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Just thought I'd throw this out there in case I can educate some of you and hopefully clear up some misconceptions you might have about assisted suicide. I was the first person to put Dr. Jack Kevorkian in jail in Michigan and I worked on his assisted suicide cases for about a year and a half and would consider myself an expert on the subject. For many it's a very emotional topic and logic and reason tend to be ignored. Just briefly I can tell you that once we decide that there is quality of life not worth living we tend toward nazism. The handicapped community was up in arms about passing such laws as people would ask them, "you're a quadriplegic why do you want to live?" Let me also say that I'm a strong believer in the right to die. I didn't ask to be here and I should be able to leave whenever I want...I just can't have help doing it. There is no way to regulate it. I'm happy to take questions, concerns, jabs etc. it won't be anything I haven't heard before. But if you're curious, had I ever tried Kevorkian, you would have heard about his paintings, one of which shows Santa Claus coming down the chimney stomping on an infant. (google it) He was a pathologist just obsessed with death.

lerlo 8 Jan 17

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Thanks for honestly expressing your views. I understand the slippery slope argument but around free people it should not be an issue. Are we really free in the United States?

I respectfully disagree with your position. One problem is that often people in such a state are incapable of suicide by their own hands. If we grant the moral right of suicide, it seems unjust to deprive that right to those who probably need it the most. Further, in assisted suicide, the doctor is not "turning the switch" so, in moral terms, they are not performing the act. They have only provided the means.

I am a teacher and knew a student who committed suicide by driving his car into a freeway pylon. Was the car dealer guilty of assisted suicide? It is a slipper slope indeed.

I fully concur.

Thanks for your response. The problem is the Hippocratic oath (see my subsequent post). Doctors take an oath to preserve life, not end it. it's why the AMA opposes assisted suicide, it violates the oath. Do doctors probably kill all the time in the name of euthanasia? Sure. Legalizing it is the problem. If someone won't help kill you should you be able to sue them? There is in my belief a right o die but not a right to assisted suicide. In a one-on-one murder situation, all the defendant would have to do was say, "he told me to kill him." It's a difficult subject. Everyone can commit suicide, stop eating etc. They just might not like how they have to do it. In Michigan at the time I had the cases, the assisted suicide law was that, as long as you were trying to alleviate pain, even if it caused death, it was ok. For instance, for a Lou Gehrig's patient, if you give them morphine it will alleviate the pain but it will suffocate them. kevorkian used carbon monoxide poison gas.

So, lerlo, its okay to kill yourself by starvation or other drawn-out or painful means, but not to get assistance from a professional that can make the process painless? I take it you are a xtian just like Mother Theresa who finds suffering ennobling in some perverse way?

@lerlo So in your response you open the door to my response. If a person is starving themselves to death, then helping them along is certainly alleviating pain. Because as you say, they may not "like how they have to do it."

There are obvious workable solutions to the legal fine points. A patient signs or affirms before hand that they are in agreement with the procedure which will likely result in death.

The Hippocratic oath,has like many ancient laws and codes, become outdated by modern understanding. Even taken on its founding principles, while it may be something doctors should weigh, it clearly isn't law. Doctors could not assist in executions if it were yet enough do that several states maintain the, similarly outdated, death penalty. I would be interested in how the assisted suicide laws in Oregon and Europe are evolving and working. I am certainly no expert in this field.

One question does occur to me though. And as far as I know it hasn't actually come up in a real case. What if the patient didn't die but instead was injured in a debilitating way? That seems to me to be the slipper slope of which legal nightmares are made.

People would say there is a difference in a piece of machinery and a thinking person. But the "slippery slope" shows how complicated it is. I was once actively involved with our states program (endoflifewa) when my partner was dying and I have insights into this issue that many don't. I have also thought of my own death and what if I was in a position where I could choose. It is complicated and it is getting more so.

@marmot84 Do you mean if a doctor was engaged to assist with death and the person didn't die? My guess is that the drug dose would be increased to make the death happen. Unless the patient changed their mind, they would still want to die. Otherwise I guess they have a law suit for breach of contract. In Arizona they tried to execute someone and he didnt die as expected so that has happened but of course the sentence was death so they just continued til they died.

I'm not sure what you mean by helping someone along who is starving themselves. Just like a hospitals DNR order, they can leave you alone but touching you without consent is assault.

As for Oregon, as far as I know only 100 people have used the law. I don't think we should have boutique laws for small groups of people. I notice there is no law that says people can live in dignity and that someone must provide them food and shelter. I'm not sure if indigent people have access to the law in Oregon, also another question.

@lerlo Thanks for your response. Yes, you outlined the hypothetical case I was wondering about. in my scenario, the person doesn't die but is badly maimed. I suppose this would have to be a substantially worse condition than they were already in. Perhaps what I am wondering about is if somehow the painless procedure wasn't so painless. Then after it began, the patient decided to abort it. I'm brought to wonder about it because of the many botched executions that have been in the news because of the drug supply issue.

Yes, you are absolutely right. It is a complex subject. It certainly tests the edge of understanding of the interplay between legality and morality. It also tests both independently.


I live in Washington State and we have physician assisted death laws. If I decide I don't want to live, I'd like to have help to have a dignified death rather than sticking a shotgun in my mouth. These wishes are legally documented when you are able to make that decision for yourself. There is a way to regulate this as WA, OR, CA and 3 other states plus Washington, DC have.

Your post comes across as condescending and it is clear what your biases are. Perhaps we can help educate you that not everyone has the same perspective that you have and clear up any misconceptions you have about being the ultimate authority on this.

