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Jack Kevorkian Dead at 83

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the deserves-a-video-game-tribute dept.

Medicine 184

theodp writes "Jack Kevorkian, the pathologist said to have had a role in more than 130 assisted suicides, has died from kidney-related complications on the eve of the 21st anniversary of his first assisted suicide. Kevorkian, who served more than eight years in prison for second-degree murder, had his story told in the HBO movie You Don't Know Jack. His antics and personality brought a certain approachability to a grim subject — the fundamental right of terminally ill patients to choose to die. 'I will debate so-called ethicists,' he once said. 'They are not even ethicists. They are propagandists. I will argue with them if they will allow themselves to be strapped to a wheelchair for 72 hours so they can't move, and they are catheterized and they are placed on the toilet and fed and bathed. Then they can sit in a chair and debate with me.' RIP, Dr. Jack."

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In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336430)

Why would he have killed himself, when he didn't have a terminal illness and was actually expected to recover?

Even if he was hospitalized with a terminal illness and in pain, who would have helped him kill himself?

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336480)

You think it was coincidence that he died on the anniversary of his first assisted suicide?

... yeah, it probably is.

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336624)

He didn't, read TFS.

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336514)

Even if he was terminally ill, why should he be expected to end his life? Did he promote euthenasia, or choice of euthenasia?

Captcha: altruism

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336572)

+1 exactly

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337122)

Did he promote euthenasia, or choice of euthenasia?

Both, and much more.....

Dr. Kevorkian’s views on euthanasia do not stop at “planned death,” but build to an ultimate conclusion. This is probably best expressed in the articles he has written over the years for the professional journal, Medicine and Law. In 1986 he wrote on human experimentation:

The so-called Nuremberg Code and all its derivatives completely ignore the extraordinary opportunities for terminal experimentation on humans facing imminent and inevitable death. . . . Intense emotionalism engendered by the concentration camp atrocities of World War II has unfairly stigmatized this honorable concept and cloaked it in silence. . . .

. . . Now that the benumbed sense of objective appraisal manifested by the Nuremberg judges has begun to wear off, at last it is conceded that they were wrong in concluding that nothing of value resulted from the illegal experiments. . . . The data are all the more valuable because similar human experiments can never again be done. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that a few of the medical criminals did the right thing (extraction of positive gain from inevitably total loss otherwise beyond their influence) but in the wrong way (without concern over consent or anesthesia) and in the wrong setting (created by the evil “laws” of a diabolical dictator.)[1]

At the end of his article, Kevorkian offers a bioethical “Code of Conduct” for “any professional or lay individual in any way participating in experimentation on human beings facing undeniably imminent and inevitable death.”

C.(1). Experiments may be of any kind or complexity. . . . C.(2). While a prospective subject is fully conscious, an experimenter may start any procedure which on thorough analysis portends no significant distress for the subject. . . . C.(3). Induction and irreversible maintenance of at least stage III general anesthesia is imperative before experimentation is begun on the following prospective subjects: (a) All brain-dead, comatose, mentally incompetent, or otherwise completely uncommunicative individuals. (b) All neonates, infants, and children less than (-) years old (age must be arbitrarily set by consensus). (c) All living intrauterine and aborted or delivered fetuses. C.(4). If the subject’s body is alive at the end of experimentation, final biologic death may be induced by means of: (a) Removal of organs for transplantation. (b) A lethal dose of a new or untested drug. . . . (c) A lethal intravenous bolus of thiopental solution. . . .[2]

Kevorkian’s research into human experimentation began while he was in the residency program at the University of Michigan, and eventually led to his removal from the program.

“While I was in my residency I was researching the idea of condemned men being allowed to submit to anesthesia rather than execution. While under anesthesia we could do experiments from which they wouldn’t recover, and then remove their organs. Now if you needed a liver or a heart, would you like to see a young healthy man or woman fried in the electric chair? No! But that Dark Age school told me I would have to drop the project I was working on or leave. So I left, and spent my last two years of residency at Pontiac.” While an associate pathologist at Pontiac General Hospital Kevorkian ran into more trouble. As part of an experiment he transfused cadaver blood directly into several patients. Kevorkian’s actions shocked the U.S. medical community, but no legal action was taken against him.

“All it involved was taking blood out of dead people who died suddenly and then transfusing it into living people just like regular blood. The Russians had been doing it for over half a century, but instead of transfusing it directly into a person, they would store it in a blood bank. We did that first, then we went further by using a syringe pump to take the blood directly from the heart of a dead person and put it into a living person. I thought it would be great on the battlefield, but they called it macabre research.”

In a 1988 Medicine and Law article Kevorkian builds on his previous ideas of human experimentation by combining it with his theories on planned death. In his article, “The Last Fearsome Taboo: Medical Aspects of Planned Death,” Kevorkian explains how with the experimentation you move from “euthanasia” or “good death” to an area called “eutatosthanasia” or “best death.”

Planned death is the purposeful ending of human life by direct human action. The concept is broader than euthanasia or “mercy killing,” which are the ways it is usually interpreted. It includes capital punishment, both involuntary and voluntary; obligatory suicide mandated by rigid theistic or philosophical principles; quasi-optional suicide for the relief of suffering resulting from illness, disability, or old age; strictly optional suicide for reasons not known to others; justifiable infanticide or pedicide; and feticide, both intra- and extrauterine.[3]

Kevorkian even explains how animal rights advocates should totally back his ideas since experimentation now done on animals could be done on humans. “The proposed innovation should be extolled by animal rights advocates, because it would eliminate the need for animals now sacrificed unnecessarily in many aspects of academic and industrial research.”

