Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Free Euthanasia Essays: Problems With Assisted Suicide :: Free Euthanasia Essay
Problems With Assisted Suicide Americans want to know what the report card says, in other words, what are the results of the Netherlands and Oregon experiments with assisted suicide. Let's sift through the data and relevant studies in order to arrive at a conclusion which either affirms or rejects the practice. Although the New England Journal of Medicine article (2/24/00) was the first time a major medical journal in the United States had recounted problems associated with assisted suicide in the Netherlands, there had been prior warnings: In 1995, Dr. Pieter Admiraal, who has practiced euthanasia in the Netherlands for years, warned of the risk of failure associated with assisted suicide. After explaining the preparations that must be made for an assisted suicide death, he wrote: "In spite of these measures, every doctor who decides to assist in suicide must be aware that something can go wrong, with the result being a failure of the suicide. For this reason, one should always be prepared to proceed to active euthanasia. In other words, the doctor should always have at hand thiopental and muscle relaxant" (to administer in the form of a lethal injection). (Admiraal) Ã Barbiturates are the most common substances used for assisted suicide in Oregon and in the Netherlands. Overdoses of barbiturates are known to cause distress: Extreme gasping and muscle spasms can occur. While losing consciousness, a person can vomit and then inhale the vomit. Panic, feelings of terror and assaultive behavior take place from the drug-induced confusion. Other problems can include difficulty in taking the drugs, failure of the drugs to induce unconsciousness and a number of days elapsing before death occurs. (NEJM) Dr. Katrina Hedberg, a co-author of Oregon's two official reports on assisted suicide, denies that there have been complications in assisted suicide deaths in Oregon. "Those things have not materialized," she stated. (Oregonian) But news reports from Oregon indicate otherwise: * A man experienced difficulty during his assisted suicide death and his brother-in-law had to help him die. "It doesn't go smoothly for everyone," the person who helped explained. "It would not have worked without help." [Oregonian, 1/17/99 and 3/11/99] * In another case, after a man took the drugs intended to induce death, his physical symptoms were so disturbing that his wife called 911. He was taken from his home to a hospital where he was revived.