January 26, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in. Today I would like to talk a little bit about a very delicate subject, and that is euthanasia. It’s legal in some states of our country; it’s not legal in California but they’d like to make it legal and there’s a big discussion going on.
Discussion is always for humanitarian reasons and it’s understandable. People are suffering and they’d like to end their suffering. But the other side of it is, could it get out of hand? Could mistakes be made? Could patients not be truly reflecting their feelings and their beliefs?
I think that’s very possible, but I think medicine, the way I was trained, that medicine was for preserving life not taking life. Sometimes I think, “Well, if we’re ever at the point where life has to be taken and it’s going to be legalized, let somebody else do it.” I just can’t comprehend doctors taking life. They’re involved in taking life too often whether, it’s involved with military torture chambers and experimentations and abortion and all these things, so I just… I’m very uncomfortable with that.
Then you say, “Well, that means you don’t care about suffering people.” No, that is not the case. I think that too many mistakes could be made. It’s a proactive event and people can be confused and, who knows, maybe the patient is confused and maybe the people who are in charge will promote it for various selfish reasons and push the death along. So there’s a lot of possibilities there.
Another one that is a problem that we face is the fact that we’re almost at the age where the government is paying for all medical care, especially for the elderly. It is a known fact that once government pays for something, prices go up and then there’s rationing. The discussion came up under Obamacare when they talked about death panels. Well, that might be a strong term, but in a way, that does happen because care will be rationed if the taxpayers are paying for the medical care and somebody’s 89 years old and needs a kidney or some surgery, they say, “Oh no, we can’t do it. We can’t afford it. He’s too old,” and the same way with taking care of people. If they’re suffering and they’re not aware of things it’s going to be economically beneficial to take that life. So there will be economic factors that influence it. I think it’s a slippery slope. I think it’s very dangerous and we shouldn’t be entertaining that.
Then the question is, what do you think should be done if somebody doesn’t want to live, they’re suffering, they have incurable cancer, and they’re having a lot of pain? The one thing that can be done, either under those circumstances or emergency situations where somebody’s been brain injured and permanently comatose, is that you could have a living will and tell people just hold off on active care. That is a big thing. Don’t put in the tubes and don’t feed people who don’t want to be fed because life ends when you don’t eat or drink, and they should be made comfortable. We’re talking about days; we’re not talking about suffering for 10 years or 10 months. If a person decides that they do not want to live and they withhold the vital services, a person just can’t live.
The other things is, “Well, they’re still going to have a lot of pain whether it’s one day or 10 days or two months before that individual dies.” You know, it’s ironic but the war on drugs has interfered with this too because doctors can lose their license if they give too much pain medication. People who have cancer need a lot more pain medication than the average person. So, if all the sudden since the government knows all the reports now of everything you prescribe, if all the sudden his name pops up and he’s prescribing a huge amount of narcotics for a patient, he can get into trouble.
I’ve known doctors who have lost their license because they used to much pain medication. The pain doctors who take care of patients like this have to be very, very cautious. So in a way this has backfired. A person who decides they don’t want to live, they don’t want any extraordinary care, they don’t want tubes, they don’t want breathing machines, but they have pain, there’s this hesitancy to just allow them to have whatever they need to be comfortable. That’s another complication.
The bill that they’re talking about in California, interestingly enough, this says somebody did abuse the law and participated in a death that was borderline. The one thing is [with this bill], if you’re in the medical profession, you get immunity so that you don’t ever get challenged. If you participated in giving these drugs and the patient dies, there’s immunity for the doctor. That means even if there was abuse, it look like the individual wouldn’t be responsible.
I think that we live in an age where we’ve lost our respect for life. I think this has happened both for the pre-born, and I think that this lack of respect for life has increased tremendously the child abuse that we see in this country and so many other things that we have seen. I think torture is loss of respect for life. I think preemptive war means we’ve lost respect for life, and we’re careless about killing a lot of people in the pretense that it’s making us safe.
I think it’s respect for life that we need. We cannot be unconcerned about the people who suffer. But I think euthanasia, active euthanasia where somebody just injects it and says, “Your life is done. You want it done, we’ll take care of it,” it’s just a little bit over the top.
I’ve seen patients who said that they just want hospice care. They don’t want to have any medication or any feeding tubes, they write it in a will and amazingly even the natural course of things doesn’t require more and more drugs for their pain. As a matter of fact, after dehydration, a few things occur. They actually have less pain on many occasions. I’m much in favor of that method.
I do not like to see the legalization of a certain group of people killing other human beings, especially when the pressure may be economic now that the government pays all the bills. It’s worth thinking about and it’s worth taking a position on because it will be a challenge to try to figure out exactly the best way to handle in an individual and ourselves when we’re at that moment when our life is going to be passed away.
Anyway, I thank you for tuning in today and come back to the channel soon.