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(Gainesville Sun)   Jack Kevorkian continues push for legal euthanasia, notes that it can end suffering, provide cheap source of protein for the poor   (gainesvillesun.com) divider line 116
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2592 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2008 at 3:39 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-01-16 04:12:54 PM  
Kevorkian was imprisoned for committing murder, not assisting a suicide. He had assisted in several suicides before this final one and had been brought up on and acquitted of assisting in numerous suicides but it was this final one (Thomas Youk, September 17, 1998) Kevorkian himself administered the lethal injection. Even though the suicide was voluntary the fact that Kevorkian "pulled the trigger" makes it murder.

I have no issue with assisted suicide as long as the doctor/observer doesn't act as the executioner.
 
2008-01-16 04:13:30 PM  
Pink4Flower: I think euthanasia should be completely legal. Why the hell should someone have to spend the remainder of their days SUFFERING? I'm COMPLETELY on his side.

I dunno, he seems just a little TOO enthusiastic, you know?

/'Course that's what he did time for, right?
//He may be crazy.
 
2008-01-16 04:15:16 PM  
altinos: AlgaeRancher: I have always found it ironic that in our country which is dedicated to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" people tell you what you can and cannot do with your own life.

That's because people view money as liberty, and not having money means not being free, therefore we must take money from others to get freedom.


???????????????
 
2008-01-16 04:22:07 PM  
Rae
"He sort of lost me when...he encouraged 5,000 college kids to carry around a kilo of cocaine. Oh, then he told us not to vote."

You got lost during that? Seems pretty straightforward to me. :)

Also, just wanted to use this opportunity to say that just because someone has some really stupid ideas doesn't mean that his good ideas are stupid. I know it seems obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how someone else's good ideas get dismissed or ridiculed solely because they get packaged along with the questionable ones.

I see this all the time in religious matters.
A: "I'm with (Denomination A) and I believe X is true."
B: "Careful, that's what (Denomination B) believes and we (read "YOU") don't believe that."
A: Oh, okay. My bad.
 
2008-01-16 04:22:18 PM  
I'm all for assisted suicide, though I have to agree with Ravie that treatable mental illness is something else entirely. If they aren't in the right frame of mind, it's far too simple for the person to be coerced or simply lacking in "proper" thinking to make a valid decision.

By contrast, if you're withering away from cancer or AIDS-related illness, for example, with no hope of salvation, then I won't oppose your choice. I would hope people would be equally sympathetic toward me should I ever fall into a similar situation.
 
2008-01-16 04:22:48 PM  
www.timferrante.com

One of my favorite episodes of Millennium.
 
2008-01-16 04:24:13 PM  
graphics8.nytimes.com

Shepherd pie? Or lawyer? Priest?
 
2008-01-16 04:29:31 PM  
WFern: I'm all for assisted suicide, though I have to agree with Ravie that treatable mental illness is something else entirely. If they aren't in the right frame of mind, it's far too simple for the person to be coerced or simply lacking in "proper" thinking to make a valid decision.

By contrast, if you're withering away from cancer or AIDS-related illness, for example, with no hope of salvation, then I won't oppose your choice. I would hope people would be equally sympathetic toward me should I ever fall into a similar situation.


Agreed. As a nursing friend (ICU) once said to me - "I'm not scared of dying, but I am scared of not dying."
 
2008-01-16 04:35:15 PM  

WFern


By contrast, if you're withering away from cancer or AIDS-related illness, for example, with no hope of salvation, then I won't oppose your choice.


Not to be too blunt, but you do not get to oppose anyone else's choice in this area.
 
2008-01-16 04:40:31 PM  
I don't know the exact numbers but its odd that Kevorkian chose a vast majority of women as suitable "candidates." He surely has a point about assisting people to have a comfortable death who have hopeless suffering, but his methods made him seem like a stark raving madman. Of course his artwork did nothing to quell that thought.

Link (new window)
 
2008-01-16 04:43:13 PM  
the old crow: Hmm, sounds like a modest proposal.

Bastard! Beat me to the lit-ref.
 
2008-01-16 04:50:02 PM  
It's ridiculous that euthanasia is illegal. But agreed, Kevorkian isn't the ideal spokesperson/example because let's face it; he's just a smidgen creepy.
 
2008-01-16 04:54:15 PM  
Only costs a quarter in 3000.
 
2008-01-16 04:55:48 PM  
Englebert Slaptyback: WFern

By contrast, if you're withering away from cancer or AIDS-related illness, for example, with no hope of salvation, then I won't oppose your choice.