Condescending or someone who was following orders and is now justifying action? I notice that nazism is used in the posting. I recall reading that the use of Hitler, Third Reich and Nazism is used as a discussion stopper that frequently works.

The Northern Territory of Australia enacted euthanasia type law in the 1990's, I think after the Chief Minister watched his mother die horrifically from cancer. A Federal Prime Minister on obtaining power in 1996 overturned that law on the main stated objection of it being contrary to UN Human Rights Conventions which only recognise right to life.

What hypocrisy. Australia does not even have a bill of rights or overall codification of the UN Conventions into Australian law. In fact only in that year both major parties wanted to pass laws stating exactly that to the other countries of the world "if we haven't made it Australian law don't rely on the international convention that we signed".

So it was with the Australian Prime Minister who along with Blair and Bush caused untold deaths in the pretense of mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction and have left the on going legacy of radioactive contamination from depleted uranium shells.

Warning the following reply contains photographs of horrific crimes committed against new born babies and their parents following the use of depleted uranium.

Warning the following link contains
photographs of horrific crimes committed
against new born babies and their parents
following the use of depleted uranium.

Would any god allow this to happen?


Ultimate authority and condescending are in your head. Read up on the nazis who killed the handicapped because their quality of life didnt meet their expectations. When you understand the subject come back to me in civil terms if it's possible for you. Right to die and right to assisted suicide are two different things.

lerlo, Right to die & right to assisted suicide should not be 2 different things! Both are predicated on individual sovereign "body" rights! It is one thing to make one's own choice & another to make that choice for one, for or against. Please stop being such a condescending person if someone disagrees with you, it surely doesn't help your abhorrent case!

@lerlo You say, "Just thought I'd throw this out there in case I can educate some of you and hopefully clear up some misconceptions you might have about assisted suicide.", and then, "...consider myself an expert on the subject."

Nothing I said was uncivil. You are making spurious arguments and you have no idea what I understand. I understand logical arguments and you're out of your league.


The only person who should be able to decide that the quality of life makes life not worth living is the person who wants to die. Some people cannot do it themselves for some reason or another (infirmity, etc.). Demonizing Jack Kevorkian is an ad hominem attack. I have the right to die and YOU do not have the right to tell me that I cannot be assisted in achieving a painless death...are you on the right forum?

As long as he's agnostic I suppose. Unfortunately, however, being agnostic doesn't stop you from being a short-sighted asshole.

Sorry, right to die you can justify. Right to assisted suicide you can't. Show me where that right comes from. Can you force someone to help you? Can you sue them if they don't? What if no one will help you? Once you bring someone else into it--it's no longer YOUR right. Nice try. Who decided that a drug overdose was painless--you want a drug overdose, buy enough drugs and take them.

lerlo, Part of the problem is that in many areas of this country it is illegal to even attempt suicide, by whatever means. But, you knew that. & stop with this forcing doctors or others to assist one, or to sue them if they don't. Set up a system that enables folk to get the counseling, help & assistance they need, & the only medicos involved would be ones that wish to be. How is getting assistance in something forgoing MY rights? Do I lose my rights if I retain the services of a lawyer in a legal situation? An architect in a building project? Did you play the Strawman in the "Wizard of Oz"?


My late partner opted for the "Death with Dignity" program immediately upon hearing she had a brain tumor. She did not care if it was curable (it wasn't) all she knew was her quality of life was going to be reduced and that was unbearable to her.

I live on an island in Washing state in an area known as the Salish Sea. I am constantly dumbfounded by the energy and connections present in this community! We discovered there were 2 physicians living on island that were prominent in the endoflifewa program. One, a Dr. Tom Preston helped write the law (he emphasized the word suicide was removed from any talk of the program). He helped us and delivered the meds. to end her life. The other was a Dr. Carol Parrot (an anesthesiologist & also a resident) who helped reformulate the medications to one that was quick and without bad side affects (like burning). She would go around the conservative parts of the state (it's called the Cascade curtain and most places to the East are very conservative) to provide the 2nd signature needed for the program. She worked with our doctor and, in the end was instrumental in getting the medications delivered.

Why should anyone suffer when they don't have or want to?? Euthanasia should be a right of everyone. Keeping people alive and suffering costs the community valuable resources. Yes, it can be complicated but the best way to deal with that is to start and allow the program to evolve. I have said many times (and will keep saying it) the religious say this goes against (a ) god's plan and is unnatural. Yet they will go to great lengths and expense to preserve their life. They say they can't wait to meet Jesus, but just not yet.

Well said.

Thank you for sharing your story.

See my additional post. The AMA hasn't reconciled violating their Hippocratic oath to preserve life not take it. Everyone can commit suicide and it's nice to say how you want it done. 100 people have used the Oregon law, we don't make laws for 100 people. What about someone who is not in pain and just wants to die--they also have the right but not under our laws. What if no one will help you--should that be against the law? Should you be able to sue them?

Thank you.

@lerlo My partner was never in pain. She had a type of brain tumor that only affected her speech, at first the last couple of days she became weak and hours before medication arrived she went into a coma and stopped breathing some 10 hours later. The law for Death with Dignity says it is NOT suicide but the cause of death is what one is drying from.
Yes that is different than one wanting to end their life before a fatal illness sets in.

I have a close friend whose husband in in late stages Parkinson's. S0oon he will need to be committed. At one point he said he didn't want to go down this road and anted to end it while he still could. It is out of his hands now and he and his wife are going into slow suffering mode. Plus both they and society will bear enormous costs. For what???

