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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 30, 2008 9:19 AM. The previous post in this blog was 15 months for the cheating ref. The next post in this blog is A perfect fit. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hard choices

Leave it to Fox News to stir things up, but even "progressive" folk will admit that "death with dignity" can lead to some wicked ethical problems, particularly in times when health care is expensive and money is tight.

Comments (24)

Leave it to Fox News to stir things up...

As if you thought OPB would...

"It's chilling when you think about it," said Dr. William Toffler, a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. "It absolutely conveys to the patient that continued living isn't worthwhile."

Right, and we all know that private insurers just rush as fast as they can to fund some insanely expensive procedure that has a less than 5% chance of keeping someone alive for 5 years.

Yeah, the state makes the trade offs, and when you get down to the nitty gritty, it's rough, no question. But let's not pretend that's our future if we go down the path of "socialized medicine," when private companies and their armies of actuaries do the exact same thing now... if you're lucky to even have insurance.

Some people don't have the right to live because their mother kills them before they are born.

If you make it out the birth canal and survive the horrible cuisine your parents will force upon you then at least you should have the right to determine when you wish to die.

People against the right to die will conjure up all sorts of scenarios to make this last right a person can have appear horrible.

Fox will definitely be one large resource that wants government to exercise a person's lifespan instead of the person.

Fox will definitely be one large resource that wants government to exercise a person's lifespan instead of the person.

Have you ever noticed that the same people who are against physician-assisted suicide are also against giving a person the option to ease their pain through (gasp!) "illegal drugs"? My view is that if we aren't going to let you take your own life in a painless and peaceful way (and yeah, I know someone who ended his life with a physician's help in Oregon, and it was very peaceful and almost beautiful, with family gathered around), we should at least let you be blissed out of your mind on whatever high powered street drug you want.

I wonder what the actual text of that letter was. Fox usually embellishes their reporting to the point where it is similar to the truth, but better.

Some people prefer a medicalized death by employing all available treatments up to and including the bitter end. While other people view that scenario as being worse than death itself. These are difficult moral decisions that have no easy answer.
In general, the doctors' medical bag has grown so big as to make it impossible to fund every available treatment (no matter how small the chance of it doing any good for the patient) unless of course we devote every penny of every budget to "health care".
OHP policy makers made the tough choice of prioritizing and then withholding some medical services so as to offer at least some services to more people. The "Death with Dignity" law is a red herring in the discussion of affordable health care.
The medicalization of practically every aspect of human experience will eventually leave the majority of us regular folks with less and less time with a doctor--you know, the the type of doctor that could actually stitch you up, set a broken bone, and listen to you whine a bit.

The government offering someone free medication to kill themselves after coldly denying them their only last hope for life through paying for treatment is sick and wrong. The individual we are talking about here is in his 50's, and he deserves a shot at a full life. Medicine is more of an art than a science when it comes to things like estimating a 5% chance, and projecting longevity from cancer, etc. Also don't lose sight of the fact that five percent of 100,000 people who are denied treatment is 5,000 preventable deaths...more than were killed on 9/11.

Our "great society" has found the resources fund billions and billions for bombs and re-building a country that hates our guts. They are supposedly protecting our lives after 9/11, but when normal everday people need a hand, and the politicians have nothing to gain because there are no cameras pointing at them, then I suppose a regular Joe is supposed to bend over and kiss his ass goodbye. I'm not surprised by any of this, just pissed off as usual.

Hey, just doin' their FUXNews job -- today's news is that suicide is going gangbusters, hotter 'n a 2-dollar pistol:

The Suicide Solution - Barbara Ehrenreich comments on working in America, July 28, 2008
Suicide is becoming an increasingly popular response to debt. James Scurlock’s brilliant documentary, Maxed Out, features the families of two college students who killed themselves after being overwhelmed by credit card debt. “All the people we talked to had considered suicide at least once,” Scurlock told a gathering of the National Assocition of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in 2007. According to the Los Angeles Times, lawyers in the audience backed him up, “describing clients who showed up at their offices with cyanide, or threatened, ‘If you don’t help me, I’ve got a gun in my car.’”