Not to be too blunt, but you do not get to oppose anyone else's choice in this area.


Uh, actually we can oppose anything we want. Whether we can stop someone else from actually killing themselves is a different story.
 
2008-01-16 04:57:39 PM  
I don't get how it is that we're now being told that lethal injection is cruel & unusual, and yet Kevorkian puts people to sleep and it's ultra compassionate.

Not trolling or sniping. Honest. Just wanna know why the justice system hasn't adopted his death-by-drip machine.
 
2008-01-16 04:58:19 PM  
TheGreyPiper: ???????????????

Exactly.
 
2008-01-16 04:58:57 PM  
Squidgilum: Not trolling or sniping. Honest. Just wanna know why the justice system hasn't adopted his death-by-drip machine.

Because government reserves that power for itself. He's competition.

:)
 
2008-01-16 05:00:19 PM  
I always thought suicide (assisted or otherwise) should be legal, pending a 5 day waiting period, similar to buying a gun. Maybe a few visits to a shrink as well. Lots of people have random moments of stupidity which they later regret, but plenty of others have decent enough reasons to just give up. I say let them, but make sure it's not something that could be fixed with the proper medication or therapy first.
 
2008-01-16 05:05:17 PM  
I went to this speech last night. Though I'm with him 100% on his ethical arguments for euthanasia (or "pathalysis", as he would prefer it to be called)... the man is nuts. That was one hell of a rant-raving senile libertarian diatribe.
 
2008-01-16 05:06:51 PM  
James T. Smirk: I don't know the exact numbers but its odd that Kevorkian chose a vast majority of women as suitable "candidates."

If you look at the statistics, women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men who attempt it are more likely to succede. Some view that as a sign that women are more prone to do it as a "cry for help" than men are, but Kevorkian may just be of the mindset that women need it more, and are too stupid to do it themselves.

If nothing else, suicidal men wouldn't have had as many qualms about doing it themselves, rather than outsourcing. So even if Kevorkian did only kill the ones who really meant it, he still would have gotten a higher volume of women.
 
2008-01-16 05:23:18 PM  
serial_crusher: I always thought suicide (assisted or otherwise) should be legal, pending a 5 day waiting period, similar to buying a gun. Maybe a few visits to a shrink as well. Lots of people have random moments of stupidity which they later regret, but plenty of others have decent enough reasons to just give up. I say let them, but make sure it's not something that could be fixed with the proper medication or therapy first.

Ah, but then what if your life insurance company dropped you during that 5-day waiting period, even if you decided not to do it after all? After all, that would be well within their interests as a business. Would we then require legislation making that sort of business practice illegal, in which case there would be an outcry for legislation against other insurance practices?

I don't know that the choice of suicide should be offered legal protection, but I do think that it should not be considered illegal. If that makes sense.

/really, I have no idea what I'm talking about
//like 99% of Farkers out there
 
2008-01-16 05:41:27 PM  
img341.imageshack.us
 
2008-01-16 05:46:11 PM  
xaandria: Ah, but then what if your life insurance company dropped you during that 5-day waiting period, even if you decided not to do it after all?

Don't most life insurance companies refuse to pay out if you commit suicide anyhow? They wouldn't need to drop you, as you'd just be voiding the contract.

I don't know that the choice of suicide should be offered legal protection, but I do think that it should not be considered illegal. If that makes sense.

had a college professor explain why it was illegal to me, and shockingly it makes sense. They can't force you to get mental help unless you commit a crime. Thus, suicide is illegal so that people who attempt it (and fail) can be forced to get help if they need it.

Course by that logic you might as well make it illegal to talk to cats, argue on the Internet, or vote for Ron Paul.
 
2008-01-16 05:48:38 PM  
JesseL you are 100% right. taking away your own life should be a basic human right. It doesn't matter if you are crazy . There are plenty of crazies using their freedom of speech and not getting it taken away. If your life belongs to you then you have the right to end it. Period.

spleef420- kevorkian wasn't seeking people out. people sought him out. the guy who he helped die for some reason or another (I don't feel like looking it up) couldn't give himself the injection. I think it is 100% humane of a doctor to inject a patient if they can't. I would rather be allowed to put myself to sleep then have to shoot myself in th head and have my family deal with the ptsd from the mess it would cause.
 
2008-01-16 05:51:03 PM  
ace in your face: I think it is 100% humane of a doctor to inject a patient if they can't.

a doctor, yes...but at the time of Kevorkian's final assisted suicide he hadn't held a medical license for 8 years. He could not legally obtain or administer the drugs.
 
