0152_Doctor-assisted suicide (Prop. 106)_Life is precious–don’t popularize ending life_I’m voting no_from Donna Jack

Donna Jack
October 20, 2016
Resources:

2016-prop-106_physician-assisted-suicide_pp-43-45-47-56-from the Blue Book
[Eight things I try to consider when deciding how to vote.]
[The 2016 Blue Book]
[The US Constitution Bill of Rights & Later Amendments]
An article “Vote No On More Suicide”
The Denver Post Editorial Board:  No on Proposition 106_aid in dying_lacks safeguards
John Andrews comments on Proposition 106 and the other state-wide issues on the ballot
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John Andrews’ comments – No on Proposition 106: Legalize Doctor-Assisted Suicide

Ghoulish though compassionate-sounding measure would endanger elderly and disabled persons, the most vulnerable among us, while subverting the medical profession from its high calling of saving lives, not ending them.
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Denver Post Editorial Board – against Proposition 106

By The Denver Post Editorial Board

After a lot of soul-searching, we are asking voters to reject Proposition 106, a measure that would give patients the legal right to end their life, because we fear the cultural, legal and medical shift that it would create in Colorado.

Those facing their final months are in a vulnerable place, a time when an individual is susceptible to pressures both subtle and overt, susceptible to self-imposed guilt over burdening family and worries about spending hard-earned savings on care. Such patients also are susceptible to depression and its dark influences on decision-making.

The Denver Post editorial board has in the past supported proposed legislation that would have allowed doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients with six months or less to live. We came down on the side of personal liberty before the bill failed in 2015.

But we worry the present measure fails to include reporting requirements in place in an Oregon law that Colorado’s initiative draws from, and that Proposition 106 would entice insurers to drop expensive treatments for terminal patients even when medical advances might add months or years more to a life that a patient may wish to take.

Already doctors struggle to discuss end-of-life options like quitting treatment and going into hospice, or programs designed to control pain and suffering instead of trying to cure underlying illnesses. Under Proposition 106, the burden of counseling patients about suicide rests on the shoulders of the doctor who would be prescribing the fatal drug.

We don’t have unfettered faith in all doctors’ ability to handle that responsibility.

There are safeguards in place to guard against overt pressures. Two doctors must confirm the terminal diagnosis, attest to the patient’s soundness of mind and hear two verbal requests and witness one written request for the fatal drugs.

In Oregon, where an aid-in-dying law has been legal for 19 years, 1,545 people have been prescribed the drugs and 991 patients have died from ingesting them. The Oregon Health Authority is required to track basic statistics about those who die, but the agency also surveys physicians who prescribed life-ending drugs about the patients after they have ingested the drug.

The Oregon studies show that historically only 22.6 percent of those who committed suicide listed “inadequate pain control or concern about it” as a primary end-of-life concern. But almost 91 percent said losing autonomy was a concern; 88 percent said being less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable; and 83 percent said a loss of dignity. Doctors were able to select multiple end-of-life concerns per patient.

We worry that the top reasons physicians give for a patient ending a life are easily influenced by those around them and by the care they receive in their final days.

Also concerning is that there is no requirement in the proposition to report or track Colorado’s program like there is in Oregon. So what little we do know about the experience in Oregon would not be known in Colorado.

In the end, despite our desire to support an individual’s right to make this decision, we cannot support a law that would so easily open an irreversible door.

Read the article online here.
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Life in our Culture, which is greatly formed in the public schools,
is becoming meaningless. — by Donna Jack

There is an increase of suicides.  Friends of mine who are retired teachers, or working in public schools across the country, speak to me of the boredom, confusion, meaninglessness, hopelessness, perversion and depression in the schools.  Through individualized curriculum, movies, computers, books and assignments, young people are given no hope, and no reason to live.  So many don’t consider themselves of any more worth than a dog, if even that worthy.  And they are not taught to value the lives of others.

The last year that I was regularly attending school board meetings in Jefferson County Colorado, I found that the statistics for attempted suicides, rapes, murders and other violent behaviors in schools were kept secret.  I wondered why?  The people representing the school district (who were wanting increased funding) talked of great increases of crime in the schools, and the need for more money, surveillance, and law enforcement in the schools — but they refused to publicly give ANY figures or details.  They met in executive sessions with the school board members to talk about numbers.

They would tell me nothing.