In the 1989 issue of Medicine and Law, Kevorkian focuses on the need for a “commercial market for human organs and tissues.” His article on planned death is reminiscent of the movie Soylent Green, and one can’t help but be reminded of the book Coma while reading his views on harvesting and selling body parts. Kervorkian: The Rube Goldberg of Death [cornerstonemag.com]

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336592)

He wasn't rendered helpless by his illness -- until his last visit to the hospital shortly before his death. And if this bout of illness would be staved off, he'd have a few more years of mostly fully able life. Most of us have some illness a good part of their lives -- be that bad blood pressure, diabetes, allergy or whatever else. He did succumb to his kidney problems, but was more able at the age of 83 than most of you will be.

On the other hand, those who are rendered helpless -- trapped in a body that no longer works -- do suffer for no good reason. When you can't move on your own, have to fed and have your poo cleaned by others, and most importantly, have no hope of it ever getting better -- you're effectively in the most cruel jail.

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (4, Interesting)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336946)

On the other hand, those who are rendered helpless -- trapped in a body that no longer works -- do suffer for no good reason. When you can't move on your own, have to fed and have your poo cleaned by others, and most importantly, have no hope of it ever getting better -- you're effectively in the most cruel jail.

Certainly I do not want to be put in this awful position. However, my concern is that if doctor assisted suicide is legalized, the insurance companies will be significantly less motivated to treat seriously ill patients who choose to live. And eventually, even before they get to this stage.

(We already have "quality of life" decisions being made before treatment options are presented to patients. Those who are perceived to have "too low a quality of life" are only offered palliative treatments.)

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337056)

Personally, I doubt the motivation of health insurance companies would at all be driven by the ability of patients to kill themselves (which to some extent is an option many already have). At some point insurance companies stop paying for heroic measures anyway, and I doubt that the legal availability would impact that.

Now, the consumer demand for insurance that covers more desperate treatments might very well drop if euthanasia becomes more socially acceptable, and that might impact what insurance companies are willing to cover. That is a bit more indirect than what you are suggesting.

Most people don't realize it, but EVERY insurance company puts a price on life - and that includes national healthcare systems as well. If a $100k procedure would extend your life of an 85 year old quadriplegic by one day no insurance system on this planet would pay the bill. If the same procedure was likely to give a 15 year old a normal healthy lifespan (vs death in a few weeks) chances are most insurance systems would pay it (even private insurance in the US). The basic algorithm looks at how a treatment extends your life and/or improves the quality of your life - the more it does both the more it is allowed to cost. In the end everybody puts a price on life - we just don't like to talk about it.

Re:In b4 losers asking why he didn't kill himself (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336650)

In b4 straw man, I guess...

By his own hand? Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36337086)

Technically he died from a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot in his leg came loose and migrated to his lungs.

So he didn't die by his own hand, he died by his own leg.

News For Nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336436)

C'mon timothy, this is pathetic. What the fuck does Dr. Jack Kevorkian dying have to do with news for nerds? I don't recall any other article here about him or even the topic of assisted suicide on this site at all.

Stick to your lane please. This is not stuff that matters.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336444)

LALALA I AM YOUNG death and dying doesn't matter to me!!!

Yet. [exitinternational.net]

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336464)

What does death have to do with "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters"? Unless someone invents a method to prevent death, who cares?

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336758)

Keep up. I linked you to what many have considered is a merciful technological solution to suffering.

Maybe your religion wants to "prevent death" in a terminally ill cripple. Not all of us are that simplistic.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336820)

a) Just because there is a machine that administers the injection, doesn't make it "News for nerds. Stuff that matters".
b) I'm an atheist.
c) I actually think that the option of assisted suicide should be the right of every living human and I admire Jack Kevorkian for standing up for what he believed in.

It just doesn't belong on Slashdot.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337030)

Computer assisted suicide is still suicide.

Nobody would refer to Dr. Kervorkian as simplistic, although some other adjectives seem to apply.

Kervorkian: The Rube Goldberg of Death [cornerstonemag.com]

... “What is to guarantee that the doctors will make the correct ethical choices in running the death clinics?” Kevorkian responded angrily, “I can keep this controlled while I’m alive, but after I die you’ll get corruptible doctors running them. But that doesn’t scare me, that should scare society. That’s society’s problem.”

Dr. Kevorkian’s views on euthanasia do not stop at “planned death,” but build to an ultimate conclusion. This is probably best expressed in the articles he has written over the years for the professional journal, Medicine and Law. In 1986 he wrote on human experimentation:

The so-called Nuremberg Code and all its derivatives completely ignore the extraordinary opportunities for terminal experimentation on humans facing imminent and inevitable death. . . . Intense emotionalism engendered by the concentration camp atrocities of World War II has unfairly stigmatized this honorable concept and cloaked it in silence. . . .

. . . Now that the benumbed sense of objective appraisal manifested by the Nuremberg judges has begun to wear off, at last it is conceded that they were wrong in concluding that nothing of value resulted from the illegal experiments. . . . The data are all the more valuable because similar human experiments can never again be done. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that a few of the medical criminals did the right thing (extraction of positive gain from inevitably total loss otherwise beyond their influence) but in the wrong way (without concern over consent or anesthesia) and in the wrong setting (created by the evil “laws” of a diabolical dictator.)[1]

Kevorkian’s research into human experimentation began while he was in the residency program at the University of Michigan, and eventually led to his removal from the program.

“While I was in my residency I was researching the idea of condemned men being allowed to submit to anesthesia rather than execution. While under anesthesia we could do experiments from which they wouldn’t recover, and then remove their organs. Now if you needed a liver or a heart, would you like to see a young healthy man or woman fried in the electric chair? No! But that Dark Age school told me I would have to drop the project I was working on or leave. So I left, and spent my last two years of residency at Pontiac.” While an associate pathologist at Pontiac General Hospital Kevorkian ran into more trouble. As part of an experiment he transfused cadaver blood directly into several patients. Kevorkian’s actions shocked the U.S. medical community, but no legal action was taken against him. ...

In a 1988 Medicine and Law article Kevorkian builds on his previous ideas of human experimentation by combining it with his theories on planned death. In his article, “The Last Fearsome Taboo: Medical Aspects of Planned Death,” Kevorkian explains how with the experimentation you move from “euthanasia” or “good death” to an area called “eutatosthanasia” or “best death.”