Dry your eyes, already: Death is an effective remedy for debt, along with anything else that may be bothering you too. And try to think of it too from a lofty, corner-office, perspective: If you can’t pay your debts or afford to play your role as a consumer, and if, in addition – like an ever-rising number of Americans – you’re no longer needed at the workplace, then there’s no further point to your existence.

The alternative is to value yourself more than any amount of money and turn the guns, metaphorically speaking, in the other direction. It wasn’t God, or some abstract economic climate change, that caused the credit crisis. Actual humans – often masked as financial institutions – did that, (and you can find a convenient list of names in Nomi Prins’s article in the current issue of Mother Jones.)

Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter's reading list, By Hayes Hickman, Knoxville News Sentinel, July 28, 2008
Adkisson said he also was frustrated about not being able to obtain a job, Owen said. "He fully expected to be killed by the responding police," the police chief said.

... officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, ... and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

Adkisson targeted the church, ... "because of its liberal teachings and ... the Democrats had tied ... hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."


--
WTF? 'Liberals' (whoever they are -- "liberal" is what I tell the bartender pouring my drink), and gays worshipping in church, mosque, synagogue, is "ruining" America? But GOP-rightwing hate-soaked fear-robots trying to commit suicide with the wrong end of a shotgun under their chin, is NOT a ruined American????

Too bad those darn church-goers screwed up the suicide by joining together and tackling the desperado, instead of hitting back hate -for- hate, before the police got there. Now that whole justice 'n' law 'n' courtroom thing is triggered -- How much is THAT going to cost? Plus, he's still alive and able to name names of who put him up to it and drove him there.


--- Tinyurl.COM/5db2p2 --- Hannity & Limbaugh: It's All Fun & Games Till Some Nut Goes Postal, by Gustav Wynn, July 30, 2008

"Conservative" talk show personalities Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Ann Coulter might be reconsidering their stance on the right of the government to snoop on individual citizens' reading lists.

The question is where the responsibility ends for a talk host who conditions his listeners for "three hours a day" to resent a subset of his fellow Americans for all that he feels is wrong. Using Bernaysian psychology, Hannity and Limbaugh blame "them" for everything, while claiming to be your friend, guide, mentor, and savior, projecting limitless familial warmth as they spew hatred out of the other side of their mouth.

This is right out of Bernays' playbook, the original Propaganda, published in 1928 and a favorite of Hitler and the Nazis, preceeded by Crystallizing Public Opinion in 1923. In these books, the "father of public relations" explains how to use a simultaneous good guy/bad guy approach to sway the gullible masses.

Hannity and Limbaugh are ... instructing you who to fear and hate .... Each day, they carefully select only certain news stories ... over and over, every hour, they extend the blame ... though we (they) know nothing about these hundreds of millions of strangers ... during the unprofessionally biased and possibly illegal broadcasts of Hannity, Limbaugh and the others. [read: LIARS ]

To all Conservatives: I wish you would insist on better reasoning from your pundits. We are all fellow Americans and want the best for our kids. We need fiscal responsibility, smaller government and a return to ethics. Where do you see anything near to this in broadcast agit-prop?

All I see is fear and hate-mongering, selling ad time, getting rich and helping the defense and energy industries siphon taxpayer dough for themselves. Worst of all, they are too cowardly to take calls that want to debate their logic openly.

You know who made America great this week? 60-year old Greg McKendry who died to save others he didn't even know.

---
Yeah, y'know, when you can't get a job -- it's YOUR fault.
So do your suicide -- it's your DUTY to your President.

I know because I heard the really smart good-looking people SAY SO on radio and TV ("go to Oregon to die").


Wait, is Fresh Week over?

I don't see "LIARS" in there...

(Well, I'm sorry, if it's a deal-breaker then I shall try without it.)
----

Just saying, Oregon has a wide selection of options for the driven hordes arriving before the rightwing FUXNews firestorm of apocalyptic agit-prop to get their suicide on.

Linn jail inmate hangs himself, Albany Democrat-Herald, July 30, 2008.

ALBANY - A 56-year-old inmate died from an apparent suicide by hanging Tuesday in the Linn County Jail, according to Sheriff Tim Mueller.