I just started a book "Being Mortal". It questions the role doctors play in "preserving" life. Maybe the "Hippocratic" (hypo-critic) oath needs to evolve!

@zeliasgrand and you can leave me and my posts alone--see how easy it is. I don't care about you blessing or your beliefs. Me and 46 or so other states don't think it should be legal but who are we to disagree with you. Key word in my post was bring to light issues most EMOTIONAL people like you don't consider and apparently you're happy in the blissful state. Congrats. How about a law that people can live with dignity--guaranteeing food and shelter? Where are those laws or we only have to help people die not live?


The state has no more business telling people they must remain alive against their will as it has telling women they must bear children against their will. Both are the state taking ownership of a person's body, something Nazi's do, not free societies.


I'll make my own choices, thank you. If I can't wipe my own ass, it's time to go. Already have arrangements in place for that contingency. I don't give a flying rat's ass what the government deems "appropriate". I have no problem with breaking laws that I think are wrong. Been doing it all my life, it's fine if I go out the same way.

You tell 'em, KK!

Go for it! As I said we all have the right to die, just not a right to assisted suicide. You can't force someone to help you and it's called manslaughter in most states. If someone won't help you can you sue them? What if no one will help you?

That wiping part is certainly one of my red lines.....

@lerlo Like I said, got it covered.

@zeliasgrand Thanks for reading every other word of my posts--YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMIT SUICIDE. If you want assisted suicide you go to a state that made it legal. My prosecution of kevorkian was pursuant to my oath to uphold the law of the State of Michigan. It benefited the law abiding people of the State of Michigan who passed the law and people who feel threatened by assisted suicide and the societal pressure once it is decided that there is a life not worth living made by the state. If you fear the rule of law, although under this administration it's questionable, but maybe you need to find another country. I REPEAT: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DIE AND COMMIT SUICIDE.(perhaps you missed the part about not liking how you might have to do it if you can't find anyone to help you)

@lerlo While I completely understand that you had a job to do, and followed the law, this is a social network, you can take off your lawyer hat and not be so adversarial with people. This topics triggers many, often fraught, emotions in people. We get it, there are laws. We also get that laws that are unjust need to be changed, and a lot of people are going to do what they feel is right, regardless of what Big Brother might have to say about it. No need for you to harp on the legalities here. Time to let it go.

@KKGator Hmmm not be adversarial with people--you mean like people calling me an asshole? ALL I've done is stated the arguments against it--havent ARGUED or been adversarial with anyone except the people who perceive that anyone that disagrees with them is adversarial. I have learned here since I'm relatively new that there are just some contrarians here, and anarchists who will be against any societal norms--I get it. Good for them. There are reasons assisted suicide is not legal in most of the Western world--that some of you choose not to like those reasons is your choice and thanks for your attempt to shoot the messenger. I won't apologize for trying to explain through the emotion. I notice you don't care that there are no laws requiring food and shelter--WHY IS THAT? You could call it Life With Dignity.

@zeliasgrand Of course that post wasnt lecturing me was it? I didnt read the rules that you had to agree with all posts--please give me a list of the the subjects I'm allowed to comment on...I don't care what they are but thanks for trying to eliminate anything ideas you don't like. You won't do it but try re-reading your original post and the parts about my attitudes--you can lecture but no one else can. Anyone who disagrees with you is arrogant and you're the perfect lady. Would you like to me to number the people that agree with me and tell you to get off the site? Exactly. Try and remember the common courtesy to allow others to voice their opinions even if you don't agree or like it. Or not--I don't care.

@lerlo " I notice you don't care that there are no laws requiring food and shelter--WHY IS THAT?" You have extrapolated to a fallacious conclusion. It's not possible for you to have noticed that I don't care about there being no laws requiring food and shelter. For one, it wasn't even a topic of discussion in this thread. For another, my feelings regarding anything other than the topic at hand are completely unknown to you. You are assuming facts not in evidence. I never called you an asshole, or attempted to shoot the messenger. I stated my personal position on the subject and conveyed my utter disdain for the laws which attempt to disregard personal autonomy regarding ending one's life. I never attacked you personally. Not even a little bit. I said that I understood you had a job to do and you did it. My comments were not directed at you personally, I was speaking in general terms. Until, that is, I asked you to take off your lawyer hat and accept that we all got it. That was it. Further, with that request, I was inviting you to take part in the community. Your further responses to me, and to zeliasgrand, did come across as adversarial. I reread the thread to make sure I wasn't misrepresenting my response. I don't think I have. Granted, I've been defiant as hell, and completely disrespectful of those "laws", but I didn't attack you. I'd like to suggest growing a little thicker skin, and not jumping to conclusions about people posting on social sites. As far as your "WHY IS THAT?" question, perhaps we could have a conversation about that particular topic, if you'd like.


I am always concerned when people other than the one who is living the life try to decide if it is worth living

btroje Level 9 Jan 17, 2018

@atheist not that I know of but there have been other posts suggesting euthanasia of people that are beyond making that choice and do not have an advanced directive

@atheist I didnt say anything like that. someone in a post when I first joined was advocating something like that


Assisting in the death of terminally ill people who are in great pain and have made the decision to end their lives with a sound mind is very different from exterminating people who have poor quality of life. Compassionately helping to end the suffering of dying people is not nazism. The critical point is that the person must choose, the decision must be completely up to the patient. And yes it can be regulated, as many people have already pointed out, it is legal, regulated, and helping suffering people die with dignity in many countries and states where it is legal.

