FBI Arrests Doctors for Helping Terminal Man Commit Suicide

Friday, February 27th, 2009

So can anyone come up with a good argument why any of this should be illegal in the first place?

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20 Responses to “FBI Arrests Doctors for Helping Terminal Man Commit Suicide”

  1. #1 |  Matthew Peck | 

    It’s harder (clearly not impossible) to tax people who are dead?

  2. #2 |  Cynical in CA | 

    It is illegal because the State reserves the power of life and death over all its subjects.

    You, subject of the State, must lay your intolerable pain and suffering at the feet of the State as a glorious sacrifice, for your life and death belong to the State.

    Such are things in the 21st Century.

  3. #3 |  Michael | 

    Exactly. If people could get their chronic pain treated, some would not choose death! Today, I learned of a person, on the chronic pain advocacy sight I visit, killed herself. Some things are worse than death! Untreated intractable chronic pain, may be one of them! No one deserves to die hopeless and alone!

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    Only a true sadist could argue that terminally ill person should die slowly and painfully. The unfortunate thing is that there are a lot sadists out there.

  5. #5 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “No one deserves to die hopeless and alone!”

    That’s a generous attitude, Michael, but frankly we read about just such people who do deserve to die hopeless and alone on this blog day after day after day ….

    Accountability for one’s actions means risking becoming a social pariah, else there’s no accountability.

  6. #6 |  xzz234 | 

    yeah, if only that asshole bush wasn’t still president! then things like this wouldn’t be happening! it’s all bush’s fault!

    no…..wait…..

  7. #7 |  Michael | 

    But Cynical, I am not such a cynic!

  8. #8 |  Marc | 

    With health care being taken over by the government, you question making this illegal?

    If health care was independent of government, I’d say fine, but otherwise no.

  9. #9 |  Michael | 

    You do have a point, Marc. But a personal decision and a government one are just different enough to make me favor this approach. Honestly, I think the people should just do it themselves, and, just, leave everybody else out of it.

    But, the government, by denying the pain meds to people that need them, are actually the ones forcing suicide on the chronic intractable pain patient. They eliminate any hope for relief, or a life, that patients may have had. The government types, actually, are the ones to blame, already! They just avoid looking guilty!

    The next step is to deny “experimental”, or maybe even “cost inefficient” therapy to cancer patients, under the new health care system. Then, there might even be more people in the market for prematurely ending their lives, instead of suffering with untreated cancer, misery, and pain. Pancreatic cancer patients could be the first to suffer the fate!

  10. #10 |  Zargon | 

    Damaging government property. Next question.

  11. #11 |  Nando | 

    I don’t know why it would be illegal other than the fact that the religious and moral superiors in our country think that only God (and the state) have the power to take a life. Of course, you have the power to do it, too, but make sure you succeed or you’ll be locked up so that you won’t (or can’t) try it again.

    This is so stupid, tho. Everyone should have a say in when (and how) they die. I guess maybe the state thinks that if this person had children that they would now become a burden of the state? Hell, who knows why most people do the stupid shit they do.

  12. #12 |  John Jenkins | 

    Not to get all out of order here, but the most compelling argument against assisted suicide is that ex post it is sometimes too hard to tell whether there was an assisted suicide or an outright murder. Because of the nature of the edge cases, all cases of assisted suicide are prohibited. This justification goes away if assisted suicide is punished differently than murder (e.g., is a separate crime), but it has the advantage of making sense.

    Other areas of the law deal with similar issues the same way (e.g., outright assignments of accounts are treated as security interests in accounts because it is too hard to differentiate between them for an outside observer). As a matter of policy, it may not be correct, but I don’t think it is as insidious as others seem to.

  13. #13 |  Zargon | 

    Yes, well, it’s also sometimes difficult to tell after the fact if a particular killing was self-defense or murder. Is that, or is that not, a compelling argument in favor of prohibiting self-defense? If it is not, then it cannot apply here. Just because it’s difficult to separate A from B after the fact doesn’t justify treating A and B equally.

