this was one of the most challenging self-proposed prompts yet.
Book: Death With Dignity: the Case for Legalizing Physician Assisted Dying and Euthanasia. by: Robert Orfali
Research points that I found most helpful:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/15/nitschke-suicide-machine-amsterdam-euthanasia-funeral-fairNitschke’s ‘suicide machine’ draws crowds at Amsterdam funeral fair https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/22/assisted-dying-dementia-alzheimers-guernseyThe ban on assisted death ignores the reality of illnesses like dementia
82% in the latest public poll supported assisted dying
“someone from Britain travels to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland on average every eight days for an assisted death. it’s not cheap, at 10,000 pounds… these death journeys are a grim option, when most people want to die at home surrounded by family and friends."
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/17/assisted-dying-euthanasia-netherlandsA woman’s final Facebook message before euthanasia: ‘I’m ready for my trip now…”
“she suffered from psychiatric illnesses, including severe anxiety, depression, eating disorders and psychosis"
“… a terrible illustration of the “slippery slope” [argument against]…"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/professor-avril-henry-killed-herself-with-euthanasia-kit-bought-online-assisted-suicide-a6996656.htmlProfessor ‘killed herself with euthanasia kit bought online’
“Police need to realize that in the UK, suicide is not a crime, and mental health authorities need to recognize that not everyone who seeks to end their life is in need of psychiatric intervention. Avril’s death was a clear case of ‘rational suicide’, and her decision to die at her own time and in her own place should have been respected."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/french-euthanasia-nicolas-bonnemaison-doctor-accused-of-poisoning-patient-tried-to-kill-himself-a6716731.htmlFrench euthanasia doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison accused of poisoning patient ‘tries to kill himself’
“In France, a law allowing medics to place terminally ill patients in a deep sleep until they die was overwhelmingly agreed in March, CCN reported at the time” (Nov, 2015)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/stephen-hawking-i-would-consider-assisted-suicide-10293413.html#galleryStephen Hawking: ‘I’d consider assisted suicide’
“The professor of physics has said that denying terminally ill people the right to die is ‘the ultimate indignity’ "
Hawking: “I would consider assisted suicide only if I were in great pain or felt I had nothing to contribute, but was just a burden to those around me"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/lord-brian-rix-dead-actor-who-changed-his-mind-to-support-assisted-dying-after-terminal-illness-dies-a7201271.htmlLord Brian Rix dead: Actor and prominent disability campaigner dies aged 92
“Lord Rix changed his mind to support assisted dying after terminal illness a week before his death"
voted against assisted dying bill in 2006, but changed his mind because of his own terminal illness
Lord Rix: “As a dying man, who has been dying now for several weeks, I am only to conscious that the laws of this country make it impossible for people like me to be helped on their way, even though the family is supportive of this position and everything that needs to be done has been dealt with."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/minor-child-euthanise-law-change-belgium-a7313141.htmlFirst child euthanized in Belgium after change in law https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/man-holland-netherlands-dutch-euthanised-alcohol-addiction-alcoholic-netherlands-a7446256.html#galleryMan in the Netherlands euthanized due to his alcohol addiction
“He did not take an easy way out. Just a humane one."
“Alcoholism and depression are illnesses, just like cancer. People who suffer from it need a humane way out."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/bangladesh-man-tofazzal-begs-government-euthanise-sons-grandson-duchenne-muscular-dystrophy-a7543051.htmlBangladeshi man begs government to euthanise his sons and grandson who have same genetic disorder
“I have taken care of them for years. I took them to hospitals in Bangladesh and India, I sold my shop to pay for their treatment but now I’m broke… The government should decide what it wants to do with them. They are suffering and have no hope of recovery. I can’t bear it any longer."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/couple-double-euthanasia-91-year-old-last-kiss-die-together-names-location-and-hospital-name-a7892926.htmlElderly Dutch couple die together in rare case of double euthansia
the man suffered a stroke, the woman has dementia. neither is well enough to ensure the care of the other and hey didn’t want to deteriorate in a nursing home.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/coronation-street-soap-opera-tv-actor-claire-king-euthanasia-assisted-dying-reason-a7784596.htmlCoronation Street actor Claire King reveals she is considering prospect of ending her life.
doesn’t want to be a burden for her family (when older)
“According to research compiled by Scope, disability costs a household an extra 550 pounds per month on average.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/australia-euthanasia-law-victoria-parliament-assisted-suicide-dying-terminal-illness-a8081601.htmlAustralian state legalizes assisted dying 20 years after country repeals world’s first mercy-killing law
will become legal in second most populous state in Australia beginning mid-2019
“Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who became a euthanasia advocate after his father died of cancer last year, said the reform showed compassion."
people change their minds on euthanasia when they themselves or their loved ones suffer through life-ending illnesses.
