Re: Euthanisa

Arjen Kamphuis (
Sun, 21 Dec 1997 14:45:24 +0100 (CET)

At 21:54 20-12-97 EST, EvMick wrote:

>You see...a friend of mine's dad is dying...of cancer.
>I've been in a similar situation...twice...Mother and Mother-in-Law. They
>both died of terminal illnesses.
// snipped a post full of pain //
>It would seem to me that what we are now doing is the "moral equivalent" to
>euthanisa as far as the dying person is concerned...yet vastly more
harmful to
>the survivors....

....... (thinking, doubting whether I should reply to this)

Last year a close friend of mine also died of cancer, after some test and
surgery he was diagnosed as 'terminal' which basically meant he still could
live 6 - 18 months but that he was beyond curing. In spite of his declining
abilities he spent a few of those months doing some of the stuff he never
had gotten around to and after half a year (when he was really in pain) he
decided enough was enhough.

Because he didn't have much family a bunch of friends (including myself)
spent a long day with him, talking, laughing, crying. In the evening a
doctor came and, after a final series of questions, injected him with a
morphine overdose. We all sat around his bed while he slowly dozed off. He
died without much pain, in the presence of the people he cared about most.
In a terrible situation this was the best (IMHO) of all possible choices.

When death was pronounced the doctor then called the Justice Ministery to
report what had taken place. By standard procedure he was be interviewed by
the DA and the case reported as a 'legal' instance of euthanasia.

I'm really sorry a 'solution' (for lack of a better word in my vocab) like
this isn't possible in the States. There's a lot of pain in your post Ev, I
wish I could offer something besides my warmest sympathies (please convey
those also to your friend and his family if you think this'll help any).

My mother (54) is suffering from Parkinsons disease and after her surgery a
few months ago, which seemed to help a lot, things have now taken a turn
for the worse. Another operation to her brain is hardly possible because it
could result in loss of vision and speech or worse. She's been fighting
this thing for 13 years now and seems really tired sometimes. It scares me
to think what will happen next year if there is no improvement. The only
small comfort is that she wil be able to make her own choice as long as she
is concious.

Warm regards,

Arjen Kamphuis | Those who are smiled upon by the gods | are often quickly called back to them.
- Ancient Viking saying