Sunday, April 25, 2010
You Don't Know Jack - Dr. Kevorkian and My Take
If you have HBO and happened to be watching last night from 9pm to 11pm, you would have seen the HBO movie starring Al Pacino as Dr. Kevorkian. The movie is not just an account of what "Dr. Death" went through, but a social commentary on the humanity of death.
Dr. Kevorkian, as most know, was a idealist with a belief that people should not have to suffer from incurable diseases that leave patients in excruciating pain for the rest of their lives. The answer...let patients decide when they are ready to leave this Earth in a painless, humane way.
Anti-euthanasia zealots touting their religion and laws were hell-bent on stopping Dr. Kevorkian and his doctor assisted suicide practice. They were not able to stop him, as he never pulled the plug or injected anyone himself, always leaving the final step of "pulling the cord" to the patient.
Trial, after trial, Dr. Kevorkian, was pronounced not guilty of murder and other charges. That was until a patient by the name of Thomas Youk, completly immobilized, in agonizing, unrelenting pain, could not physically pull the plug himself.
Dr. Kevorkian, could have said, this may lead to a murder charge for me, and I can't help you Mr. Youk, or else my ass is in trouble. But no. Dr. K, administered a lethal injection himself at the wishes of Youk. The rest as they say is history. Kevorkian was finally convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 10-25 years in prison.
The greatest social argument for Kevorkian is that it is wrong to keep people alive against their will. Those in a coma, can have the feeding tube pulled by loved ones, but those mentally awake must live on and endure suffering.
Starving people to death, as what happened to Terri Schiavo in Florida once they removed her feeding tube, is more hanis and unconscionably cruel in my mind than administering a lethal gas or injection that lets the patient fall into a painless sleep.
Since Dr. Kevorkian stopped his practice once convicted, the debate on euthanasia has come to a standstill. No real solution has come to Americans of what to do with the terminally ill that want to end their pain.
Perhaps one day when our government, religion, and partisanship games come to understand what is humane and not, we will see change on this issue. But, the people will have to be the force to make change, as the government is against this practice will all it's might.
For now, all those in terminal pain, enjoy the rest of your horrible lives because your government thinks it's in your and society's best interest to keep you alive and in unimaginable pain.
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