Planned death is the purposeful ending of human life by direct human action. The concept is broader than euthanasia or “mercy killing,” which are the ways it is usually interpreted. It includes capital punishment, both involuntary and voluntary; obligatory suicide mandated by rigid theistic or philosophical principles; quasi-optional suicide for the relief of suffering resulting from illness, disability, or old age; strictly optional suicide for reasons not known to others; justifiable infanticide or pedicide; and feticide, both intra- and extrauterine.[3]

Kevorkian even explains how animal rights advocates should totally back his ideas since experimentation now done on animals could be done on humans. “The proposed innovation should be extolled by animal rights advocates, because it would eliminate the need for animals now sacrificed unnecessarily in many aspects of academic and industrial research.”

Re:News For Nerds (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336866)

What does death have to do with "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters"?

I have some potentially alarming news for you . . .

Re:News For Nerds (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336470)

Just because you're a nerd doesn't mean you shouldn't care about the goings-on of the world. These days, nerds are involved in the core debates over where our liberties lie, be that in matters of free expression, free beer, free speech, free thought, or the freedom to die.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336500)

Umm, actually some of those things are classified under YRO. Things that are not just don't fall into the scope of "news for nerds". You wouldn't debate OP if slashdot's tagline were "News for the color blind" just because color blind people care about their freedom too, would you?

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336552)

That's what regular news sites are for, this is tech news. Does not apply. Do you know YRO stands for, Your Rights ONLINE...did Jack help people die using the internet?

Re:News For Nerds (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336660)

I smell a new patent brewing...

Re:News For Nerds (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336484)

C'mon timothy, this is pathetic. What the fuck does Dr. Jack Kevorkian dying have to do with news for nerds? I don't recall any other article here about him or even the topic of assisted suicide on this site at all.

Stick to your lane please. This is not stuff that matters.

Hasn't being a nerd ever made you suicidal? ;-)

I really shouldn't joke. Way too important a topic. Many, many facets to consider here.

Re:News For Nerds (2)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336646)

Because the title wasn't clear enough for you not to click it.

Don't like this kind of news, don't read them :).

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336652)

C'mon timothy, this is pathetic. What the fuck does Dr. Jack Kevorkian dying have to do with news for nerds? I don't recall any other article here about him or even the topic of assisted suicide on this site at all.

Stick to your lane please. This is not stuff that matters.

Well, he did have a killing device that ran linux. Does that count?

As K.V. said (3)

gratuitous_arp (1650741) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336454)

God bless you, Dr. Kevorkian

Re:As K.V. said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336490)

Ditto, R.I.P

Re:As K.V. said (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336564)

Fuck you, he was an Atheist, don't disrespect him with your bullshit.

There goes a great man, who fought against the religious bullshit machine in the most difficult place possible to do so. Once more enlightened times reach this earth, he will be remembered as he deserves.

Re:As K.V. said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336628)

Come on man its a term of phrase I'm an atheist yet I've pulled out the "god bless" after some one sneezes. Also if it's atheism then nothing you could do would disrespect him now; maybe his name, but i think that would be upheld a lot more by the fact that someone that doesn't follow his beliefs follows his ideals.

Please Read a Book... (4, Informative)

ideonexus (1257332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336714)

"God Bless You Doctor Kevorkian" is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut's book of the same title. In that book Vonnegut, an atheist, explains how at a meeting of the American Humanist Society, after Isaac Asimov's death, he started a speech there with "Isaac Asimov is in heaven now, God rest is soul." which got a huge laugh from the assembly of atheists.

So it's not an actual religious statement, but a semi-farcical one, acknowledging that we atheists do seem to be at a loss for words when it comes to comforting and consoling people over the recently departed. I try to focus on what a miracle it was that we get to experience the wonder of existence at all--statistically speaking. But I was at a complete loss for words when my friend's wife accidentally backed over their son playing in the driveway. What can an spiritual naturalist say to someone when confronted with that? Religion has it easy, they just say the child is in a better place. I don't know what we have... and until we have something, religion wins.

Kevorkian led a long life in service of a greater good. What do you propose we as empiricists, spiritual naturalists, rationalists (call us anything other than the unscientific word "atheist" that defines us in a religious context) say to honor the dead and comfort the living? I'm genuinely curious.

Re:Please Read a Book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336744)

Let his name live on in the best possible light. Also +1 informative.

Re:Please Read a Book... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336830)

+10 Informative, I didn't get the reference, I'll look into that.

I don't like the idea of defining myself as an Atheist either, as Poe would have put it: de nier ce qui est, et d'expliquer ce qui n'est pas. (to deny what it is, and explain what it's not). But it servers me better than any other term for a simple reason: It's immediately understood by anyone. "I'm an empiricist" doesn't have the same ring as "Fuck you, I'm an Atheist" when said to a jeovah's witness on a sunday morning. So, out of pragmatism I've gotten used to the term.

Re:Please Read a Book... (0)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337366)

One curiosity I have, why such a strong reaction to a suggestion that someone else has a religion? If a Christian says God bless you, they are merely wishing you well in terms of their religion. If you find that intolerable, how is your religious intolerance any better than that of religionists?

Perhaps South Park was right....

Re:Please Read a Book... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336892)

"I'm sorry for your loss, as a rationalist I can say, without a doubt, he is no longer suffering."

Re:Please Read a Book... (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336900)

Kevorkian led a long life in service of a greater good. What do you propose we as empiricists, spiritual naturalists, rationalists (call us anything other than the unscientific word "atheist" that defines us in a religious context) say to honor the dead and comfort the living? I'm genuinely curious.

IMO, if you have something on hand for that situation, your words are empty. Things like "god bless" and "he's in a better place" are just like "gesundheit" for sneezing. Things that are automatically said because you're supposed to. And since you're supposed to and not doing any thinking, they don't mean anything.

