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Old 03-30-2014, 08:03 AM  
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Texas family fights for euthanasia laws after daughter's death

So I am sure it has been discussed before but what is everyone's opinion on laws like this?

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Corpus Christi, Texas (KTVT) A Texas family is fighting to make euthanasia of terminal patients legal in the state. They don't want other families to go through the pain that they have endured.

At 19-months-old, Natalie Newton was a busy, happy toddler. until September, when those busy little feet took her into the family's backyard pool near Corpus Christi. Natty, as the family likes to call her, was revived.

"It was just horrible. blind and deaf and can't move can you imagine?" Her dad said.

After more than an hour without oxygen, doctors determined that she would ultimately not survive.

"You think that dreadful thought: We can't let her live like this, and you can't believe you just thought that," said her dad.

The hospital's ethics committee agreed. The question then became: How, exactly, would natty die?

"They're saying, ok, well, the nutrition and the hydration. 'Well, isn't that starving her to death?'" The father asked them.

Her grandfather, Bradley Newton, says withholding 'nutrition' as it's nicely put was the only option that Texas law allowed.

Over eight and a half long, awful, agonizing days, Natty was starved.

"That's just the most cruel, inhumane thing. We euthanize dogs for humanity reasons, we euthanize serial killers but, a 21-month-old baby has to starve for almost 9 days?" Questions the dad.

Newton says his family has been traumatized by the process and is traveling the state sharing her story in the hope of forcing change, for Natty's sake.



http://www.ketknbc.com/news/texas-fa...aws-after-daug


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Here is a link to a CNN video on it as well. This video is a little graphic due to some of the photos they show in it. You have been warned.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/vi...ight.ktvt.html
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #61
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that law is unecessary. That law requires the patient to be free of a mental condition impairing judgement (i.e. of sound mind), and have a 15 day waiting period.

If someone is of sound mind and wants to kill themselves, than they can do that now, without a prescription. There are plenty of affective (easy and painless) ways with OTC meds, or other methods (carbon monoxide poisoning etc.).

This law would not have helped Amnorix's father or the little girl in the OP....since neither were of sound mind (as described) or capable of administring the meds themselves. Finally, the Oregon law wouldnt get some health care provider to ADMINISTER the lethal dose for them. Like I said, their is a logistics problem. What insurance is going to offer a health care provider malpractice insurance who participates in euthanasia? what hospital is going to give them hospital privelages? Those health care providers are a walking tort suit waiting to happen.

you dont need a law to give you the right to kill yourself. Its not like they are going to stick your dead corpse in prison for breaking the law.

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Old 04-01-2014, 12:12 PM   #62
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By the way, the "sound mind" requirement is another cluster****. Healtcare providers in the US practice defensive medicine (i.e. avoid lawsuits).

A patient (terminal or otherwise) who says they want to kill themselves will be considered depressed until proven otherwise. Thus they will be forced to take an anti-depressant and participate in therapy for a minimum period of time (at least 6wks) before I or any other competent doc would sign off on the idea that they are of "sound mind."

Dont see any healthcare provider putting their career in jeopardy without some documentation showing that you have ruled out depression.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
By the way, the "sound mind" requirement is another cluster****. Healtcare providers in the US practice defensive medicine (i.e. avoid lawsuits).

A patient (terminal or otherwise) who says they want to kill themselves will be considered depressed until proven otherwise. Thus they will be forced to take an anti-depressant and participate in therapy for a minimum period of time (at least 6wks) before I or any other competent doc would sign off on the idea that they are of "sound mind."

Dont see any healthcare provider putting their career in jeopardy without some documentation showing that you have ruled out depression.
Someone posted a video in this forum a long time ago, it was a doctor talking about mental health. He was saying that there is such a vast difference between physical disorders (diseases) and mental disorders that treating them in a similar manner is borderline nonscientific, if not worthless.

It's been a while and my memory is spotty but he was saying something along the lines of; diseases/disorders are fairly obvious once you understand them and know how to find them. You can perform tests and gather data for a while, then you have a diagnosis that can be relatively easy to agree upon. The physical disorder does not require someone to validate it for it to exist. For example a patient has measles or a broken bone whether a doctor agrees or not.

Mental disorders/diseases are created. They describe our interpretation of a set of behaviors. You or I may think it is never sane to want to kill yourself but a terminal patient may disagree. For that matter a single person might think I was insane for rushing into traffic to save the life of my child. A soldier can be expected, even encouraged, to be a cold blooded killing machine on the field of battle. And then that person is a hideously broken monster if they can't adjust to simply walking to the 7/11 for a Slurpee on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:48 PM   #64
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Mental disorders/diseases are created. They describe our interpretation of a set of behaviors.
your painting with a real broad brush and some of that is bullshit. Tell someone with Schizophrenia that the disorder is created. nope.

Here it is real simple: There are objective tests to diagnose for most diseases. That is not the case with most mental illness where the criteria for inclusion/exclusion can be subjective (for now).