Our culture

If people want to take their own lives, they can figure out how to end their lives without a doctor helping them kill themselves.  Something seems very wrong about legitimizing and making it easy to take one’s own life.  It opens the door for suicide to become commonplace — and eventually to encourage murder (causing another person to die).  How many more people in the past who did not commit suicide, would have killed themselves if it had been easy and legal (acceptable) — with the help of their family doctor — or help from friends and family?

I know of many people who thought they were going to die soon, who recovered — some were totally healed!  Other terminally ill people had years more to live — good years.  This linked article talks of such facts, and many more.

Something seems even more wrong with having a doctor, who is supposed to care for us and preserve our lives, “change his hat” so he can help end our life.

Suicide is a one-way street

Suicide makes me angry — because it is a wasteful one-way street.   Countless people have chosen to take their lives because of fear or depression.  Those are emotions that can be fleeting, or can change for many reasons.  Life may look hopeless one day (or week or month), and then change the next.

Because of my work with several life care centers, and caring for our failing parents in years past, I learned about Hospice and groups like it.  Hospice and other groups like them have a loving service to the dying.  It is such a gentle caring field that warms your heart.  They understand so much, and keep the end days good, free of pain, and even bright, because of their loving informed care.

To present suicide as a good option, cheats people out of living the days they have left -– good days that they can have with the help of people who know how to make those days better.

They are being cheated of what they still have to contribute.  Terminally ill people can have time to continue being a blessing to people around them.  I saw that time after time at the Life Care Center in my little town, where I brought music and love to the elderly, sick and dying for almost 25 years.  I also had the honor of caring for our parents in Colorado and Tennessee before they died.  There were so many blessing that I would not trade anything for.

People who are dying can be a blessing to the living right up until their death — and the living can be a blessing to them as well.

Experience I had when Living Wills were being Pushed in Colorado

Years ago In Colorado, when I was a mommie lobbyist at the capitol in Denver, I remember the push for legislation to create living wills.  Most people today only think of the sales pitches that got it passed in this state.  They don’t know what the real agenda is.

But I saw behind the scenes.  One representative who was pushing strongly for the law, told me that he had already caused the deaths of several of his patients, because he didn’t believe they had quality of life.  He supported living wills, because he believed that old and sick people were a drain on limited funds in the state.  He believed the Living Will law would be a big first step toward getting people used to the idea of choosing death over life.

At that same time, two women in the legislature told me they supported the living wills, because they personally wanted euthanasia (see definitions below).  Conditioning people to have and use living wills was important in the move toward the next steps.  These women thought that people who were not productive or who were in the way or expensive, should not be allowed to live.
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Euthanasia Definitions
http://www.euthanasia.com/definitions.html

  • Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is “intentional”. If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia)
  • Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.
  • Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent.
  • Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary.
  • Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used for this purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is called “physician assisted suicide.”
  • Euthanasia By Action: Intentionally causing a person’s death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection.
  • Euthanasia By Omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water.

What Euthanasia is NOT: There is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done. Thus, some medical actions that are often labeled “passive euthanasia” are no form of euthanasia, since the intention to take life is lacking. These acts include not commencing treatment that would not provide a benefit to the patient, withdrawing treatment that has been shown to be ineffective, too burdensome or is unwanted, and the giving of high doses of pain-killers that may endanger life, when they have been shown to be necessary. All those are part of good medical practice, endorsed by law, when they are properly carried out.”

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Notice in the definitions above, that there is a thin line between the
different categories of euthanasia!

Suicide is a one-way road, as so many of us know who have had friends or family members take their own lives.  And if someone “lovingly” takes the life of another, you can’t bring them back.  What joys many of us have had when people failed in their attempts to kill themselves — and survived to live and see life!

Here we are.  Our society has become so numb and messed up, that now people are thinking that life is not precious — maybe even that humans are equal to or lower than an animal – or lower than rocks!  This Proposition 106 puts the decision to end your life, on the same plane as medication for an infection or virus – or an optional operation.

Proposition 106 says that there are safeguards — but years ago I talked with that legislator mentioned above, who had been killing his patients – patients who showed no desire to die.  There he was standing before me.

Read in the article above (paragraphs 8-11) that points out Proposition 107 doesn’t even have the safeguards that the Oregon suicide law has.

Doctors are supposed to be in the business of preserving our health and our lives.

If Proposition 106 passes, it would not take much of a step to legalize taking the lives of people who don’t want to die – or actually making suicide mandatory.

Best not to take this step of physician-assisted-suicide.

I’m voting NO on Proposition 106

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