I'd have some trouble figuring out what to say in that situation as well. What I would do is trying to figure out how I can help, and that's going to depend on who I'm dealing with. I don't think there's a formula for it.

Re:Please Read a Book... (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336924)

I don't know what we have... and until we have something, religion wins.

I utterly and completely disagree. A religious person might say that it was in Gods hands or the person now is in Gods hands.

That does not take away the pain.

What we have is something all people have, regardless of religion. It is called compassion. The compassion is there for those who are left without a loved one.

What I say differs from how well I know the person, how well he knows me and the relation to the person who died as well as other things.

A good friend of mine lost his mom and I said "Well, shit happens." He later thanked me for not being one of those idiots who told him they were sorry and how they would be there for him. And I won;t repeat what he said about the religious people who told him she was with God now.

Do not misunderstand me, I do not say that to all people. I have said nothing and just gave a hug or even said "My condolences" and nothing more.

What is more important is not so much what you say, but that you mean it and that they understand they can lean on you when THEY need to.

That means that there is no one answer. Each person is different and what works for me won't work for you and the other way around. The advantage you as an atheist has is that you can say what YOU feel, not repeat what somebody else said.

That in itself will mean a LOT more to the person you talk to. And not only during sad moments, also during happy moments, like births or weddings.

Re:Please Read a Book... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336988)

Whats wrong with saying "I'm sorry for your loss" even if its unpractical to of saved their life, surely you would have some sorrow.

Re:Please Read a Book... (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336940)

What can an spiritual naturalist say to someone when confronted with that? Religion has it easy, they just say the child is in a better place. I don't know what we have... and until we have something, religion wins.

What we have is the truth. What they have is a lie.

Kevorkian led a long life in service of a greater good. What do you propose we as empiricists, spiritual naturalists, rationalists (call us anything other than the unscientific word "atheist" that defines us in a religious context) say to honor the dead and comfort the living? I'm genuinely curious.

What do you say to somebody who parked his car on a cliff, forgot to engage the emergency brake, left the car and it rolled of the cliff? You say that was a shame or that that sucks. You don't "honor" the car and yet you still want to comfort the person about his loss. I'm not saying the car is the same as somebody's life - indeed it's more of a shame, bad thing or whatever when a life is lost. What I'm saying is a loss is a loss so think of it that way.

Re:Please Read a Book... (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337096)

What can an spiritual naturalist say to someone when confronted with that?

You're making the mistake that specific words actually matter. Consolation is consolation.

And empty phrases are just that. Don't put to much stock into packaged "wisdom". If my loved one died, people yapping pointless shit to me would have little value. I know from my childhood. It's more them trying to make themselves feel better in an awkward situation than it is actually about consoling somebody.

I don't know what we have... and until we have something, religion wins.

What a load.

Re:As K.V. said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336746)

Fuck you, he was an Atheist, don't disrespect him with your bullshit.

It's militant atheists like you that make the rest of us look bad.

Protip #1; Don't be a douche bag.

Re:As K.V. said (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336848)

Amen.

Re:As K.V. said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36337386)

Unless he was armed when he said it, then he is not a *militant* atheist. Militants are people who crash planes into buildings or blow up buses full of people because of their views, not people who state their views strongly. I am *so* sick of being labelled as militant simple because I am occasionally impolite when "sharing my views".

What a noob. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336472)

Only went 0:1:130. Needs to step up this game to have a better KDR.

Re:What a noob. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336498)

Are you serious?! I'd love to have a support like that on my team!

Now the only question is "who's the carry?"

There is no right more personal (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336476)

There is no right more personal than to choose the hour of one's death. Fate robs us of it on one end and government attempts to rob us of it on the other. Fate is what it is, but government wants to control when you die because otherwise it messes up the spreadsheets.

Re:There is no right more personal (1, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336496)

Government, and religion. This is slashdot, where we blame religion for everything, but this time that is where the blame belongs. There's a lot of superstitious thought around - people who think human life is something magical and supernatural, which must be sustained by any means until the very last moment.

Re:There is no right more personal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336518)

This is slashdot, where we pull shit out of our asses to make a point.

FTFY

Re:There is no right more personal (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336534)

Government is amoral, especially ours. They do use religion as an excuse, of course, and even since the religious reich was mobilized they've been feeling their oats.

Re:There is no right more personal (2, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336558)

Objections to assisted suicide aren't only about the act, they're about the process. In other words, many people (including myself) believe that it is impossible to make assisted suicide available without compromising the protection of those who do not wish to commit suicide, but might be directly or indirectly pressured to do so. This includes internal pressure (e.g. mental illness). I do actually disagree with assisted suicide on principle, but even if I were to accept that ideally people should have a right to choose when they die, I would oppose its legalisation on the basis that the protection of the vulnerable (i.e. those who wouldn't wish to die early but by failure of the process end up doing so) trumps the desire of those who with a clear mind and without coercion do wish to die early. Can I also correct you on one point - there is a world of difference between deliberately causing death, and allowing death by not treating - the right to refuse treatment is enshrined in international and national law, so sustaining life "by any means" cannot (or at least should not) be imposed on anybody.

Re:There is no right more personal (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336676)

Exactly, there's a difference (Slight but crucial) between Assisted Suicide and a DNR Order. Personally, I think both should be taken on a case-by-case basis, Even a crippled, paralysed, motor neuron disease riddled man can still contribute immensly to the sum of human knowledge. Okay, not everyone who's permenantly paralysed is Stephen Hawking but you are still you and if you can communicate you want an Assisted Suicide you can still make a difference. Even if it's only to your family, or to one single person and make their life better. Once you're gone your memories and experience go with you and they won't help anyone then.

If you're medicated to the eyeballs and your only moments of lucidity are acompanied by unbareable pain then I understand AS in that situation, but the problem with legistlating it and legalising it means that people other than the desperate and rightfully needy might slip through, and someone who shouldn't have been assisted will have been assisted and nothing will bring that person back.