Corrections deputies found Veril Henry Phelps unresponsvive in his cell ....

---

Incarcerated for vagrancy? itinerancy? bad attitude? licensed 'liberal'? supplied with fresh-laundered bed sheet? with the pointy-top creases ironed out? ...

Incarcerated for vagrancy? itinerancy? bad attitude? licensed 'liberal'? supplied with fresh-laundered bed sheet? with the pointy-top creases ironed out? ...

A 'poster post' illuminating the rationale for "Fresh Week"?

...Although I am not without sin myself...

...venial, that is...

I'm don't understand how they can offer a headline like that, without getting laughed out of business. The Lane Individual Practice Association clearly sent a letter that invites major ethical questions. But LIPA is a non-profit organization, not a state agency.

So how could this possibly be construed as a problem with Oregon policy?

The private businesses in this equation -- LIPA and FOX news -- are the ones behaving in ways that are ethically questionable. Not the government.

The private businesses in this equation -- LIPA and FOX news -- are the ones behaving in ways that are ethically questionable.

Exactly what are the "questionable" ethics FOX displays in this, Petey?

Not the government.

Oh, no. Never the government.

The subject is easy to understand. Yes we have "right to die", but this fellow didn't want to die. He has a right to live. Our state, our collective community of humans almost denied this right to live. And I had both parents who chose to die. I feel I understand both choices.

Since we have the choice to die we must have the right to live.

Cecey, sorry I didn't break it down for the pea-brained. Here it is:

The FOX headline says, "Oregon Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead of Medical Care"

But, Oregon didn't make the offer. LIPA did.

Outright falsehood in the headline, which "just happens" to support a conservative position. I call that a big ethical problem. Or is that just to be expected from "journalism" these days?

Imo, it is issues like this that give Fox more credibility than it actually deserves. It allowed full debate of the terri Schaivo (sp? how quickly we forget)case, when MSN went along with hubby who wanted to get rid of the expensive, mentally impaired ball and chain to fully invest in his life with his new fairy tale woman and kids. It is shameful, in my view,that only Fox saw this was really about the individual rights of profoundly disabled people without advance directives. Reporters indentified with the drippy husband and missed the real point.

That's MSM

Is that an indictment of Death with Dignity or the fact that he has no health care?

Outright falsehood in the headline, which "just happens" to support a conservative position. I call that a big ethical problem. Or is that just to be expected from "journalism" these days?

If it reinforces your prejudices to call it an "Outright falsehood...", knock yourself out. When you ignore the fact that LIPA is an entity with a contractual relationship with the state you simply ignore reality. If LIPA injured you in its administration of the OHP, I assume you'd hold the state harmless in the inevitable litigation.

Nah...

I didn't think so.

Peabrain,

I did the best research I know how, and found LIPA to be a not-for-profit organization. There may be a further constitutional relationship with the state, but it's not spelled out on their web site, nor does the Secretary of State's site (database entry linked above) offer much help.

So, if there is such a relationship, I'd be interested to know.

So would the readers of the FOX article, who, without being informed of that connection, are utterly mislead by the publication.

I did the best research I know how, and found LIPA to be a not-for-profit organization. There may be a further constitutional relationship with the state, but it's not spelled out on their web site, nor does the Secretary of State's site (database entry linked above) offer much help.

Whether or not LIPA is a not-for-profit organization is entirely beside the point, isn't it? I have no idea why you mention a "constitutional relationship" other than to obfuscate the matter.

The fact is that LIPA is contractually tied to the OHP and, therefore, is, de facto, a representative of the state.

I think anyone who reads the article is capable of discerning the relationships of the parties involved, even if you would like to cast them as another class of "victims".

Your feigned concern for them speaks volumes...

..about you.

Utterly.

Burton, it's tough to see your point. LIPA bid on a contract, and won. They then took an action that, if there's anything right about how our world words, stands to put them out of business.

If there's more to the story than that, I beg of you, spell it out. There could be -- for all I know, the State is in charge of reviewing the letters that get sent out.

But even that wouldn't be what the headline states.

The headline states that the State took an action it didn't take.

Which is a problem.

words = works


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