2008-01-16 06:05:07 PM  
the old crow: Hmm, sounds like a modest proposal.

www.gutenberg.org

Johnathan Swift FTW

/tender irish babes... yum
 
2008-01-16 06:15:08 PM  
Assisted suicide is appalling. Helping people kill themselves is not the course of action we should be following; instead, we should be trying to help them physically and emotionally get over their want to die, be it either by pain medication or psychiatric therapy.
 
2008-01-16 06:21:53 PM  
thestr1ker: Assisted suicide is appalling. Helping people kill themselves is not the course of action we should be following; instead, we should be trying to help them physically and emotionally get over their want to die, be it either by pain medication or psychiatric therapy.

First of all, we're are capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering. The state of the art just isn't there.

Second, who the fark are you (or anyone but the person who is contemplating suicide) to decide that suicide isn't a valid choice?

Third, people may choose suicide even if they aren't suffering at all.
 
2008-01-16 06:22:57 PM  
JesseL: First of all, we're are capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering.

Whoops, make that "we're not capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering."
 
2008-01-16 06:24:52 PM  
Szech: Y'know, I support the whole right to die, but he lost me here:

"Kevorkian proposed a new and radical system that would allow criminals "sanctuary," where they could be protected from prosecution and aggression. While in the sanctuary, criminals would be permitted to negotiate an appropriate punishment with the families and loved ones of victims, eliminating the need for jury trials."


Snitches get stitches.


That probably wouldn't work in any modern society. People wouldn't know in advance what the punishment for the crime would be. What if the family hated the person and wanted them to die? What if there were no loved ones or family members? What if people claimed to be loved ones but in fact were not?

As I believe Bennie Franklin said (paraphrasing), a little anarchy (he probably didn't use this word) is good every now and then. But this is ricockulous.
 
2008-01-16 06:29:59 PM  
JesseL: First of all, we're not capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering. The state of the art just isn't there.

If it's not here now it doesn't mean that it isn't coming just down the road. Don't you think a person would be glad they didn't commit suicide if a year or two down the road they either a) changed their mind, b) a cure was found for their ailment, or c) the person's doctor found a pain medication combination that worked?

Second, who the fark are you (or anyone but the person who is contemplating suicide) to decide that suicide isn't a valid choice?

If you consider human life even one bit sacred you wouldn't ask that question.

Third, people may choose suicide even if they aren't suffering at all.

Hence the need to treat some people with psychology. Helping someone find religion, or get back to religion, can also be a highly effective method of removing suicidal thoughts.
 
2008-01-16 06:31:48 PM  
Suicide is our way of telling God, "You can't fire me, I quit!".
 
2008-01-16 06:35:45 PM  
thestr1ker: JesseL: First of all, we're not capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering. The state of the art just isn't there.

If it's not here now it doesn't mean that it isn't coming just down the road. Don't you think a person would be glad they didn't commit suicide if a year or two down the road they either a) changed their mind, b) a cure was found for their ailment, or c) the person's doctor found a pain medication combination that worked?


This is a moot point. Are you also one of those people who asks, "How would YOU feel if your mother had aborted YOU?"
 
2008-01-16 06:38:36 PM  
thestr1ker: Assisted suicide is appalling. Helping people kill themselves is not the course of action we should be following; instead, we should be trying to help them physically and emotionally get over their want to die, be it either by pain medication or psychiatric therapy.

I'm pretty sure that all jurisdictions where euthanasia is legal have very strong criteria regarding what is a condition which justifies giving the all-clear for euthanasia. It's not something that's there to allow people to just kill themselves in a moment of depression or temporary delusion.

If I'm ever in a situation where I'm bed-ridden and terminally ill, in excruciating pain, with various tubes up my nose, down my throat, in my veins, and up my ass - and yet turning off the treatment wouldn't kill me swiftly, I don't see how it is more humane to keep me alive than to end my suffering in as painless a way as possible.

The stupidest thing of all is how people justify putting irreversibly injured or sick animals to sleep because it is the "humane" thing to do, while at the same time having no qualms with prolonging the suffering of humans who are in a tragic and irrevirsible terminal situation such as the above.

If veterinarians did to animals what hospitals do to humans, they would be charged with extreme animal cruelty and have their licenses revoked - and probably even face jail.

Schopenhauer was right. The biggest mistake the Judeo-Christian tradition ever made regarding human life, was putting it in a separate category to other animals. Somehow, we are the only species which doesn't deserve to have our suffering ended "humanely", because only God is allowed to take our lives.
 