    (Ignore for a moment that self-defense is mostly illegal, on an informal basis)

  14. #14 |  Shay | 

    So the government gets all bent out of shape if a person who is terminally ill or in unending chronic pain decides to end their own life. This is not okay? The government decides that these lives must continue?
    But when some SWAT fool kills innocent people and maims babies, that’s okay? There is no need for these lives to continue? These are lives that don’t matter?

  15. #15 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    It, as things stand, should be (and is) illegal. It’s simply too easy to cover up murder of a sick person as suicide if you simply open your hands and say “okay”.

    If there was a proper review system with oversight to ensure that people were not pressured into making the descision (with living wills written while healthy given a good deal of consideration)…then, well, it should be considered.

  16. #16 |  Z | 

    Sorry guys but if you’re arguing for assisted suicide, “final exit” is the wrong vehicle for you. The whole operation makes me queasy. Why? Well let’s take a look:

    “Bankhead said new members of the group pay a $50 fee and are vetted through an application process.” Oh please. How thorough can it be when the ‘vetter’ is on the cusp of financial gain?

    “Those seeking to end their lives are assigned to an ‘exit guide’ who instructs them to purchase two new helium tanks and a hood, known as an ‘exit bag’.” And who supplies these goodies? Do the final exit folks get a percentage of the sales? By the way, “instructs” doesn’t sound like a couple of counselors holding the hands of the ill, it sounds like cult leaders ordering minons around.

    “When ready to commit suicide, Bankhead said, the member is visited by the ‘exit guide’ and a ‘senior exit guide’ to lead them through the process.” And what does that entail? What if the subject backs out? Will pressure tactics be used?

    “The group’s vice president said it supports those with irreversible illnesses who choose to end their lives, but its volunteers don’t actively participate in the life-ending procedures.” A fine line. “actively participate” is more than “encourage” or perhaps “coerce into”.

    “The group started in 2004 and has 3,000 dues-paying members.” Oh swell.

    “‘When they choose to exit, as we call it, we just hold their hand. That’s about it,’ said Jerry Dincin, who’s also a clinical psychologist in Chicago.” What does holding their hand mean?

    “He said members are given a book, ‘The Final Exit,’ that outlines how they can end their lives. He said volunteers never encourage the members to commit suicide, but support them if that’s their choice.” Who wrote this book? What is its content? Who benefits from the distribution of this book?

    See my problem(s)?

  17. #17 |  Zargon | 

    No, no I don’t. Even if the leaders of the organization do it for the money and only for the money ($50 per person, big money baby), it’s entirely the business of the people signing up for the organization to decide what they do with their bodies.

    Got that? They own their bodies, not you. No matter how uncomfortable you get when you think about the choices some people make with regards to what to do with their own bodies, that doesn’t give you the right to pull out the guns to stop them.

  18. #18 |  Frank | 

    #8 My problem isn’t making it legal, my problem is the government making it mandatory as is the case in a few European nations.

  19. #19 |  witless chum | 

    One of the things I’m most proud of Michigan for is that it took them several go rounds before they could throw Jack Kervorkian into prison.

  20. #20 |  victimofpain | 

    As a Chronic Intractable Pain Patient, I have suffered for years in excruciating pain. The Federal Government’s intervention in PROPER pain treatment aka opioid medications and the doctors who prescribe them has causeed a national “Pain Care Crisis”!
    It is government intervention that takes away our RIGHT to live as close to pain-free as possible by throwing pain specialists who treat with adaquate medications in jail…forcing hundreds to thousands of patients to the streets for drugs or to suicide for relief! This is the main reason why there are 76 million chronic pain patients horribley suffering to the point where SUICIDE has become the only option for them…and it is really no surprise that our government, who wants to control every aspect of our lives also wants to control how we die!

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