Friday, June 3, 2011

Dr. Jack Kevorkian dies at 83.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, "the central figure in the tumultuous national drama surrounding assisted suicide," died today.

"My ultimate aim is to make euthanasia a positive experience. . . . I’m trying to knock the medical profession into accepting its responsibilities, and those responsibilities include assisting their patients with death."

I also posted a Metafilter thread, which is getting a lot of comments. "Silentgoldfish" says:

I've worked in a palliative care ward. All he was trying to do was make legal the kind of things that happen already but aren't spoken of. And stop people needlessly suffering.
Another commenter, "sotonohito," says:
I watched my father, already pretty much brain dead, suffer two weeks of agony. The hospital wouldn't give him enough medication because that would cause constipation of all insane things. It went on until a nurse risked his job and told us that we had the right to order my father transferred to a hospice.

We did, and though they allowed him to die (removed ventilation), and administered sufficient painkillers, they still were prevented from simply ending his life [which] we knew he would have wanted.