2008-01-16 06:39:57 PM  
Gyrfalcon:
The danger that the courts are afraid of is that people will begin killing ill or elderly relatives willy-nilly and then claiming it was a mercy killing or that they were "suffering" and right now there is no legal standing for such an action.


Now we only need someone to invent some sort of recording device, that has the capability of recording both audio and video. We also need to evolve a new species of animals, called humans, to act as competent witnesses and, maybe also create a profession that has the capability and the knowledge of setting up such a procedure, and another profession that can evaluate the mental health of the patient.

So many steps needed, so many novel things needed. You are right, it can't be done.
 
2008-01-16 06:42:33 PM  
How about deep freezing people who want to die? Set a 100 year time limit to prevent overcrowding. If within 100 years a cure for your pain is found, and a method of unfreezing is known, you get defrosted. Else we eat your body after 100 years is up.
 
2008-01-16 06:46:17 PM  
www.donostiakultura.com
/disagrees
 
2008-01-16 06:47:11 PM  
thestr1ker:
If you consider human life even one bit sacred you wouldn't ask that question.


This is just it. Human life is not sacred.

If it were, people wouldn't be making decisions every single day which increase the risk that their lives would be ended. Nobody would drive, nobody would fly in an airliner, nobody would even cross the street.

All living things are born, and all living things die. This is a fact of life which is based faced in the simplest terms possible. Putting human life on some special pedestal, and pretending that it is "sacred" and special in some fundamentally different way to others, only makes for stupid things like forcing the desperately terminally ill to suffer.

While humans might have the highest level of consciousness and sentience of all living things, we are not fundamentally "sacred" living things, in terms of the physical reality of how we are born and how we die.
 
2008-01-16 06:55:50 PM  
thestr1ker
JesseL: First of all, we're not capable of helping all cases of physical or mental suffering. The state of the art just isn't there.

If it's not here now it doesn't mean that it isn't coming just down the road. Don't you think a person would be glad they didn't commit suicide if a year or two down the road they either a) changed their mind, b) a cure was found for their ailment, or c) the person's doctor found a pain medication combination that worked?

Sure. But what if they don't change their mind. What if they don't develop a cure. What if they don't find a pain medication. Then they're miserable and they have to keep living. How compassionate.


Second, who the fark are you (or anyone but the person who is contemplating suicide) to decide that suicide isn't a valid choice?

If you consider human life even one bit sacred you wouldn't ask that question.

Human life is not sacred. Life belongs to the liver. If I want to kill myself, you CAN NOT stop me. It's none of your business. Just STFU. It's not your decision.


Third, people may choose suicide even if they aren't suffering at all.

Hence the need to treat some people with psychology. Helping someone find religion, or get back to religion, can also be a highly effective method of removing suicidal thoughts.


So this is what it's about. Your religion says that suicide is bad, so you think nobody should have that option. DIAF, asshat.

What if they don't WANT religion? Anyway, some people are simply incapable of being religious. I couldn't believe in god even if I wanted to. It's just so irrational, I just can't. It's like suddenly deciding not to believe in gravity. Doublethink.
 
2008-01-16 06:57:12 PM  
Having worked at a nursing home I can tell you that there are much worse things than death!

The worst example I can think of was a man that told us every day "just let me die" his sister had medical power of attorney after his accident so he was judged incompetent to make these decisions so she did. When he could not (or would not?) eat any longer she had him sent to get a feeder tube put in. He was in pain and sick everyday of the final months of his life begging for death and being denied. She even refused to sign the DNR (Do Not Resesitate) order he wanted. so when he finally did pass away he got a buch of ribs broken during CPR and got to live in even more pain for a few more days.

If you have not done so yet make out a living will that instructs your relatives or freinds you wishes in such a situation. So many times I see people suffering because of the families refusal to let go.
 
2008-01-16 06:59:20 PM  
spleef420: Suicide is our way of telling God, "You can't fire me, I quit!".

Win.
 
2008-01-16 07:03:10 PM  
Freecell
Human life is not sacred. Life belongs to the liver.
studentweb.tulane.edu
/with fava beans
//and a nice chianti
//Pthpthpthpthpthpthp
 
2008-01-16 07:04:04 PM  
AlgaeRancher: I believe the musician Janice Joplin said it best

"freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"


Not to nitpick, but she was singing a cover of a song written (and in my opinion performed better) by Kris Kristofferson. Let's give credit where credit is due.