Re:There is no right more personal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336812)

In other words, many people (including myself) believe that it is impossible to make assisted suicide available without compromising the protection of those who do not wish to commit suicide, but might be directly or indirectly pressured to do so.

If it did happen, that's a shame, but just because that happens to a few people, that doesn't mean that assisted suicide should be banned outright.

but even if I were to accept that ideally people should have a right to choose when they die

Why shouldn't they?

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337014)

"If it did happen, that's a shame, but just because that happens to a few people, that doesn't mean that assisted suicide should be banned outright."

Read that statement again. That's shocking. If even one person would be killed unnecessarily by the legalisation of assisted suicide, that would be absolute reason to ban it outright. Why?

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36337316)

I would oppose its legalisation on the basis that the protection of the vulnerable (i.e. those who wouldn't wish to die early but by failure of the process end up doing so) trumps the desire of those who with a clear mind and without coercion do wish to die early.

Compared with allowing individuals private operation of motor vehicles (responsible for ~ 40,000 deaths per year in the U.S. or with the number of civilian casualties resulting from say the war in Iraq, I suspect this loss of life would be insignificant. YMMV.

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337408)

There are any number of religions that do indeed believe that life is supernatural and magical and that it continues beyond the death of the body. Only some of them believe that euthanasia is a sin, others believe it's a form of ministry helping people on to the next phase of their existence. Don't lump it all in together.

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336540)

I think its more than spreadsheets the government wont be happy till they get to choose our breakfast (then again maybe that would be for the spreadsheets so they know how much bacon to order and what countries they can easily enforce trade embargoes on).

Re:There is no right more personal (-1, Flamebait)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336546)

Oh, you mean like in the Netherlands where they've dismantled the bulk of their palliative care system and old people are afraid to go to the doctors' and carry cards saying "Please don't euthanize me" in case they have to be taken to the hospital while incapacitated? It really helps cut the cost of their socialized medicine, though!

Oh, wait, that's not what you meant at all.

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336556)

Oh, wait, that's not what you meant at all.

Don't make too many assumptions...

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336674)

Don't make too many assumptions...

Gentlemen, I believe what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Possibly my fault. A few minutes before 5am a car up the street started honking for minutes on end. There was also a fire and some small explosions. I'll go back to sleep soon.

Re:There is no right more personal (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336578)

"in the Netherlands where they've dismantled the bulk of their palliative care system" BULLSHIT Alert

"old people are afraid to go to the doctor" BULLSHIT Alert

"carry cards saying "Please don't euthanize me" BULLSHIT Alert

"their socialized medicine" BULLSHIT Alert

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336636)

YOUR FACE alert.

3. According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong)

"The Netherlands has a dual-level system. All primary and curative care (i.e. the family doctor service and hospitals and clinics) is financed from private compulsory insurance. Long term care for the elderly, the dying, the long term mentally ill etc. is covered by social insurance funded from taxation. According to the WHO, the health care system in the Netherlands was 62% government funded and 38% privately funded as of 2004."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

2. and 1. Google search for "netherlands euthanasia cards" [google.com] is a fun start. I'd point out more but it's like 6am on a Saturday and I'm only awake because of a car catching on fire and exploding a few hundred feet up the street.

I mean, if you think there are compelling reasons to permit assisted suicide anyway, please, let's have a discussion about that and how you intend to address matters like this, but stop pretending they're not real problems.

Re:There is no right more personal (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336710)

while his response was a little crude i have to agree with MRe_nl. It is not nearly as bad as you make out to be. The link to google shows only hits taken from a daily telegraph paper which quotes statements of a British researcher of a pressure group opposed to euthanasia and of course the unbiased religious groups ( I know we are the Sodom and Gomorrah). While it is true that around 6,000 people carry anti-euthanasia cards this is a minor group, such as the group which stipulated they do want to be euthanised in certain cases. Elderly people are not afraid to go to the doctor. That is just the sensation-seeking statement of Mr Fitzpatrick of pressure group Not Dead Yet, who isn't cited as having done actual research in any of the articles.

As to palliative care being dismantled, You are right. But that is not because doctors go around killing patients by the hundreds, it is because every aspect of health-care is being dismantled. Something about the retreat of the welfare state, financial crisis, growing market incentives in health-care etc...

Re:There is no right more personal (2, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336792)

I think you need recalibration.

Inquiry launched as Dutch euthanasia cases surge by 13% in ONE year [dailymail.co.uk]

Anti-euthanasia groups say, however, that the sharp increase is probably linked to the collapse of the palliative care system in the Netherlands. Euthanasia is usually carried out by administering a strong sedative to put the patient in a coma, followed by a drug to stop breathing and cause death. . . .
Many Dutch people are growing uneasy about the way in which the law has been applied.
Among them is Dr Els Borst, the former health minister and deputy prime minister who guided the law through the Dutch parliament.
Last December said she regretted that euthanasia was effectively destroying palliative care. Amsterdam, a city with a population of 1.2 million people, is now served by two tiny hospices.
The British campaign group Dignity in Dying - formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society - has acknowledged that euthanasia is open to abuse but insists that assisted suicide could still work in practice.

Continent Death - Euthanasia in Europe [nationalreview.com]

Euthanasia has also entered the pediatric wards, where eugenic infanticide has become common even though babies cannot ask to be killed. According to a 1997 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, approximately 8 percent of all Dutch infant deaths result from lethal injections. The babies deemed killable are often disabled and thus are thought not to have a "livable life." The practice has become so common that 45 percent of neonatologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to Lancet surveys had killed babies.

It gets worse: Repeated studies sponsored by the Dutch government have found that doctors kill approximately 1,000 patients each year who have not asked for euthanasia. This is not only a violation of every guideline, but an act that Dutch law considers murder. Nonvoluntary euthanasia has become so common that it even has a name: "Termination without request or consent."