We ALL have the right to die, not just "terminally ill" patients. In Oregon arent those people in horrible pain in the 7th month? You don't think doctors arbitrarily make that 6th month decision? If they are in great pain are they of sound mind? The patient CAN choose but not make the choice for the doctor. The doctor took an oath to preserve life. Is the doctor violating some right of yours if they won't help you because it violates their Hippocratic oath? The right to die and the right to assisted suicide are two different things. Once there is a "law" it's no longer the patient deciding--it's the government. See my subsequent post. At the time I had the cases in the Netherlands where assisted suicide was not prosecuted people were wearing necklaces saying "don't kill me" because 60% were killed without consent. If a doctor has a choice of working hard to try and alleviate your pain or killing you, some will take the easy way out. We shouldnt sentence people to death because the medical profession hasnt adequately treated pain.

@lerlo I am curious how this is done in some other countries? Remember "Soylant Green"?


Interesting to hear the other side. After watching both my grandmother's demises one a 7 yr vegetative state placed in a Catholic nursing home in the 70s I believed quality of life should determine longevity of life. My other beloved nana was in a Hebrew Rehab Center from 100 to 109. Her last 2 years she would cry out at night she wanted out so they drugged her and spoon fed her baby food. I refused to see her like that. I also am a cancer survivor. Didn't want to do chemo but people talked me into it and somehow I survived. Still think quality of life overrules longevity.

I am watching a British krimi where a big drug company has gotten people hooked on an anti-depressant pill that makes the person worse and they constantly need more and more to keep normal, kind of like alcoholism.

The question is why. Maybe it helps the "healthcare" givers more income at the expense of their patients. We could be in that boat someday.


My Dutch uncle had throat cancer at age 54 and had only months to live. He was in agony, much pain and was euthanized by injection in accordance with Dutch law. I think a series of doctors all had to agree. I was in Australia at the time, but we rang my uncle an hour before his lethal injection and I wished him well on his journey, it was a touching moment for my mother and I. They had a wake in his honour before he was euthenised! It sounds straight out of the Adams Family show but it happened.

I also knew a lady aged 53 who was a friend of a friend who had stomach cancer and only had months to live after diagnosis, she was in total agony, on heavy drugs. It was living torture!

I think a mentally healthy aware human should have the right to decide his own time of death.

Speaking of which, does anyone know a quick and easy way, just for reference, it may come in handy in about 50-70(?) years depending on my situation.

I had a friend who worked on the crisis team in the Ryde area of Sydney many years ago. He used to be called out to sort out people marching along the railway line challenging locomotives hauling thousands of tons of freight to a fight! He stated that when such wannabes and wrist slashers turned up for the second time and definitely third time they showed them the correct procedure and place/ direction to open the required artery. I imagine that any reputable text on the practice of triage priorities will give you an indication of avenues to examine for speed.


One problem is that if a person is mentally sane can they make the decision for the time they re not. With my partner the brain tumor did not affect her reasoning. After 15 days the doctor has to re-evaluate the patient to access the mental ability. He looked at my partner and the other4 people in the room and said she was the sanest person there, and then signed.

@DJVJ311 Nice one.

@atheist I haven't previously heard of this. My immediate thought is if someone other than the suicides switches the flow on, applies a clip to their nose to close it and puts a tube into their mouth the suicides can always, unless comatose, open their mouth to eject the tube. Surely a film of that broadcast live is proof of suicide not murder?
@lerlo opinion please.

@FrayedBear Assisted suicide is defined differently in different states. There are many elements that go into murder and I don;t think their description meets the elements of murder. If the patient spits the tube out and someone puts it back in, some type of homicide might be argued.

@lerlo I would have thought so also. Thanks for answering the hypothetical question.
Incidentally many responses on this thread are illegal under Australian broadcasting/ media rules and could not be broadcast or published.

@lerlo "Nanny state"


Your argument seems divided. You seem to believe people have the right to suicide, to determine when their quality of life makes the troubles of life unjustified, but that they should not have help, because that invites the judgement of others. However all that is needed to invite the judgement of others is the thought of the decision, not assistance in execution of the plan. The existence of suicide, legal or not, with assistance or not, exposes people to the "why do you want to live?" question, so that is hardly a relevant or meaningful point.

You may want to explain how a doctor and a shotgun differ when the intent and therefore consent initiates from the individual. Or perhaps how state initiated slaughter proceeds from suicide.

Also, please explain why some person's artwork and disturbing psychology was involved, other than to raise emotion about a topic that can simply be discussed with logic and reason. Why this guy thought it was okay has nothing to do with whether it's okay.

A shot gun does not take an oath to preserve life, doctors do, the Hippocratic oath. That's why the AMA won't condone assisted suicide. Not clear where everyone got the slippery slope argument from my post--I said nothing like that. The right to die and the right to assisted suicide are two completely different things. Do you think you can force someone to help you? If that's your right can you sue them if they won't help you? The comment about his painting was to show that he was a ghoul, only interested in death, not helping people. He once went around the hospital trying to see if he could tell the exact moment of death in someone's eyes.

@lerlo The modern Hippocratic oath does not preclude euthanasia, but instead includes parts that can clearly be used to justify it.

"I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

It does not forbid Euthanasia, it simply says that the decision must not be the doctor's("don't play god" ) . It treats the task of saving a life as a gift to be thankful for, implying there are clearly other tasks. If the patient initiates the request and the doctor takes it as his Hippocratic duty to limit the suffering of someone who you say has the right and is going to kill themselves, is the doctor morally responsible for the death or only for the elimination of suffering?

All arguments that imply that disagreement will result in a repeat of The Holocaust can generally be dismissed as slippery slope, which is why I asked you to explain that connection.

