Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2010

The Joys of Euthanasia

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:20 pm

It’s so great, they’re choosing death for you — whether you like it or not:

Almost half of deaths by euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not explicitly requested their lives to be ended by a doctor, a study has suggested.

A fifth of nurses interviewed by researchers admitted that they had been involved in the euthanasia of a patient based on the “assumption” they would want to die. Nearly half of the nurses – 120 of 248 – admitted they had taken part in “terminations without request or consent”.

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002. It accounts for two per cent of all deaths annually. The law states that patient consent must be given and that doctors must carry out the procedure. But the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that the rules are routinely flouted and shows how doctors often delegate the administering of fatal drugs to nurses.

Thanks to Allahpundit.

26 Responses to “The Joys of Euthanasia”

  1. If you’re old and frail, STAY AWAY FROM BELGIUM

    This is simply appalling. Barbaric. There is no conceivable justification for this. Every person involved in these murders ought to be tried, convicted, and executed. Except, of course, that the EU has banned capital punishment. For criminals, that is. So maybe my headline should h…ave been that if you’re old and frail and in Belgium, commit a terrible crime!

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  2. By the way, the situation in the Netherlands is exactly the same.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  3. I am Dutch by heritage and many of my relatives still living in the Netherlands state that many elderly are terrified of both hospitals and Doctors for just this reason.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  4. doctors often delegate the administering of fatal drugs to nurses.

    Can you imagine choosing to become a nurse, which is truly a saintly job of humility and hard work and compassion, only to be handed some poison and told to kill patient 12 without his consent?

    To save some money…

    Life isn’t as cheap with this soft socialism as it was under Chairman Mao, but it’s running a discount.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  5. Good thing we’ll have unelected bureaucrats making life or death treatment decisions in this country under ObamaCare instead of nurses and doctors.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  6. Heh.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  7. Unsolicited euthanasia? Isn’t that just murder? Or is that considered postpartum abortion?

    great unknown (261470)

  8. Why get excited folks;it’s only post fetal tissue.

    Don L (ac788e)

  9. Just as it is very easy to spend other people’s money …. it is also alot easier to end someone else’s life you don’t know.

    No surprise here having been intimately involved in the deaths of my grandparents and father.

    Medical personnel have a tinge of Soylent Green in them given their years of dealing with these issues. They know the odds and like to play them with your money.

    HeavenSent (a9126d)

  10. In the Netherlands, at least a few years ago and I doubt it has changed, an ER doc, who admitted an emphysema patient to the hospital requiring a ventilator, would be fired. No procedural issues. He/she would just be fired. They knew that the treatment for an emphysema patient in respiratory distress was a lethal dose of morphine in the ER.

    Mike K (82f374)

  11. What’s pissing me off about my mother’s hospice right now is the “bereavement counselors”. They keep calling to see “how [we] are doing”. Even though on the form I wrote down no chaplains, no counselors and no volunteers. I’ve been nice so far, telling them that we are all fine and have each others’ support. That seems to upset them and throw them off stride. My guess is that they’re ghouls who get a kick from people’s grief and tears.

    nk (db4a41)

  12. Just go take a shower …

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  13. nk: I suggest that you tell them, next time they call, that you would appreciate it if they didn’t call again. Your wishes are pretty far out of the mainstream of what a hospice agency expects, so they probably aren’t understanding what you mean by “no counselors.” People who do hospice are not ghouls. They sincerely believe that they are helping. And, frankly, most people who go to a hospice seem to agree with that assumption.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  14. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will require government health care to move this country closer to involuntary euthanasia (although it will surely accelerate the change). It is becoming much more socially accepted to conclude that some lives are not worth living, and some people are just taking up too many resources. I have been included (at the family’s request, nk) in many discussions about treatment decisions near the end of life. In many cases the main factor is not just what-is-medically-appropriate-for-the-patient, but rather how uncomfortable and inconvenient it is for the family. “I hate to see mom in pain” becomes “let’s not bother with that surgery that might help her.” Or even “let’s just get this over with as quickly as we can.” Doctors are pushing to stop treatment much more quickly than they used to (and then when the patient is dying they make themselves scarce and leave it to the nurse) but families are also more ready to end it more quickly.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  15. What is the murder rate in Belgium?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  16. Thank you, Gesundheit. My mother died from endstage Alzheimers. She stopped being able to swallow. We were prepared for it. She was prepared for it at the onset twelve years ago. She died at home, with a caregiver, a son and a daughter in law to look after her. Hospice provided us with morphine, and a nurse twice a week.