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You or I may think it is never sane to want to kill yourself but a terminal patient may disagree.
that may be the case, but no healthcare provider would sign off that a person is of "sound mind" for the Oregon law without first ruling out depression. Ruling out depression would require a full medical workup followed by a course of ant-depressant medication. If I was the physician for that situation, I would require 6 months of anti-depressant medication with periodic medication levels via blood test (to make sure they arent cheeking)....though the minimum standard of care is 6wks.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:59 PM   #65
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what is your solution?

Something that involves euthenasia involving doctors certifying as to progressive/irreversible/terminal illness and the patient and/or loved ones (with appropriate documentation to make such decisions), even if the patient himself/herself or loved ones have to be the one to push the button or do the whatever.

In 10 minutes of serious thought I could easily come up with several policies that are light years better than "starve 'em" as an end stage resolution.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
doctors certifying as to progressive/irreversible/terminal illness
think that was already done in your father's case.

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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
and the patient and/or loved ones (with appropriate documentation to make such decisions), even if the patient himself/herself or loved ones have to be the one to push the button or do the whatever.
nothing stops you from doing this right now as it is. plastic wrap + pillow over face works. Parents in the OP could have left their daughter right back in the pool where they found her. lots of options.

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In 10 minutes of serious thought I could easily come up with several policies that are light years better than "starve 'em" as an end stage resolution.
than why not take the 10 minutes of serious thought, come up with the ideas/policies, and then write them down for us to read.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:04 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
that law is unecessary. That law requires the patient to be free of a mental condition impairing judgement (i.e. of sound mind), and have a 15 day waiting period.

If someone is of sound mind and wants to kill themselves, than they can do that now, without a prescription. There are plenty of affective (easy and painless) ways with OTC meds, or other methods (carbon monoxide poisoning etc.).
Nonetheless, the law makes perfect sense. A cancer patient with a few months to live may not be in a condition to easily end the situation for themselves. Furthermore, it's JUST ****ING STUPID to dance around it. "Oh, just let them commit suicide. They can figure out a way." is not a rationale policy for dealing with end of life issues.

Any policy that involves a "hope they find the body before it rots too bad" is a dumbass ridiculous policy.


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This law would not have helped Amnorix's father or the little girl in the OP....since neither were of sound mind (as described) or capable of administring the meds themselves. Finally, the Oregon law wouldnt get some health care provider to ADMINISTER the lethal dose for them. Like I said, their is a logistics problem. What insurance is going to offer a health care provider malpractice insurance who participates in euthanasia? what hospital is going to give them hospital privelages? Those health care providers are a walking tort suit waiting to happen.

you dont need a law to give you the right to kill yourself. Its not like they are going to stick your dead corpse in prison for breaking the law.
And yet if you fail you're going to be subject to unwanted medical treatment, and potentially have to pay for same. BRILLIANT!

Oh, and then get diagnosed for depression, no doubt. Now you get to have to meet with a psychologist or something. BRILLIANT!

Finally, you're right that the Oregon law isn't expansive enough. It should be expanded to give those with health care proxies the right to make these decisions if necessary.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:14 PM   #68
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think that was already done in your father's case.
Sure, but for no benefit to anyone. He got a label that translates to "you're ****ed" and then spends YEARS in a facility for the benefit of nobody.

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nothing stops you from doing this right now as it is. plastic wrap + pillow over face works. Parents in the OP could have left their daughter right back in the pool where they found her. lots of options.
Your idea of "policy" is completely ****ing retarded. If the law wasn't involved in preventing it, there would be perfectly rational medical ways to deal with this in a painless manner.

Who the hell is going to suffocate a loved one? Who the hell thinks a parent will see a child at the bottom of the pool and NOT pull them out as rapidly as possible. WTF.

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than why not take the 10 minutes of serious thought, come up with the ideas/policies, and then write them down for us to read.

I'll give it two minutes of thought:

1. as to physical issues where mental health is unimpaired, the Oregon approach would seem to work fairly well.

2. as to mental issues, then:

a. two doctors certify that the disease is progressive and irreversible. There must also be some kind of "yeah, this is really debilitating" caveats on this. Obviously only a subset of mental illnesses can result in this drastic action being allowed (dementia in the elderly being one near/at the top of the list). This is easily the trickiest part.

b. patient, prior to being mentally debilitated, affirmatively states wish to end life medically, and who has power/authority to make decision.

c. person with power/authority makes such decision.

d. person with power/authority must wait X days (15 under Oregon law), and reaffirm decision.

I have no doubt you'll try to pick at it, but the bottom line is that the current laws are based on judeo-christian obsession with preserving life at ALL costs, when sometimes that just doesn't make sense.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:25 PM   #69
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Nonetheless, the law makes perfect sense. A cancer patient with a few months to live may not be in a condition to easily end the situation for themselves.
once again, they are going to find a difficult time to find a healthcare provider to participate in Euthanasia. Even in your scenario where the patients suicide is assisted, there is nothing stopping someone (such as a loved one) from assisting in their suicide as it stands without a law.

