Skip to comments.Judge: Docs can prescribe meds for aid in dying (Rules self-euthanizing a fundamental right)
Posted on 01/13/2014 2:17:35 PM PST by xzins
State law provides a fundamental right to a terminally ill, competent patient to choose a physicians aid in getting prescription medications that will allow a peaceful death, a state judge ruled Monday in a seminal case.
Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash said Drs. Katherine Morris and Aroop Mangalik, both oncologists at the University of New Mexico Hospital, could not be prosecuted under the states Assisted Suicide Statute, which is defined as the act of deliberately aiding another in the taking of his own life.
The practice recognizes that the patient is dying from his or her underlying disease and allows the patient to have medication, usually sedatives, that may be taken at a time of the patients choosing to achieve a peaceful death. Patients who most often choose the option are those dying of cancer.
Nash found that the right exists under the New Mexico Constitution, which prohibits the state from depriving a person of life, liberty or property without due process.
This court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying, Nash wrote in the opinion. If decisions made the shadow of ones imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, then what decisions are?
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
Define "terminally ill"
Let the “slippery slope/fundamental and personal right” arguments begin!
A large enough dose intentionally to kill you...no.
“Define “terminally ill””
Under Obamacare its when you are no longer a contributing member of society, aka not paying taxes.
And 10 years from now “terminally ill” will be defined as: “All of us will die some day.”
Turning doctors into killers.
I agree. For some. It will depend on your class, politics, and wealth.
Since we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then we get to make end of life choices is (I think) the judge's reasoning.
That really is an open door without even the need to be terminally ill.
Technically, we're ALL terminally ill - nobody gets out alive.
...not paying taxes.”
That 47%+ of the country, isn’t it? The Weather Underground/commie/fascist/nazi/dirtbag filth will be happy:
No physician has ever been convicted of a crime for medicating a dying patient with morphine.
That said, direct killing should remain illegal, for all the slippery slope reasons.
Is it ever necessary? Is it ever licit?
Those who know don’t say, and those who say, don’t know.
“Nash found that the right exists under the New Mexico Constitution, which prohibits the state from depriving a person of life, liberty or property without due process.”
What an irrational decision. How can preventing homicide be in any way construed as depriving someone of life, liberty or property without due process?
Of course, he (RAH) was writing about a future time in which the lifespan of humans could be extended almost infinitely; the character in question (Lazarus Long) had by that time been alive well over two hundred years, and was tired of living.
I don’t care if you kill yourself, you have zero right to get others to help kill you
“These doctors”—more like LAWYERS. This is not being pushed by doctors.
And so we go from permitting it to requiring it.
So how does this work. If a patient takes two or three days worth of pain meds they will die. Following you line of thought a doctor could only give a patient a day or day and a half worth of pain meds at a time? Ya, right. You are going to make a terminally ill patient run back and forth to the pharmacy every day? Or are you counting on them to always have others there to do it for them? If they can't find others to do this then they do without their pain meds and die in agony. How about if they hoard half of their meds for 4 days? How are you going to stop that?
Sure, this works perfectly.
How about if the do-gooders get their nose out of others lives and let them make their own decisions. If they have to deal with God so be it but in the mean it is not your place to play god and make that decision.
I've always laughed about the laws against suicide. What are you really going to do with those laws? Are you going to arrest someone who successfully commits suicide?
Good for him, my father did it the hard way by refusing to eat ot drink anything until he died after 2 weeks.
His knees had gone bad and he wanted out and who in the family has any right to stop him, he was 92.
I do care if killing yourself is approved.
No one will know how it ever really went down. Good way to rid yourself of the politically incorrect.
And how do you know they wanted to die?
All you’ve got is a dead body. Maybe even a piece of paper.
But it’s the “off your enemy and have no questions asked” bill
That’s what death panels do.
So, I disapprove of death panels. Do you?
That's what I was thinking. Sort of like "life of mother" with abortion. "It will mess with my life's plans" is what that quickly became.
Anyone who cares has a right to object. Free speech is given by God. Others might not like to hear it, but objections at such a time should be voiced.
We need death penalties to approve suicides?
My girlfriend was "terminally ill." I met her on Match.com in the summer of 2010, about four months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and halfway through her course of chemotherapy after having surgery and before undergoing radiation.
Her oncologist talked in terms of "curing her" with those treatments. By New Years eve, she was done with all her treatments, had recovered her strength,if not her hair -- that came later, albeit not like her pre-cancer hair.)
The next year and a half with her was blissful beyond description. I fell hopelessly in love with her within weeks of our first meeting. I had met my true soul mate -- an internationally acclaimed classical musician, a pillar of the local classical community, with a 30-year career that saw awards in Europe, Russia and the US, and 30 performance CDs that are still available on Amazon.com.
As a trained jazz musician myself, we clicked on every possible level and I loved her beyond words. The music connection was like nothing I have ever experienced.
Then, in spring 2012, she started experiencing some symptoms that ultimately led to a diagnosis of leptomeningeal metastases -- meaning that cancer cells had shown up in her spinal fluid.
The medical literature shows that no one has survived this disease for more than a couple of years, and that there was no agreed-upon treatment.
After her diagnosis in the hospital, followed by more surgery, a course of oral chemo and radiation, she could not even walk. She moved into my place in June 2012, and slowly got stronger. It was my great privilege to be the one who got to care for her.
By August 2012 she was able to walk (with a cane) and go to her job as music department chair of a local well-known university. She even was able to drive herself there. But she was never able to play her instrument again.
She was barfing constantly from the chemo drug, and experiencing all kinds of other horrific side effects for months.