    We are three brothers, with wives, children, cousins and in-laws. Maybe the bereavement counselors are not ghouls but they certainly do not understand our cultural and family ethos.

    nk (db4a41)

  17. My heart goes out to you, nk. And my prayers too, if those are welcome. Alzheimers is a tough road from the very beginning, but I’ve seen some families find real blessing in facing the challenge together. Those are the families that can stick together and hold each other up. Sadly, a lot of families can’t do that. Bereavement counselors are outsiders who will never really understand what’s happening in the family, but they’re a godsend for some who don’t have their own resources. I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters. When my dad died, the pastor stood around not knowing what to do because we took care of things ourselves.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  18. It is becoming much more socially accepted to conclude that some lives are not worth living, and some people are just taking up too many resources.

    Yes, and we built a very successful business model on those assumptions.

    Sincerely,
    Louis Buchalter – Ben Siegel – Meyer Lansky – Joe Adonis – Albert Anastasia

    AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711)

  19. “What’s pissing me off about my mother’s hospice right now is the “bereavement counselors”.

    Heh, and the regular social workers are a treat, too. Sooo helpful. “By the way, does ____ have a living will – ?”

    There was already a strong streak of euthanasia in the med establishment in 1990 when I was taking care of an elderly guy who was terminal. They kept trying to push things that way, always asking about Living Wills. Turns out he had one, dictated 10 years prior after a couple tumblers of brandy. Family will go along too, hinting that life would not be worth living, he’d want it this way, he’s senile and so forth. What was interesting was how accurately the nurses could guess the remaining lifespan. One CNA said, I give you 6 months..at the end a visiting nurse said, 3 days. They were right on the nose.

    the patient tends to feel a little differently when he’s at death’s door, and don’t want the bum’s rush. They wonder if their loved ones and caretakers are in a hurry. I went out of my way to make it clear to him, and later to my father, that I was not.

    cassandra in MT (5a5d33)

  20. Almost half of deaths by euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not explicitly requested their lives to be ended by a doctor,

    All of this has to be placed against the backdrop of secular liberalism — and northern Europe, in particular, is loaded with people who tilt to the left — which is increasingly valuing (and favoring) the lives of Fido the dog or Kitty the cat (or even the pet goldfish) over the lives of humans. Merely another manifestation of the ass-backwards nature of people who perceive leftist sentiment as a sign of one’s compassion, humanity and sophistication.

    Mark (411533)

  21. nk…Perhaps you should have your Para-Legal send a letter to that organization reminding them of your instructions? They then might get the message?

    AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711)

  22. I guess the West has earned a new sacking by the Vandals.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. We will not have these controversies under Shariah!

    AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711)

  24. But the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that the rules are routinely flouted and shows how doctors often delegate the administering of fatal drugs to nurses.

    So, it’s basically opt-out instead of opt-in?

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (9fe4a5)

  25. “…doctors often delegate the administering of fatal drugs to nurses.”

    They don’t want to get their hands dirty – Cowards!

    AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711)

  26. Unfortunately, I can only agree with the sentiments above.

    One “benefit of the doubt” to give the grief counselors is that they know, cognitively, that many people do live in denial, at least part of the time. People who have read the books but have not sat with people reflectively can’t easily tell between what is effective grief and coping for one person or family and what is problematic for someone else.

    The other thing to remember, I bet they have seen few, if any, families that have been each other’s support as yours. In my experience, healthy and wise functional families are a scarce national resource.

    “By the way, does ____ have a living will – ?” – Comment by cassandra in MT

    Indeed, when that seems to be the most important question to the medical staff it is not comforting. Been there, done that, didn’t like it.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)


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