Your painting of the guy as a sadistic ghoul is an ad hominem because no one cares about him, we are intellectuals discussing an issue. You can keep smearing him, but that doesn't matter at all.

You have a right to free speech, that doesn't mean you have a right to forcing people to hear you or listen. If you have the right to assisted suicide, that doesn't mean you have the right to force anyone.

@lerlo As with most other question on this site it is very complicated. If it can be abused people will find a way to do so. It is good that this conversation is being done.


My late husband was chewed up by cancer and young. I've never seen anyone in so much intractable pain in my life. I know he would have loved to check out earlier but held on due to fear of various legalities that negates benefits to heirs. He was in agony the last year of his life.

He even spoke of taking himself out with a gun, but didn't want to subject anyone to the aftermath. How horrible is that for someone not to have any choice beyond a violent messy means?
I can't help wonder if having been given the choice would have enabled him to have control over his destiny and given him peace of mind.

He went from a beautiful sentient creature to a tortured skeleton in no time flat. It was a nightmare.

That had to have been excruciating for you, also. You have my sympathy & understanding, & hopefully, we will wake up to the problems that these laws impose on many.

@phxbillcee Thank you. It's hard for people to understand until they've been there.
We tried so hard to mitigate his suffering, but it was too often in vain.

I'm sorry to hear about your father. It's a difficult situation. The medical profession has not done an adequate job treating pain. I hope my subsequent post answered some of your questions.

I agree with the other poster, thank you for sharing this story. I'm sure it is difficult to even think about it much less sharing. Or maybe it helps some to share. I also agree that we should have control over our end of life to choose to end it or no. I know for me, it's as much that I don't want those around me to have to suffer also while I'm suffering.

Qualia, my Dad finally passed at home with the "help" of hospice. They did not hasten, just eased some of the pain he was going thru. He had major congestive heart issues & he kept "trying" to go, but the pacemaker that the hospital had just recently installed prevented him from "easing" out on his own. It kept bringing him back to go through the same process all over again. We (his family) & he didn't need assistance for his passing, just a bit more common sense on the part of hospital staff. Hospice folk were just great (Hospice of the Valley here in Phoenix, AZ) & they have my undying (well, obviously not really) gratitude. A whole other story involved in the local priest at the church my dad attended & his "schedule", but that's a whole other story!

@phxbillcee interesting he was in hospice and they gave him a pacemaker. Did he think of refusing it?

btoje; received the pacemaker before his hospice stay. very shortly before. I think the medical team at the hospital thought they were doing the right thing, but it's the old "if one has a hammer, every problem is a nail" situation with the medical community.

At the very least he had someone to be with him. I think some of us fear we will be alone when our time comes.

My partner not only had me but a big community (our house was a revolving door)and her kids. When her brother questioned her choice she sent them packing.


Euthanasia should be regulated and legal.


Is this Post about Jack Kevorkian? or assisted suicide?, He did not approve everyone for his assistance. I saw a documentary on read some of the news articles so I may not have a complete picture He may have had heretical ideas but his moment was impetus for the debate. I believe you have the right to end end you life as you see fit provided it does not put anyone else in danger; IE. jumping off a bridge where as search and rescue has to to use resources looking for you. we have the free will if you are tired of this life you should have the right to end it.

Furthermore, Jack Kevorkian did not solicit for people to aid in their effort to commit suicide...they sought him out.

You do have the right to die, just not the right to assisted suicide. Should you be able to sue someone if they won't help you? What if no one will help you? See my subsequent post re Hippocratic Oath. Kevorkian got a letter from a mental patient asking for assistance in dying, kevorkian's response: "at this stage we can't help you." he was happy to kill anyone and everyone. He didnt even consult with the doctors of most of his last victims because he was afraid they would turn him in. Hence the problem with trying to regulate it.

@lerlo how can you state that kevorkianwas happy to kill anyone and everyone? You have just stated that he told a mental patient that help was not available at that time! What prescient abilities are you certified with enabling you to read into the future?


Medically assisted dying became legal in Canada June of 2016.

Betty Level 7 Jan 17, 2018

The main thing I think about with that situation is. We as a society show more compassion for a hurt, sick, old or mentality deranged animal than we do for people. We seem to think it is somehow right to prolong people's life that are in agony. Seems a moral issue to make someone suffer with out relief.

Animals can't commit suicide and need out help--all people can commit suicide, you might just not like how they have to do it, stop eating etc.

@lerlo Think you totally missed my point.

@azzow2 it's also a moral issue to let people starve and we have no laws guaranteeing them food. I think you missed my point. Animals can not do for themselves. Should we help people first, absolutely. How about life with dignity, food, shelter etc before we care about death with dignity? How about getting on the medical profession to adequately treat pain? Not finding ways do die.

@lerlo Have you ever watched nature a mother animal will kill its young if they are not healthy. The old and week are killed and eaten. Still can not see the point in letting someone suffer just because it is a self righteous moral issue. Those facts you pointed are good points in an a moral perfect world.

@azzow2 They're not good points at all. He's using the Fallacy of Relative Privation. He's saying other problems are worse, so this problem should be ignored until those are taken care of (one of which is world hunger by the way. It's also funny to me that he's saying we need to solve world hunger before death with dignity at the same time he's saying people should have to die without dignity by starving themselves to death.)

@JeffMurray I should have put amoral perfect.


"Let me also say that I'm a strong believer in the right to die...I just can't have help doing it."