And then on Christmas Day 2012, she couldn't move her legs. A trip to the emergency room led to a week on the hospital, followed by a consensus by her oncology/neurology team that her prognosis was somewhere between "short and less short."
That led to her treatments being discontinued, and she was transferred to a hospice, where she slowly deteriorated over the next four weeks.
During those four weeks, she lost her (considerable) cognitive function, the use of one arm and both legs, her ability to tell me my name, her ability to tell me her name, her ability to recognize her own playing on her classical recordings, her appetite, her voice, and finally her consciousness.
She was doped up constantly with increased doses of morphine to end her constant pain.
She stopped breathing on January 29, at 4:43am. She took my heart with her, and now, almost a year later, I am still in deep grief over her loss.
So that's the definition of "terminally ill."
I can tell you, after watching her horrific ordeal, that if I am ever diagnosed with cancer, I will not go through that. And even if I wanted to, I couldn't afford it. My girlfriend had a super Cadillac health plan that paid out millions for her treatment. Me? Even after bankrupting my family, it still wouldn't be enough to cover the costs of what she went through.
And under those circumstances, I believe it would be my right to elect to exit this life on my own terms. Tell me I'm wrong, and I'll tell you where to send the checks to pay for my treatment to keep me alive.
Ruling says they can, not that they have to.
Doctors can perform abortions, or choose not to.
Also the distinction between the physician doing the killing (ie pushing a bolus of morphine or potassium) versus giving the patient the means to do it themselves. Latter happens regularly. Any diabetic can inject themselves with an entire vial of insulin and kill themselves. Or ingest their one month supply of pain meds with the same result. Is then the prescribing of these meds ‘assisted suicide’?
What the heck is happening in New Mexico?
I was born there, grew up there, went to college there. Moved away years ago to work (no jobs in my field). Now, I don’t want to go back, except to see the magnificent scenery of the northern part of the state...
this is a complicated issue having dealt with several people died in my immediate family and cared for them day in day outout
what really kills someone terminal slow death is it the accelerated dope doses or lack of food or water or all of the above
there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer like freepers often desire
when my time comes and it will sooner rather than later nearly 60..... just give me the good dope
make me comfortable
do not have me lying in my own feces or urine
Keep my mouth wet.....and spray me some Dr tichenors or scope for death breath.....which those know...know is distinguishable and awful
....family.....my lovely southern wife particularly
And at least one hot Ukrainian nurse for sponge baths
At home with my Rott
Its a plan I think
Much as I drive I will likely go out as a metal sandwich
I am not against a kind push into heaven for those days or hours away who are in unalleviated pain
You know what kills most cancer folks is either starvation...cancer takes the food for itself
Or the stuff kills a vital organ....less likly
In my view, she did the right thing fighting to live ‘til the end.
I’m so sorry.
Hell, just hand out a bottle of morphine and a bottle of Jack Daniels.
I never accept the taking of life, self or otherwise.
To many great reasons not to do so.
Sorry for your loss.
It absolutely opens the door, doesn’t it?
Without the knowledge that you have gone through, I already agreed with your opinion. Thanks for sharing the heartbreaking story. My heart aches for you.
The door was opened in 2008. Only those too stupid to see the truth from the beginning are shocked.
If the patient is awake, and strong enough to remove the ET tube...they are probably ready to be rid of it.
It's just a rule of thumb...and thumbs get broken.
No one knew anything at the end! Sound familiar?
In general, I agree. But I do not and can not know how I might feel if facing a terminal disease, chronic pain, or some similar situation.
Too many I have known as a pastor have fought ‘til their last breath just to have one more second with their loved ones, with life.
One this that struggle telegraphs to me is how precious is life...and that underscores how sacred.
Mr Ruger is faster than to many sleeping pills and I don’t have to involve stains on anyone else’s soul.
When your loved ones are scraping your brains off the walls, they may find they disagree with that assessment.
My father did the same, it took that tough old Coot the full fourteen days to starve I was privileged to sit and be with him that last night.
I wouldn’t do it that way, my uncle did it that way and it was wrong. Also I wouldn’t put them through the prolong suffering of the extended illness. Lastly the event and afterwards would be paid in full no lingering funeral cost.
I won't say she didn't. She was my perfect wounded angel and a much finer person than I have ever been. And I was grateful for every minute I had with her.
Still, I will admit that in her last ten days, when she was no longer conscious, I did pray to God to either take her or give her back to me because the ordeal was so emotionally exhausting and the outcome so certain, although the ultimate timing was so unpredictable (days, weeks, months?). I was at the hospice with her pretty much every day and every night all night, and was alone with her the morning she passed, as I promised her I would be so many months earlier when her metastases was first diagnosed.
But let me ask you a question: If you knew that your prognosis was very bleak, and that whatever treatment was available was both very uncertain, full of documented horrific side effects, and expensive beyond the point where you or your family could afford to pay for it, what would you do?
Conservatives are supposed to believe in self-reliance, and while they may be charitable, do not believe that people have an inherent right to demand that others pay for their lives and needs
So if someone can't afford the treatment, shouldn't that person be allowed the dignity of ending his life painlessly and on his own terms, rather than fighting for a few months or a year of life at the expense of other people who are being forced to subsidize what remains of his existence?
Even if you believe that it is against God's will to take your own life under any circumstances, isn't that between the patient and God? Why should the government be able to outlaw the decision and impose its own judgment?
I am committed to the idea of fighting until the last breath. And that doesn’t mean one can’t have meds to make the pain bearable. There is, though, a distinct difference between actively taking life and actively attempting to preserve life with the means that one has available. You don’t quit. You never give up. And if it gets to the point that your only weapons left are prayer and painkillers, then you use those.
We never let anyone forget how precious life is.