Sunday, March 01, 2009

Compelled Death is not Death with Dignity

The uncle of my brother-in-law was told by his physician that he had only six months to live. That was six years ago. His mother went to visit her brother, who "didn't have long to live," in Washington. While there, her husband, my brother-in-law's stepfather, suddenly lapsed into a coma and died that night in California.

My own father suffered a heart attack and was outfitted with a pacemaker. It should have lasted many years, but the little machine was doing 96% of the work. Another was implanted after less than two years. He didn't want it. He wanted to die, but the doctors wouldn't allow it. He died less than a year later from a bleeding ulcer totally unrelated to his heart condition.

The uncle died in January 2008, after having a pacemaker implanted and several subsequent very painful heart attacks. He died over a period of a week that must have seemed an eternity.

My little sister, Indigo Rose, the wife of that brother-in-law, sent me an AP news article Washington state to allow `dignity' deaths -

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Terminally ill patients with less than six months to live will soon be able to ask their doctors to prescribe them lethal medication in Washington state.

But even though the "Death with Dignity" law takes effect Thursday, people who might seek the life-ending prescriptions could find their doctors conflicted or not willing to write them.
My sister asks,

"How can a doctor be so certain of time left? But why shouldn't a terminally ill person be allowed to choose to die with dignity?"
Doctors can't know when a person's time is up any more than you or I can. Death with Dignity is just another way of saying, 'you're too old or too infirm and costing too much money and now you have to go.' And there is a vast difference between choosing to die with dignity and being compelled to die with dignity. One is respectful, the other is not.

Dr. Helen wrote in her blog last week that the Obama administration wants to pay Doctors and Hospitals less money for each time a patient returns to the hospital for the same illness.

The budget figures also represent significant shifts in how the United States will pay for medical care.

For example, experts have identified hospital readmissions -- especially for elderly patients -- as a sign of poor care and unnecessary expense. About 18 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of an original visit. The new approach would establish flat fees for the first hospitalization and 30 days of follow-up, sometimes done by separate facilities. Hospitals or clinics with high readmission rates could be paid less.
That would be mostly elderly people who often have serial 'complications'. It's another way of euthanizing the old and the infirm. Cripples, too.

Any dictionary can tell us what 'dignity' means,

1. serious, calm, and controlled behavior or manner
2. the quality of being worthy of honor
3. sense of self-importance
4. The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect
5. Inherent nobility and worth: the dignity of honest labor
6. Poise and self-respect
7. Stateliness and formality in manner and appearance.
Only our conscience can tell us what dignity is. Financially forced euthanasia is not death with dignity. It is murder. And the worst kind, murder for money.

The Obama administration is also seeking this week to rescind the 'Conscience Rule' that protected doctors and nurses who objected to performing abortions on moral principle. Obama's law will compel treatment or retirement. Physicians are being compelled by law to perform proceedures to which they have objections and will be denied payments for patients who need extra care. This is called Hope. This is called Change.

First, they kill the babies who give no immediate tithe to society. Then they kill the old and disabled because they drain the nation's wealth. People, we've seen this all before. It was called the Holocaust. We swore "Never Again." Yet, here it is again. But, this time 'they' are not the secret police in snappy uniforms or death camp doctors performing horrendous experiments on the helpless and hapless. Not yet. Right now 'they' are Liberal do-gooders who only want to help because they love us so much and know what is best for everyone. Besides, we must first pay the mortgages of those who never could afford the houses they sought to purchase.

When we are born into this nation, we are handed a promissory note that guarantees us "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Now, Liberals are saying not all of us can collect on that promissory note because the check has come back marked "Insufficient funds." I do not believe that. I do not believe that this nation is so bankrupt, either financially or morally, that some of our brethren must be compelled to choose death for the financial health of the body politik. I cannot and will not accept this.

Death, and Life, with dignity should be something we are taught throughout our lives. Accepting our ultimate and imminent end with grace, understanding, courage, and goodwill without compulsion is dignified. A death with dignity shouldn't be foisted upon anyone as their national duty to get out of the way. No financial crisis is bad enough that we must sacrifice the one for the good of the many. Except, perhaps, if we are talking about The One.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Anonymous said...

Be afraid, be very afraid. Don

Anonymous said...

50,000......Whod've thunk it?

Indigo Red said...

Certainly not me! Being that hated writing essays in school, I have writen 1,126 posts here. Geez, you never know what useless school stuff you'll use in life.