/Janice gets credit for not needed assistance
 
2008-01-16 07:30:19 PM  
i139.photobucket.com

/Approves
 
2008-01-16 08:01:24 PM  
Hey, I'm all for it! Man, suicide is farking hard.

Say you're broke and squatting in a college dorm, in a building that is not tall, with pretty much nothing in it beyond a bed and a bookshelf. (Well, the bookshelf - theoretically, I could have tried dropping my hardbound copy of The Brothers Karamazov on my head, but I didn't think of that at the time.) So: no way to get on top of a tall building, no way to get a gun, nothing in the bathroom but shampoo and other non-toxic toiletries, no oven, no rope, no desire to endanger others by running into traffic. I have a hilarious story about the night I tried to kill myself, except I just couldn't farking figure out how. It just went on and on and on. I even tried to drag the bed post on top of my throat.

Listen, if you want to know ultimate humiliation, go up to the top of a building that isn't quite tall enough. You will notice this, and before throwing yourself off the top, stop to consider the height. Since what you want is death and not grievous injury, you decide to test your chances by throwing your cell phone down to the pavement first. The cell phone, of course, doesn't have the courtesy to shatter. Instead it skitters merrily across the concrete to settle in a clump of grass, leaving you with no choice but to slink downstairs with your tail between your legs to collect it and go home.

I still think every day of killing myself, but learned helplessness has made me too apathetic to try. (Plus, I hate getting put in mental institutions every time I fail.) Ah, well. With any luck I'll catch HIV or something sometime.

/I'd get help, but I can't afford it: too bad!
 
2008-01-16 08:21:37 PM  
The reason the Church was against suicide had nothing to do with "sanctity of life" but rather, control. They had no problem with killing- or having the local government killing for them- persons they considered heretics, heathens, or simply inconvenient. But suicide represented a threat to their cradle-to-grave control of someone's life- it was the final act of protest (remember Masada?)- a means of saying, no, you will not make my final moments an act of painful humiliation and an object lesson for your "cause" by burning me publicly at the stake, or hanging me slowly.
The Church could not deal with this so they made suicide the ultimate sin, beyond all redemption.
 
2008-01-16 08:58:51 PM  
> Kevorkian's speech was light on details about the days he spent administering death to some 130 people

That would place him pretty high up on the list (new window)of famous serial killers.
 
2008-01-16 09:11:28 PM  
Not to nitpick, but shouldn't that be, "provide cheap source of protein from the poor", subby?
 
2008-01-16 09:15:54 PM  
Erofeev: I still think every day of killing myself, but learned helplessness has made me too apathetic to try. (Plus, I hate getting put in mental institutions every time I fail.) Ah, well. With any luck I'll catch HIV or something sometime.

Life may be better once you decide to leave the pity party. You want to cure your suicidal thoughts? Volunteer for a charity and do some work for people worse off than yourself. If you are healthy, and you don't care about your own life, make yourself useful. Instead of wasting your life moaning about how rough you have it (you went to college for a while at least, and obviously have access to a computer/digital camera) why not try something else? Hell, go volunteer to help people who actually have HIV or AIDS, or people who are too poor to go to college or waste time on Fark. You may change your mind. I know you're in love with the idea of being this tragic figure, but maybe that's just a convenient excuse. Of course, killing yourself or feeling sorry for yourself is a lot easier than trying to help other people.

I always wondered why people would kill themselves if they are otherwise healthy. I mean, why not just leave everything and wander the world? You may die along the way, but surely it's better than just giving up?
 
2008-01-16 09:21:47 PM  
roadkillontheweb: Having worked at a nursing home I can tell you that there are much worse things than death!

The worst example I can think of was a man that told us every day "just let me die" his sister had medical power of attorney after his accident so he was judged incompetent to make these decisions so she did. When he could not (or would not?) eat any longer she had him sent to get a feeder tube put in. He was in pain and sick everyday of the final months of his life begging for death and being denied. She even refused to sign the DNR (Do Not Resesitate) order he wanted. so when he finally did pass away he got a buch of ribs broken during CPR and got to live in even more pain for a few more days.

If you have not done so yet make out a living will that instructs your relatives or freinds you wishes in such a situation. So many times I see people suffering because of the families refusal to let go.


Man. I realize it's not exactly pragmatic, but I'd be hoping that someone, a nurse or anyone, would have the nerve to simply do it for me, legal or not.

On this very topic, I'd recommend The Sea Inside for anyone interested in the subject. Based on an actual story, and starring Javier Bardem to boot. The man was quadriplegic, unable to physically end his life and fought for 28 years to accomplish that.
 
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