Despite this carnage, Dutch doctors are very rarely prosecuted for such crimes, and the few that are brought to court are usually exonerated. Moreover, even if a doctor is found guilty, he or she is almost never punished in any meaningful way, nor does the murderer face discipline by the Dutch Medical Society. For example, in 2001, a doctor was convicted of murdering an 84-year-old patient who had not asked to be killed. Prosecutors demanded a nine-month suspended probation (!), yet even this brush — it can’t even be called a slap — on the wrist was rejected by the trial judge who refused to impose any punishment. Not to worry. The appellate court decided to get tough: It imposed a one-week suspended sentence on the doctor for murder.

Even such praising with faint damnation isn’t enough for the Dutch Medical Association. As a result of this and the handful of other non-punished murder convictions of doctors who engaged in termination without request or consent, the organization is lobbying to legalize non-voluntary euthanasia. Along these same lines — and demonstrating that the culture of death recognizes no limits — the day after the Dutch formally legalized euthanasia, the country’s minister of health advocated the provision of suicide pills to the elderly who do not qualify for killing under Dutch law.

Lest we think the Dutch experience is a fluke, let us now turn our attention to Belgium. Only one year ago the Belgians legalized Dutch-style euthanasia under "strict" guidelines. As with the Netherlands, once unfettered, the euthanasia culture quickly began to swallow Belgium whole. Moreover, the slide down the slope has occurred at a greatly accelerated pace. It took decades for the Dutch euthanasia to reach the current morass. But Belgian euthanasia went off the rails from day one: The very first reported killing — that of a man with multiple sclerosis — violated the legal guidelines (not that anything was done about it). Moreover, while 203 people were officially recognized as having been euthanized in Belgium during the first year of legal practice, most euthanasia deaths were not reported (a violation of the law). The actual toll is probably closer to 1,000.

And Belgian euthanasia advocates have already begun agitating to expand the categories of killable people. A just-completed forum attended by hundreds of Belgian doctors and euthanasia enthusiasts advocated that minors be allowed to request euthanasia, as well as people with degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, who are not imminently dying. Not only that, but the chairman of the conference wants to force doctors to participate in killing patients, even if they are morally opposed. If he gets his way, the law will soon require doctors who oppose euthanasia to refer patients who want to be killed to a colleague willing to do the deed. So much for choice....

Holland: Bending the rules? [bbc.co.uk]

Approximately 4,000 patients a year die through active euthanasia in the form of a lethal injection that kills in minutes.

Over half of Dutch doctors have performed mercy killings with the required consent and consultation and at least 90% of the population support euthanasia.

The BMJ study found that in 1995 almost two thirds of cases of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide went unreported.

One in five cases of euthanasia occurred without the patient's explicit request, and in 17% of such cases, alternative treatment was available in contravention of the guidelines.

Now They Want to Euthanize Children [weeklystandard.com]

For anyone paying attention to the continuing collapse of medical ethics in the Netherlands, this isn't at all shocking. Dutch doctors have been surreptitiously engaging in eugenic euthanasia of disabled babies for years, although it technically is illegal, since infants can't consent to be killed. Indeed, a disturbing 1997 study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, revealed how deeply pediatric euthanasia has already metastasized into Dutch neo natal medical practice: According to the report, doctors were killing approximately 8 percent of all infants who died each year in the Netherlands. That amounts to approximately 80-90 per year. Of these, one-third would have lived more than a month. At least 10-15 of these killings involved infants who did not require life-sustaining treatment to stay alive. The study found that a shocking 45 percent of neo-natologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to questionnaires had killed infants.

It took the Dutch almost 30 years for their medical practices to fall to the point that Dutch doctors are able to engage in the kind of euthanasia activities that got some German doctors hanged after Nuremberg. For those who object to this assertion by claiming that German doctors killed disabled babies during World War II without consent of parents, so too do many Dutch doctors: Approximately 21 percent of the infant euthanasia deaths occurred without request or consent of parents. Moreover, since when did parents attain the moral right to have their children killed?

Re:There is no right more personal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336816)

I haven't heard this about the Netherlands before. Please provide links/references. Is this true or is this just right-wing/religious/Republican disinformation?

Re:There is no right more personal (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336990)

Fate is what it is, but government wants to control when you die because otherwise it messes up the spreadsheets.

Government wants to prevent us from having control of our own deaths. They want us to leave that to fate (except in case of a capital crime)

(But see my earlier post)

Re:There is no right more personal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36337402)

Fate is what it is, but government wants to control when you die because otherwise it messes up the spreadsheets.

There isn't some great government conspiracy for why assisted suicide is illegal. It's illegal because, rightly or wrongly, the majority of people want it to be illegal. If you want to change that you should be trying to convince people to change their opinions on the matter instead of cursing the government for doing what its population wants it to do.

euthanasia vs the death penalty (5, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336478)

The cruel irony about this debate is that people who want to (or need to) die are sentenced to an indeterminate amount of suffering before they actually die and people convicted to death have their lives taken for a crime they should spend the rest of their natural lives contemplating in a steel and concrete cell.

The way the most despised are treated says a lot about a society, but the way a society treats it's least despised says a lot more.

Re:euthanasia vs the death penalty (2)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336582)

What's sad (but I don't think ironic) is that so many people frame this debate as a choice between suffering and death. The choice should be between suffering and not suffering. In other words, if so many people are suffering to such an extent, rather than debating assisted death, we should be finding out why the care needs of a large number of people are not being met, and make the changes to health and social care that are needed. Only when we have done everything to ensure suffering-free life, should we even begin to discuss death as an alternative.

Re:euthanasia vs the death penalty (1)

athmanb (100367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336724)

In the cases serviced by assisted suicide, "not suffering" is not an option. Even if given painkillers barely below the lethal dose, terminal stage cancer is still painful. This is a medical issue that is currently not solvable. Maybe we'll find a treatment for cancer in a few decades, but until then the only available choice is:
- suffering, then death
- death

Re:euthanasia vs the death penalty (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337006)

That's untrue, and it's this sort of misinformation that makes proper debate on this issue difficult. The role of palliative care is to prevent pain (and other distressing symptoms) even to the point of hastening death. This is already legal in the majority of Western countries (as fair as I am aware), and physicians are allowed to give painkillers up to AND INCLUDING a potentially lethal dose if the patient is suffering. This is different to assisted suicide where the aim is to cause death, rather the aim is to relieve pain etc. even if it brings the possibility of hastening death (doctrine of double effect). No one should be suffering, period.

It sure is news for nerds here (0, Offtopic)

discord5 (798235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336488)

News for nerds, stuff that matters

A slogan from a distant past I guess... Oh well.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336494)

Nerds are immune to death? No? Then fuck off you twit.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336520)

Why do you think I transferred my consciousness into a computer?

-- Watson, IBM

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336580)

Not yet, but we are working on it.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336532)

You should have seen the early slashdot articles. And the comments too...

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336568)

Have you ever thought, that just maybe, death runs Linux? :-)

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (3, Insightful)

aztrailerpunk (1971174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336618)

I appreciate the other news on slashdot. It's one of the last few places I can go to read comments that are not clearly based on a political agenda. I can read a discussion from an educated audience that is generally willing to converse intelligently and not just flame people that are the outliers on a school of thought.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336796)

I appreciate the other news on slashdot. It's one of the last few places I can go to read comments that are not clearly based on a political agenda. I can read a discussion from an educated audience that is generally willing to converse intelligently and not just flame people that are the outliers on a school of thought.

Where do you go for comments not clearly based on a political agenda?

I see many comments which are based on political agendas here on slashdot. The group mentality seems to be based on anti-government, anti-socialist, anti-corporation (although, how anti-corp and anti-gov go together is a bit of a conundrum) basis with a sprinkling of guns for all, regulation is bad, corporations are bad, free market will fix everything...

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (2)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336888)

can go to read comments that are not clearly based on a political agenda

(Emphasis mine).

I read that sentence to mean it's possible to find non-political discourse on slashdot, not that all discussions are non-political. Granted, there are still idiots who insist on dragging their own soapboxes into every single discussion regardless of relevance, but they haven't taken over yet.

Plus, if there were a group mentality you describe, there wouldn't be flame wars between rival ideologies on those very subjects you bring up. Whereas there are many such flame wars. You unwittingly draw attention to this fact by referring to the contradiction in a group mentality that dislikes both corporations and government; some posters are anti-government, some are anti-corporate and some are both or neither (not a group consensus in other words).

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336878)

I appreciate the other news on slashdot.

I can understand some of the political debate here, especially if it has an impact on technology or science, and such things as world shaking events (like the Fukushima earthquake, no pun intended) because that's actual news that has a global impact. Hell, the nuclear debate sprung up, and there are global economical repercussions that have somewhat affected our profession. So it's not like I'm arguing for a complete lack of "other" news.

It's one of the last few places I can go to read comments that are not clearly based on a political agenda

In an article about a man who assisted in suicide you're going to have three camps: people for, people against, with a hand full of people leaning towards a shade of gray in a black and white discussion. This discussion has been had over and over, and for many countries (including my own) it's one of those touchy debates that every politician gets upset about, but most people regard with "common sense". Here, the old policy for euthanasia (which is a case of assisted suicide for the most part) was with a really sick and dying person to give them a shot of morphine (or other a suitable dose of another painkiller) to "ease the pain" if the family or patient requested it and not to ask any questions. If the doctor refused, another doctor was asked. Then politics got involved and now there's forms, waivers, hospitals and/or doctors can refuse (thus ending the option to go to another doctor in the same hospital), the family can refuse the patients wish, and it can even go to court dragging out for months while the patient is probably going to die in pain before the lawyers finish writing the invoice.

The debate is in general tiresome in my opinion since it always boils down to a set of values people have, and there really is no right or wrong. You could debate that it's murder, and you'd be right technically, but is this kind of murder wrong? And so we give it another name : euthanasia, assisted suicide, giving the patient something for the pain ... I think that despite the current legislation for euthanasia in my country the situation has devolved for the worst. Due to the legal mess that the whole legislation has created doctors and patients aren't sure any more if they are allowed to perform/request the option, and at any time third parties can intervene for whatever reason they can think of. Compare this to a sick person saying his goodbyes and then asking "Relieve me from this pain, I've only got 2 weeks of prolonged suffering ahead of me at this point". Completely outlawing the practice would be dumb in my opinion since it's not in our nature to let people suffer needlessly, especially if we care about them, so the practice will be a lot more crude.

The same thing goes for the abortion debate. It's various points of view that are as different as black and white, and if it's a right or wrong point of view depends on whatever your own opinion on the matter is. There is no middle ground in these kinds of debate because they're ethical issues, and thus we get religion, politics and everything possible involved. However, all of this has no scientific or technological impact. We're not going to invent futurama-style suicide booths any time soon, nor does any side of the debate want these kinds of devices (aside from perhaps a few misguided "wouldn't it be cool" geeks). We're also not going to be doing much scientific research into the "other side", the soul or whatever your local flavour of religion calls it for obvious reasons.

I can read a discussion from an educated audience that is generally willing to converse intelligently and not just flame people that are the outliers on a school of thought.

There's an educated audience alright, but only a few of them are willing to converse intelligently. The first reply I got to my previous message was one telling me to fuck off. I'd be happy to oblige, unfortunately the author gave no good reason to do so, so I'll continue posting with an air of sarcasm until he does.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336620)

stuff that matters

Atleast the quoted part is indeed true in this case.

could be worse (1)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336640)

hey, pal... it could be a lot worse, there could be stories about WRESTLING.

Re:could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336722)

And about ghost chasing!
THE HORROR!

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336694)

Slashdot has to run a politically charged story every day or two to feed the trolls and flamers. Helps keep up the ad revenue, or something.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (2)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337210)

I read Slashdot for politics. If you don't like it, why don't you hide the politics articles in your options. Frankly, I think geeks are generally more rational than the common folk, and I value their opinions.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336742)

So slashdot readers are really loveless loser who just sit in the basement until they whither away. The reality is that my biggest fear is that the government with megalomaniacal religious wannabes forcing me to live way past my natural life, turning me into a zombie drug addict, but of course most geeks are going to keel over at fourth from a cheetos overdose.

in reality this concerns geeks because most geeks are rational and do not support making people suffer simply so that other people may extend their power and wealth. I suspect that most geeks with children would not support extended a life in which simple pleasures like reading and video games and coding are impossibilities simply because religious figures must force another to live in intolerable pain so they can continue to fleet the masses out of hard earned currency. And i suspect that most would rather have money spent supporting healthy babies rather than drug addicted seniors.

And before people say I hate religion, it is not true. I simply see no justification for the existence of charlatans that use faith of any color to enslave the minds and bodies of willing or unwilling subjects. There is nothing inherently wrong with faith, simply the people who abuse it and to lesser extent the weak looking for simple solutions.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336852)

Fully agree. One would expect this on the Hoffingpost, 4Chan, and similar sites.

Slashdot, used to have real news about technology, and related items. There are real news stories which involved computers, technology and how the Canadian Government uses the RCMP and local Law Enforcement to seize computers based on false claims from employers, who wish to fire employees after the employer has taken the ideas, and software code from them. By employers doing this, they avoid paying large sums of money to the fired employee.

There have been at least 20 of these stories submitted to Slashdot over the past 5 years, none have been posted.

For a eugenics story to be post on this site, proves just how far out Slashdot has became. Was Shocked to see NDP political ads posted on Slashdot. Upset to see this story, other far out stories and comments posted.

There is little if anything good about eugenics policies. This has been proven time and time again through out history. Plan Parent Hood in the US, is really a front for eugenics policies to rid the US of Blacks, Spanish, the stupid, and those deemed unfit for production use. If you do not believe this, look into the complete history of Plan Parent Hood, the recent stories in the news where reporters were told they could give money to ensure a black baby would be aborted, or even look at the front page of their website.

Slashdot, used to be a good site, these days the news stories posted have been posted in other places for days and weeks before. Slashdot is as far out as one can get these days.

So long and farewell to Slashdot. This is the last time for me on this site, ever.

Re:It sure is news for nerds here (2)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337374)

Ahh, the eternal "is this really news for nerds?" troll.
This is a philosophical debate in society; nerds are welcome. What you seem to want is "news for consumers".

You can take this machine away... (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336512)

...when you can pry it away from my cold, dead fingers. Except darn it, my carpal tunnel is killing me too. Aaargghgghhh

Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336524)

But now how will they prosecute Dr. Kevorkian for his own death?

Dr. K Was No Murderer (1)

makemoneyonlinenow (1860268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336590)

I am kind of sad to see the good Dr. pass. He was not "a murderer" in my opinion. The man showed compassion for those that could not live a normal and functional life and did what they wanted him to do.

He was a murderer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336600)

There, I said it.

Re:He was a murderer (2)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337234)

He was a gun maker. He never pulled the trigger.

This man was a HERO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336608)

Unlike the swine ( Obama, Bush, and all the rest of the scum who want to take
away our rights ) who claim to have our "best interests" at heart, Dr. Kevorkian really did,
and he put himself at risk to stand up for what he believed.

He was a good man.

The rest of us can perhaps try to follow his example, in standing up for that which we believe,
even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

A Half-Baked Project (1)

loox (517560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336662)

I always wondered why he could help so many people to die earlier than their time and could help nobody to die later instead. To be a paladin of rights, he just fought for half of the cause.

Re:A Half-Baked Project (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336690)

There are plenty of Doctors who do that already. How many Doctors do you know would champion euthanasia?

Re:A Half-Baked Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336818)

I know a fellow who makes a living recycling crashed cars.

I always wondered why he could help disassemble so many cars and couldn't help any of them avoid crashes and stay on the road in the first place.

What a weak effort eh?

Even if you dont agree with his message... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336772)

...he stood up for what he believe was right.

Most of you worms here have never had a major political battle in your life, probably never will have any in the future, and probably have run from any conflict.
Respect the man because he stood on principles even in the face of religious fanaticism, government corruption, and the whole medical profession turning their back on him.

2ndly, understand that medicine in the USA today is based on money. If you die too soon, they - hospitals and doctors and pharma industry and medical device industry - make less money. Assisting people to die hurts the bottom line.

We as a society will pay the ultimate price if we keep trying to keep grama alive even tho her brain is fried and she has much less consciousness than that of a carrot.

3rd - why is usa medical costs so expensive? Because we are idiots and think we can put off death indefinitely. Everybody dies. We can stave it off, but if the vessel is no longer viable, just let them go.

4th - when my dog is sick and cant walk outside to do his business, he has to be fed with a spoon, i take him to vet to put him down. Peacefully, quietly, with me by his side talking and soothing him. When a human is in same situation, we let them die a horrible death of malnutrition, starving or drowning in their own fluids.

Can anyone help me understand why we will euthanize our pets, but make ourselves suffer in the most inhumane ways?

Many people commit suicide without Dr. Jack (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337070)

I've known too many people who have committed suicide. Usually elderly (over 80), usually in great pain (terminal cancer or back injuries), usually with a gun, and usually they make a great mess of things. Most live between an hour and an hour and a half after pulling the trigger, squirming in pain with blood and brains splattered on the wall for their relatives to clean up.

The world needs Dr. Jack.

An American Original (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337084)

Only in the USA.

human rights (3, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36337282)

To me, the debate on suicide is not about suffering, but about human rights. If we do not own our own physical bodies, what do we own at all? There is nothing more unequivocally yours than you. For a state to take control of your own body away from you is capital theft, akin to slavery.

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