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Furthermore, it's JUST ****ING STUPID to dance around it. "Oh, just let them commit suicide. They can figure out a way." is not a rationale policy for dealing with end of life issues.
I agree. People need to have conversations (and have documentation) on the care they want whether that be DNR orders or a medical power of attorney. There is nothing preventing someone from having conversations on how to commit suicide.

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Any policy that involves a "hope they find the body before it rots too bad" is a dumbass ridiculous policy.
who said anything about that? no one is stopping them from leaving a note or a voicemail.

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And yet if you fail you're going to be subject to unwanted medical treatment, and potentially have to pay for same. BRILLIANT!
DNR orders. back to what I said earlier, people have the ability to be proactive about their medical care.

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Who the hell is going to suffocate a loved one? Who the hell thinks a parent will see a child at the bottom of the pool and NOT pull them out as rapidly as possible.
the same family member who is willing to "push the button" as you say. What everything comes down to is that you are wanting a law to force someone else (such as a healthcare provider) to take someones life. That is not going to happen.

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I'll give it two minutes of thought:
your willing to post on this subject for a number of days, and write paragraphs, but give it 2 minutes of thought. heh.

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being allowed (dementia in the elderly being one near/at the top of the list). This is easily the trickiest part.

b. patient, prior to being mentally debilitated, affirmatively states wish to end life medically, and who has power/authority to make decision.

c. person with power/authority makes such decision.

d. person with power/authority must wait X days (15 under Oregon law), and reaffirm decision.
how is this any different than the Oregon Law? How is this a solution? Fine, someone "certifies" that a patient can kill themselves....now that person or a loved one still has to do it. you think this will now give them a lethal dose of medication? Patients can get this as it stands....all it takes is a rx for a sleeping medication (for difficulty sleeping of course) or benzo followed by an OD. nighty night.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:26 PM   #70
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your painting with a real broad brush and some of that is bullshit. Tell someone with Schizophrenia that the disorder is created. nope.

Here it is real simple: There are objective tests to diagnose for most diseases. That is not the case with most mental illness where the criteria for inclusion/exclusion can be subjective (for now).
Uh, yeah, I intended to paint it with a large brush, and schizophrenia fits perfectly with what I was saying. It's an interpretation of patterns of behavior.



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that may be the case, but no healthcare provider would sign off that a person is of "sound mind" for the Oregon law without first ruling out depression. Ruling out depression would require a full medical workup followed by a course of ant-depressant medication. If I was the physician for that situation, I would require 6 months of anti-depressant medication with periodic medication levels via blood test (to make sure they arent cheeking)....though the minimum standard of care is 6wks.
Sure. For someone who wasn't going to die within six months, which is one of the conditions of the Oregon law.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:36 PM   #71
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Uh, yeah, I intended to paint it with a large brush, and schizophrenia fits perfectly with what I was saying. It's an interpretation of patterns of behavior.
that is the subjective criteria for diagnosis. The current lack of an objective test doesnt mean that the disorder was "created" as you said. It has a strong familial history which strongly suggests a genetic predisposition outside of environmental variables.
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Sure. For someone who wasn't going to die within six months, which is one of the conditions of the Oregon law.
which probably would exclude the majority of patients looking into Euthanasia.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:42 PM   #72
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how is this any different than the Oregon Law? How is this a solution? Fine, someone "certifies" that a patient can kill themselves....now that person or a loved one still has to do it. you think this will now give them a lethal dose of medication? Patients can get this as it stands....all it takes is a rx for a sleeping medication (for difficulty sleeping of course) or benzo followed by an OD. nighty night.
None of your approaches offers any solution for those parents and that young child other than starving. Why are you opposed to this? Even if the loved one must be the one to "hit the button", at least you clarify that they're not going to face murder charges.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:43 PM   #73
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which probably would exclude the majority of patients looking into Euthanasia.

The six month thing needs to go away for those with mental conditions that rob them of all quality of life. Often it's simply impossible to say how long they will physically go on while having no life worth living.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:44 PM   #74
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the same family member who is willing to "push the button" as you say. What everything comes down to is that you are wanting a law to force someone else (such as a healthcare provider) to take someones life. That is not going to happen.
Agreed that no provider should be required to do it if they do not want. I'm not certain that literally NO healthcare providers would ever do it. Dr. Kevorkian was willing to risk jail, repeatedly, in order to help people end their suffering.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:50 PM   #75
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that is the subjective criteria for diagnosis. The current lack of an objective test doesnt mean that the disorder was "created" as you said. It has a strong familial history which strongly suggests a genetic predisposition outside of environmental variables.
The point was that these disorders are created to explain sets of observed behaviors. It's not my point, it's the point of the doctor I referenced in the video, but I do understand what he was saying. A broken bone is fairly obviously, objectively observed to be broken. A set of behaviors can be interpreted in more than one way. For instance someone might observe a schizophrenic and come to the conclusion that they are possessed by demons. I find that to be a bit goofy, and I find that it is more convenient to use the term "schizophrenic" to describe a pattern of behavior, but as you said it is still subjective.


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which probably would exclude the majority of patients looking into Euthanasia.
We'll see.
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