that results on this issue change depending on how the question is worded -- a classic sign that people are still working through their views on a problem (find this info here: http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/red_flags.cfm?issue_type=right2die#wording).

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