You, sir, are not a strong believer in the right to die. Replace the word 'die' with the word 'abortion' to see how wrong you are. Actually, for quadriplegics, any right is a right they'd need help with. To claim that needing help should invalidate a right is disgusting. I hope someday you will have the sense to know what a horrible thing you've done and it keeps you up at night. Or, better yet, you end up with locked-in syndrome, in total agony, requiring help desperately with no way to even ask for it.

@JWDiaz Thanks, seems not many do. I really think putting yourself in someone else's shoes is vitally important when deciding where you stand on an issue (or wishing commensurate punishment on someone for failing to).

@JeffMurray Omg we've seen that. It's terrifying. Even the best nurses would sometimes forget to put the pain & call button back on my husband's bed. He was so weak he could hardly press the pain button to begin with. After that became apparent we had 24/7 rotating shifts of friends and family to keep watch at the hospital.

@Qualia Imagine how much worse it is for people who can't push call lights or PCA pump buttons...

Jeff, I agreed with you right up until you wished these maladies on him. I wish a fate like that on no one, & would hope just the recognition of these situations would be enough to sway him. I know it probably won't, especially if his views are religiously based, but I will still not wish this on anyone.

@JeffMurray Been there too. At the end had to push the buttons for him.

@phxbillcee Then you're better than me I guess? I have no problem wishing suffering on people that caused it in others. Not like wishing does anything other than show how much disdain I have for awful people. Wait, do you think wishes work?

You sir are completely clueless and I won't be wasting my time responding to any more of your rants but if you think that assisted suicide and abortion are the same, or the right to die and abortion are even close, we have nothing to talk about. Quadriplegics can stop eating like everyone else. Oh, now you want to preach about HOW someone gets to die. Read up on the Hippocratic oath that doctors take to preserve life and tell me why the AMA is opposed to assisted suicide. Find where I said that needing help, and we can all kill ourselves, invalidates any rights? You won'tr find it but nice try. There is a right to die--but no right to assisted suicide--should you be able to sue someone who won't help? What if no one will help--are they violating your right?

I wasn't saying that assisted suicide and abortion were the same, I was pointing out how poor the argument was with an analogy. If something is a right, it shouldn't matter if help is needed. And how exactly do quads "stop eating just like everyone else" when they're being fed through an IV or gastrostomy tube? (Which, by the way, shows what a grotesque human being you are suggesting that just because someone is disabled they should have to starve to death over an extended period of time to exercise the right you claim to support.) So you DID, in essence, suggest that needing help invalidated or revoked their right.
Maybe you should have read the Hippocratic Oath before posting. "I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism." "Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty." That the AMA is fearful of what a position change would mean is irrelevant. 10% of the states in this country have legal forms of assisted suicide, and it won't be long before they rest wise up and follow suit. And we can debate individual circumstances and what ifs if you'd like, but to parse the difference between 'right to die' and the 'right to assisted suicide' (for someone who would qualify and needs help) is nothing more than a despicable tactic similar to states that say young women have the right to an abortion, but only if they get permission from their parents.

@phxbillcee Am I more justified now? This guy wants quads who are already suffering and desperate to die to sit in a bed and literally starve to death.


I am surrounded by morons, why would I want to live?

And perhaps more than you wish to recognise. Here I am another. 🙂



Sorry, but you surely won't get a "thumbs-up" from me. whether Kevorkian was a paragon or not is not the issue. Freedom of choice is the issue & I don't believe the State has a right to stick their noses in this issue unless abuse can be shown. If we had common-sense, non-religious laws then you can "prosecute" if someone breaks those. We surely don't have those laws in place now.

Perhaps you missed me saying that we all have the right to die--but choice is not your issue, you want to force someone else to help you. How you do it is your issue. You can do it yourself but you want force someone else to help you. What if they say no, can you sue them?

That was never the issue, to force a doctor to assist one! You are so good with strawmen (not!). I never brought that up & it was not one of your original statements. If some doctors do not wish to participate, I sincerely doubt they would ever be forced. The abortion issue is the same, no one would force doctors to perform one. There are doctors who because of many reasons would help with both matters, & they should not be persecuted. THAT is the issue!

@lerlo isn't a doctor's signature required to obtain the chemicals necessary for a painless death?

@FrayedBear No idea but if you read some of the comments here any overdose will do. I'm not sure who decided that it is painless though.

@lerlo As you keep saying everyone can suicide by not eating. Lack of water and dehydration are much faster occurring in days not weeks. Certainly not painless. Are you saying that anyone can walk into a chemist and buy drugs without a doctor's prescription? You live in USA not I. Do you still work as a prosecutor?

Maybe people here post things for thumbs up, I could care less. As I stated I brought the issue up for people to look at things they don't normally look at regarding assisted suicide because it's just an emotional issue for most. Last I checked people's rights don't normally include other people.

@atheist Truth, you don't even know you're not breathing, then boom.

@lerlo You could care less? I thought lawyers chose their words carefully.


I believe it is legal in Washington... I will be there at some point. Choice... we should all have it.

I like what @marmot84 asks: "Are we really free in the United States?"


So how do you think this can be legally reworked?

They have now supposedly enacted legislation allowing assisted death of the terminally ill in Victoria Australia.
Interestingly no one is interested in listening to the plight of those driven to their suicides by bad governance, bad policing, bad public prosecutors and bad magistrates. Ready examples include homeless deaths, deaths in police custody (aka genocide), no legal representation in court, family law court verdicts, judicial murders, discrimination against pensioners/ the disabled/ the unemployed/ the sick all in the name of profit making and austerity.

