As the Victorian ALP government considers the options to deliver “death with dignity”, Terri Kelleher gives on overview of the choices of lethal substances on offer, and why one might be chosen over another and what the possible side effects might be.
David Prueitt was so weakened from lung cancer that he could barely lift the glass to his mouth. He took the complete dose and slept soundly for 65 hours, only to wake up and ask “What the hell happened? Why am I not dead?”.
Tamara Tabo considers the different drug protocols that have been used to end lives, and notices similarities and complications across time and settings.
Nothing in medicine — not even simple blood draws — is without complications. Lots can go wrong during an assisted suicide: vomiting up the drugs, waking up instead of dying, or taking hours even days to die. This is just one of the four myths surrounding “physician assisted dying”.
Peer reviewed research found that the estimated suicide rates for Western Australian veterinarians is 4 times the age standardised rate for suicide in the respective state adult populations. Dr Rosie Allister acknowledged the emotional toll of euthanising pets, and the possibility that euthanasia can be normalised “as a solution sometimes to intractable problems”.
Many people’s fear of pain and suffering stems from a misunderstanding of just how good palliative care can be, says Dame Ilora Finlay. Many elderly have memories of what their parents and grandparents went through in the past, not realising how much has changed.
While WA debates euthanasia yet again, why did twenty-three US States vote not to introduce assisted suicide during 2017? J J Hanson believes it is because State legislatures chose to defend human dignity against the tidal view that says assisting suicide is cheaper than providing health care. The author has terminal brain cancer.
Not long before he died of cancer in 2011, Christopher Jones wrote “the law prohibiting assisted suicide is an essential bulwark against well-meaning but unwarranted judgements about the value of life and the desirability of ending it in order to minimise or eliminate suffering.”
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet voices a concern nagging at many of us: what will legalising assisted suicide say about our commitment to lower overall rates of suicide in WA? He warns: “we must not create a two-tier society of the worst possible kind: where there are those whose lives we desperately work to preserve, and those to whom we really will be saying, “You are better off dead“.
Aaron Kheriaty writes how depression is now the most common serious medical or mental health disorder in the United States. Due to a suicide epidemic of premature deaths, the overall life expectancy in the US has begun to decline for the first time since the 1930s.