Should persons with disabilities live? This article nails it…

June 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM (Duty to Die Movement) (, , , , , , , )

Jack Kevorkian has left the planet.   I’ll say no more, on the grounds of  “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’

Maybe the Duty to Die advocates will be quieter now.

Via Stephen Drake and “Not Dead Yet.”

‘Even though the article is from 1993, it’s even more relevant now,as the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” ideology is even more in evidence.

My favorite quote from this?

If people with disabilities know that they can rely on someone to get them out of bed in the morning, maybe more of us would find a productive reason to do so.

If we can be either conventionally “productive,” by working, or add something to our society by our talents, or by volunteering…um breaking news:  We still have to be here to do it.  With correct caregiving the productivity of persons with disabilities, working or not, would skyrocket, and at the same time the cost of the caregiving would have some offset because less medical expense would accrue, since you’re less likely to suffer from depression, and less likely to have medical issues  or accidents that cause further injury with proper care.

Not to mention the fact that nursing home care costs as much as twice what home care does.  (and yes, I’ll keep harping on this til the Tea Party, the Republicans, the Democrats,  and all the other smaller divisions in  all fifty states cop to the fact that this would save them a ****load of money without cutting benefits, and pass legislation modeled on community choice.)

Instead of having the worries and fears over being abandoned and getting sicker, over finances, over relatives that *want* us to do this… drive us to consider assisted suicide, we’d be considering our lives, and what’s up tomorrow.

As Not Dead Yet and other advocates for persons with disabilites to, ( oh, I don’t know, keep breathing?) often say:

Consideration of assisted suicide cannot be framed as  irrational for able-bodied people, but at the same time rational for persons with disabilities or our elders.

That is a falsehood with dire implications.

Permalink 2 Comments

I don’t [want to ] know Jack

April 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Regarding Jack Kevorkian, and the pending HBO movie.

If I revise my present dnr to state that sometimes withdrawal of nutrition and hydration is fine by me…(which I doubt I’ll do)…I’ll hope that good palliative care and hospice or other  will be in attendance.  Three guys will have to say “Look no thinking process at all….”

I applaud some of his facebook fans for saying they have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies.

I would take it further.

Everyone has a right to decide on this issue.  They also have a right not to be coerced into one decision or another by medical persons,  predatory or misguided ‘friends’ or family members, or by a credentialed physician with homemade tools that he has to use in a van.

Pacino as Kevorkian says he’s doing this “to make a point.*

I believe it was either Steven Drake or Diane Coleman of NDY that wondered ‘aloud’ in print, why the suicidal wishes of able people are seen as clearly irrational, causing crisis lines, law enforcement, shrinks etc to leap into action…

(Get them off the ledge!  Don’t let them jump?  They’ve overdosed! Stomach pump! ETC)

But when a person with an impairment/illness or disability expresses these things…it’s seen as rational.

The pressure, subtle and slow, perhaps motivated by a genuine desire to ease suffering…begins in earnest.

I hope, even for those on the opposite side, those who see Kevorkian as some great hero, would take care to ask the person who had asked for death due to extreme physical suffering…this simple question:

“If your physical pain could be managed for a little while or a longer time…If you woke up with the same illness but a great decrease in the pain caused by that condition…would you decline days weeks months more , and choose to die now?”

Are you saying that you want to die,  literally, or are you unconsciously saying that, when what you are really crying out for is relief from pain?

Those are the corollary questions that anyone involved in end of life decisions *have* to ask the patient or patient’s rep before I’d feel safe.  Before I’d be quite clear that this is the true wish of any individual patient.

and, either way the patient chooses…their wishes should be respected by the doctors and nurses and/or hospice folk charged with their care.

Have the discussion.  So it’s your wish that is respected…not a beneficiary, not a relation, not a friend, not someone offering their aid…to make a point.

And, last but not least.  read this

Permalink 4 Comments