“For too long, we have denied, the control, the power that should be theirs… in those final moments of their life"
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/woman-with-germ-phobia-among-people-euthanised-for-mental-health-problems-in-holland-clinic-a7029581.htmlWoman with germ phobia among people euthanized for mental health problems in Holland clinic
End of Life clinic in Amsterdam “currently (May 2016) has more than 1234 applications for euthanasia by patients suffering from mental health conditions including psychological trauma and dementia."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/bbc-makes-last-minute-changes-to-controversial-documentary-on-man-ending-his-life-in-swiss-clinic-a6866756.htmlBBC ‘makes last-minute changes’ to controversial documentary on man ending his life in Swiss clinic
“I’m an independent type of guy and the end game of Motor Neurone disease is not to my taste. Like a used car I’m worn out and it’s no longer worth investing in the cost or repairs."
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/how-to-die-bbc-accused-of-advertising-suicide-with-dignitas-documentary-a6864951.htmlHow To Die: Simon’s Choice: BBC 'accused of advertising suicide’ in documentary https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/opinion/aid-in-dying-dementia.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FEuthanasia
an op letter about aid-in-dying and dementia when the writer’s original opinions about pro-euthanasia were compared to Nazi euthanasia
“And, unlike Nazi euthanasia, aid-in-dying should always be completely voluntary, as all of the states that now allow for it have specified."
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/well/family/protecting-my-son-meant-wishing-for-his-death.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FEuthanasiaProtecting my son meant wishing for his death By: Lu Spinney
opinion piece written by a mother whose lively son got into an accident and was unable to live life like before (basically in a vegetative state, but could still scream, etc.)
son died in the end because he caught pneumonia, but had wanted to die (assisted death) for the five years he lived after the accident. was not granted that permission
“His death was the only good thing for him that happened after it. "
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/05/opinion/sunday/dying-doctors-palliative-medicine.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FEuthanasiaShould I help my patients die? By: Jessica Nutik zitter
opinion piece written by a doctor in California where Assisted-Death recently became legalized.
as a doctor, Zitter didn’t know how to react to this new law. it didn’t feel “right” to help patients end their lives; even though, ultimately, Zitter is glad that the option exists for patients who are suffering
final point: california must continue to establish policies that help patients make the right decision and guide them and their family through their decisions.
letters in response to the opinion piece above: “Should I help my patients die?” by Dr. Zitter
shows that this is a controversial topic, and everybody has the right to their own opinions about it. no one is right or wrong. each case should be taken with upmost respect and consideration
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/15/uk-law-on-assisted-dying-is-barbaricUK law on assisted dying is ‘barbaric’“GP Mary Gibbs is horrified that terminally ill patients are being refused adequate pain relief because it might shorten their life; while Sara Starkey recalls her husband’s peaceful death at Dignitas and laments the fact that most terminally ill people in the UK won’t be so fortunate” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/02/david-goodall-perth-doctors-threaten-104-year-old-scientists-bid-to-end-his-lifeDavid Goodall: doctors threaten 104-year-old scientist’s bid to end his life
the dude wants fly to Switzerland to end his life (legal assisted-death), but doctors in Perth are threatening to not let him go (danger to himself, not fit for travel)
Goodall is not terminally ill nor does he have mental illness. he just feels that he’s lived his life and wishes to end it now
attempted suicide before
“enough is enough” he says
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563356/What people close to death say about euthanasia and assisted suicide http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/overview/introduction.shtmlTHE BASIC INFO FOR EUTHANASIA http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/07/opinion/maynard-assisted-suicide-cancer-dignity/index.htmlBrittany Maynard, who died with dignity, writes an op piece about her choice.
“Having the choice at the end of my life has become incredibly important. It has given me a sense of peace during a time that otherwise would be dominated by fear, uncertainty and pain.”
“When my suffering becomes too great, I can say to all those I love, “I love you, come be by my side, and come say goodbye as I pass into whatever’s next.”
https://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/15/world/woman-who-lost-a-right-to-die-case-in-canada-commits-suicide.htmlSue Rodriguez, commits (doctor-assisted) suicide, after denied the right to die in Canada
“If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?"
http://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/assisted-suicide.htmlquotes on euthanasia:
“I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their own life, and those that help them should be free from prosecution.”- Stephen Hawking
“We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?”- Stephen Hawking
Image Inspo. from around the web: