Tuesday, January 17, 2006

High court upholds Oregon assisted-suicide law


FROM TODAY'S MAILBAG, from a reader: "I'm not sure if this is an EQ topic, but it's certainly an emotional one, the supreme court ruling on physician-assisted suicide. On the msn.com website, there's a protester with a sign that says "You would do it for your dog, wouldn't you?" What's the difference between euthanizing your dog or euthanizing your wife if they were terminally ill and suffering? I've watched both my parents die slowly from cancer, and when my dog got cancer, I was heart-broken, but I thought, at least I can put Sugar out of her pain when the time comes. Signed, Reader in Paradise Cove.

Dear Reader in Paradise Cove: I'm not sure there's a question in this email, sir. It's all about EQ, however. Issues such as these, we feel deeply about, and some of us think deeply about. Some tend to think more, some to feel more. Here are some of the reactions around me today:

  • I was interested to see the federal court bow to the state court.
  • Now there will be a medical specialty for doctors who specialize in telling people how to kill themselves, and providing the means, and they'll get rich. WOnder what it will be called. Maybe a PA ... it isn't nearly as hard to kill someone as it is to keep them alive. Or something like a Midwife. Endlife?
  • Why do you need a doctor to kill yourself?
  • The Hippocratic Oath says "first do no harm." Now, are you doing harm by helping the person die, or by continuing for them to be in terrible pain for instance.
  • I think it's a slippery slope. Look at all the in compus mentis (?) law suits, like when Granny is rich and old and suddenly gets s boyfriend and disinherits her family. They could get the money that much sooner if they could get her suicided.
  • I've seen the courts made some bad calls about who is in sound mind and who isn't.
  • My grandfather, he was in a nursing home and too weak to even feed himself. I mean he couldn't lift his arms. He said he wanted to kill himself. They called in a psychiatrist who got 6 weeks of therapy billed to the government on the basis that he might kill himself. That's just plain crazy.

    I took part in Medical Ethics Seminars some years ago. One of the facts that came out was that something like 90% of the citizens in the US would not be able to say what their father would want (say like if he's paralyzed from the waist down, has Alzheimers, is in chronic pain from osteoarthritis) as opposed to what they, themselv would want. This is like when your kids are young and they buy you a present, it's something they would want for themselves, like a doll or a toy train. A little bit farther down the line they move to where they would get you something YOU like, like some perfume. Ultimately they may even notice what your favorite brand of perfume is, and get you that. (Some husbands never make it that far!)

    This is about the EQ competency of empathy.

    At any rate, the poll on msn.com is currently running
    77% think it's absolutely correct, an individual should be allowed to say, not the government.
    9% think it sounds right, the states should decide for themselves.
    3% think it's a bit much, and federal regulations should step in.
    10% think it is absolutely wrong, that law must protect human life always, at all costs.
    1% say they don't know.

    As to these results, please be sure and read this great article on how to interpret at poll and what msn thinks about this very one.

    Well, it's for sure it's a landmark decision. I have many thoughts and feelings about it myself. If it were on me to cast the deciding vote, I would have to give it a bit more thought.
    ARBONNE for your health. Get well and stay with with Arbonne nutraceuticals.
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