It really can't be. There is no "right" to assisted suicide. We all have the right to die, from some one who lost their family in the Oklahoma City bombings and just doesn't want to live anymore, to someone with a terminal disease. We just can't regulate the help I don't think. First and foremost, doctors take the Hippocratic oath to preserve life--they cannot ethically actively assist in death. People can stop eating, drive off cliffs etc., we can all commit suicide, we just might not like how we have to do it. In the Netherlands, at the time I had the cases, 60% of patients were killed without consent and they took to wearing "don't kill me" necklaces. As it is now, for instance in Oregon, tow psychiatrists have to say you're of sound mind. If you're suicidal are you of sound mind? We have suicide hotlines because we think people that are suicidal have a mental defect--should suicide hotlines be illegal? What if no one will help you kill yourself? What happens to your "right?" I know may of these are just questions but as I stated I just don't think you can regulate assisted suicide. You can't force the medical profession to do it and you can't draw an arbitrary line about who gets to commit suicide and who doesnt.


" no way to regulate it" that is a total piece of crock. Assisted suicide is legal in all European countries and now in Canada, then again in these countries we actually believe everyone has the right to healthcare from cradle to grave. []

Sorry, just because there is a law doesnt mean it's regulated. Can someone with 7 months to live, in horrible pain, die in Oregon? No. Look up the Hippocratic oath hotshot and then come back to me and explain why the AMA is against assisted suicide. What if no one will help you die? Can you force them? Can you sue them? 100 people have used the Oregon law. We don't make laws for 100 people.

@lerlo , In Canada it is not that hard to find a health professional to assist you, there are many compassion groups that will find them for you. Hippocratic oath states do no harm, many doctors regrade doing nothing to help ease someones pain when that is what the patient wants as doing harm. And for your information hotshot here in Canada the AMA has no sway.

@HeathenFarmer Thanks for not addressing the other points, because you see you can't have a right to force someone else to do something. Yes Amercian law has no sway in Uganda either, thanks for recognizing the difference in laws. When you can address how your right to kill yourself REQUIRES someone to help you let me know. Enjoy Canada

@lerlo CMA as a policy leaves it to the discretion of the physician. It also requires a phycological examination and consent of the court. Sorry, you live in a third world country.

@HeathenFarmer So much for having rights...if you're in too much pain you won't be sane and if the court says no, then what do you do? Violate the law? End of discussion--doesn't matter what the law says, you're doing it anyway. Thanks for the exercise in futility--

@lerlo The court is only responsible to see that due diligence is done and so, far it has never found it was not. We are talking about people incapable of doing it themselves.


What misconceptions did you expect us to have about assisted suicide (death with dignity), thus a need to be educated by you?

You can read all the misconceptions right here in these comments...death with dignity is a nice phrase but the doctors you want to provide that took an oath to preserve life--how do you reconcile that? The AMA hasn't. Everyone can commit suicide, you might not like how they have to do it. Who decided that a lethal does of drugs is a dignified way to die?

@lerlo "Doctors you want to provide that took an oath to preserve life---"

An excerpt from the Modern Hippocratic Oath written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts

"I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life;"


"Do No Harm"

Great harm is done when a terminally ill person has no other option than to die in excruciating, debilitating pain.

@VictoriaNotes Of course there is the classical Hippocratic Oath:
"I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect..."

I guess you should take it up with the AMA that opposes assisted suicide and believes it cause an ethical conflict. If killing someone isn't playing god I'm not sure what is.

@VictoriaNotes Again, thank you Victoria. And again, I made notes:“…making it a more secular obligation, not to be taken in the presence of God or any gods, but before only other people.” and “Above all, I must not play at God.” It seems we may have to worry that the religionists will go after this part of the oath.

“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.” Do no harm doesn't mean extending life (or suffering) needlessly or simply because one can? What about harm to the patients dignity or will to live?

“I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.” This one get to me. So many of the doctors today have become pill pushers. It's not just their fault because so many people don't want to do the hard work of making lifestyle changes; they just want a pill. Parvin's doctor son would try and tell people they needed to stop smoking (he lives in Richmond, VA) and/or lose weight. He got reported several times. I have a reflux issue. I went to my doctor and asked what steps could I take to not have to take pills. He was a bit shocked but gave me good information which I follow and then some. My issue is very mild now.

@lerlo "If killing someone isn't playing god I'm not sure what is."

God who? The patient is taking his/her life to alleviating suffering. There is nothing unethical about helping a terminal patient, at his/her request, to die in peace. It's humane. Thankfully, some doctors and states understand this. I plan to move to a right-to-die state.

@JackPedigo "Do no harm doesn't mean extending life (or suffering) needlessly or simply because one can?"

Exactly. That is the caricature of the Abrahamic god, so in this vein, they are playing god.

@VictoriaNotes I started this but something came up so I will start again (in case you got a blank notice from me).
Boy, this topic has really pushed some buttons and I spent an hour last night interacting (and it's not over yet - this is important).

Since I have been actively involved in this issue I feel I have information and a perspective others are missing. Also, again I feel we need to get through the emotional parts and deal with reality.

We met doctors here who were on-board with the program and 2 spent a lot of their time going over details of WA's program (it would have been interesting to have talked to Parvin's doctor son, a S. Baptist, to get his view). As usual religion has it's sticky, stinky fingers on this issue to the detriment of all and is another reason I have become so vocal in the anti-religion movement. I have been there (DwD) and may be there again in the future.

I fully understand your feelings about this and some comments made may be painful. I also understand the Nazi connection and how they used euthanasia to get rid of "undesirables". The initiator of the discussion has his own point of view which I try to understand. I don't see him as wrong but I do see some communication issues. I cringe at some hostility shown to him because we should be better than that. To me this may be just another area where some should agree to disagree. After all, we are not making policy here.

@JackPedigo Agree to disagree, indeed, but I will work right along with you and others to ensure that the U.S. becomes a more humane country like Canada.

@VictoriaNotes Even under the conservative leader, Harper, it was still better than here. Unfortunately, a big part of the problem is that Canada is still influenced by Britain and so more socialistic than here and they pay a lot more in taxes. Everything has it cost. I fear the poor states will always be behind and the more prosperous ones can afford programs like this.

@JackPedigo Only slightly higher, and in 2000 and again in 2014, Canada payed less on average than the U.S. Their average lifespan is higher, too.


@VictoriaNotes Thank you for that but what I saw was misleading. I worked for KPMG the world's biggest public accounting firm (I am NOT an account, brr.) and knew all the partners in our office. One Canadian partner was always complaining the U.S. citizens thought they paid higher taxes than others and he said it wasn't even close to Canadians. In Europe it is the same. One big difference was in the corporate tax rate. This was larger than most other countries (now thanks to lobbying it will be very low). Without this our country will deteriorate.

The link you provided kept saying "average" amount. It did not list the rates nor does it take into account all the very rich in this country. In 1994 I saw a check copy for $7+ million dollars. It was for our top client (not Bill Gates). I asked if that was his annual personal tax and was told it was his estimated quarterly tax! When you put that in the sum and average it out it raises the average overall.

@JackPedigo I would suggest reading the OECD analysis embedded in the article. We are off topic now, so we can discuss this in chat if you need to.


When my Dad became ill he asked at one point where is a kevorkian for me? He understood quality of life - for him - and he was ready to go, he knew the slow progression of his illness and had no desire to drag it out. No one wants to see a loved one go but the decision is theirs alone and it should be respected. Quality of life, like art, is subjective and individual, each person should have the right to decide for themselves.

My partner was at the peak of her life. She had done everything she dreamed of and more. She had severe osteoporosis and could have had a debilitating fall at any time. She was told radiation would freeze the tumor for 1 year but she would only stay where she was. She never wavered, now was the time.

Have you heard of the boiling frog syndrome? The water was just right for her. It was getting too warm and she jumped out.

@JackPedigo every one's point will be different so it HAS to be an individual's decision.

@silverotter11 Again, it can be complicated. I mentioned my closest friend's husband has Parkinson's. He is in the later stages. Years ago he wanted to not have to go through this and was looking for ways to end it. His doctor said that is normal and put him on anti-depressants. That solved his suicidal thoughts but not the disease. Now, both have to suffer through this. I see her and see how it is limiting and restricting her own life. There are a number of people here with this problem.

One story we heard from our local endoflifewa doctor (Carol Parrot - she has a site) was about a family. The husband got a disease and suffered for months before dying. Some time later the wife got sick. She remembered what both her husband and herself (the stress could have brought on her illness) went through and opted for the Death with Dignity program which was administered. Afterward the adult son said thank you to Caroll because he was not prepared to see his mother suffer as had his father.

Ending one's life often includes both people in a relationship and often the nuclear family even gets in the way. My friend did not want her husband to go but now maybe has second thoughts. When Parvin said she was ready it was somewhat of a relief because we talked about her future possible bone issue and neither of us wanted to have to deal with it. The best thing I could do for her was to support her all the way and I did gladly. When you love someone you want whats best for them not yourself!

@JackPedigo The last line says it all, When you love someone you want what is best for THEM, you are not part of the equation. We are all a bit selfish tho and that's human.


The gun is probably the best tool we have available at the moument for ending our life when we have reached the point of not having any quality of life. Unfornately some people only make half hearted attempts and end up just badly hurting themselves but done correctly the gun is a quick and painless way of ending your life. I knew a pharmacist once who had terminal cancer who even with his access to a multitude of drugs ended his life by putting a short barreled 12 gauge shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Seems he trusted the shotgun more than he trusted drugs.

I disagree. Think of how many people die quickly and not only painlessly, but euphorically from overdoses of heroin. How would that not be a better way to go? You get high, then drift off to sleep, then die.

@JeffMurray If that’s the case why did the pharmacist choose the shotgun. Seems the shotgun would be quick and painless and probably messy as hell.

@Trajan61 Maybe he also hated his relatives? In all seriousness, I assume it is because the efficacy of "local pharmacy" medications in causing death is not what you're looking for if you seriously want to die. Most of it is pills with which a lot of things can go wrong. If they had Schedule II IV medications at that pharmacy (which, to be honest, I don't know if they are stocked at any local pharmacies) that would be a different story. It's all about comfort level and assumed success rates I imagine.

Yeah, a shotgun would be fast, but the mess would be considerable.

@phxbillcee One thing about it you wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning up!

I don't like the gun idea. I knew a woman that put a gun in her mouth. She must have jerked the trigger as she blew off the front of her face and destroyed both of her optic nerves leaving her totally blind. She recovered and underwent many reconstructive surgeries...many. And she had to learn to talk again and all kinds of training for the blind. She did do well though. I know another case where someone had to walk in after a brother's suicide and witness the scene and it was gory. Sorry to be so graphic but I wan't do a gun mostly because I'm a coward, but also because I don't want anyone to have to deal with the mess.

Reallyron, a gun would be quick, & relatively painless, if you don't flinch. But the "mess factor" one leaves for the folk that have to clean up, well, shitting oneself is the least of the mess!

@Reallyron Few people seem to think (or care) about how this affects others. It's all about the one.

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