At the 2015 Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Dr Helen Joyce, The Economist’s international editor, asks why assisted suicide is supported by so many, yet legal for so few.
Tag Archives | Assisted Suicide
John B. Kelly writes at CounterPunch:
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The story about Brittany Maynard, who on Sunday died under Oregon’s assisted suicide program, dominated American news for the last month. As former New England Journal of Medicine editor and leading assisted suicide advocate Marcia Angell wrote October 31 in the Washington Post, “Maynard, the 29-year-old with incurable brain cancer, is the new face of the movement to give dying patients the choice to end their lives faster and more humanely. Her youth and attractiveness have helped make her a national media story.”
Indeed. The celebrity rag People put Maynard on its cover,and CNN, NPR, PBS, the New Yorker, and a host of others gave her and her backers a forum to promote their cause. Maynard especially targeted her home state of California. Assisted suicide, typically sanitized by supporters as “Aid in Dying” and “Death with Dignity,” is also legal in Washington state and Vermont.
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She was a truly beautiful woman: Slender, button-nosed, with a wide and vivacious smile and dancing, sea-green eyes.
That’s the image we’ll remember of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who became the face of the “Death With Dignity” movement last month after writing an op-ed for CNN detailing her choice to end her life after being diagnosed with a Stage 4 glioblastoma tumor—a malignant blob with a corona of invasive tentacles digging ever deeper into the healthy parts of her brain. On Saturday, Nov. 1, Maynard followed through with the decision she’d made, leaving behind a grieving husband, her loving family and friends and a slew of headlines and broadcast segments that brought voluntary euthanasia to the forefront of the news for the first time since the 1990s.
The pictures running alongside the features are the ones of Maynard in her prime, not as Maynard was just before her death, her face and body swollen by water retention due to the impact of steroids, her features drawn, her eyes heavy-lidded and her hair dull.
The Infinite and the Beyond — Episode #22 — Life and Living
of The Infinite and the Beyond, we talk about late Llewellyn author Scott Cunningham in A Corner in the Occult. Many Pagans and or Wiccans often find Scott’s books on their journey as Pagans. Many find his books on magick and religion uplifting and at times pertinent to their growing views on life and existence. We also look into the idea of human flourishing and happiness and how to create it in one’s life. Are you happy? Are you flourishing? How would you define and list your values and virtues? Would you say that they are serving you and your life beneficially? Learn about virtue and Eudaimonia and how your life lives up to the teachings of Aristotle and other philosophers. See how some of the new virtue systems found in modern Paganism stand in comparison to a tried and true system which comes from Plato as we find an elementary way to update it for modern use. Later in the show, I read listener email and we look at the history of the five elements in The Essence of Magick. Find out where the five elements of western occultism come from and how they came to be used in ritual magick. And to close we discuss suicide, assisted suicide and how they exist in relation to Paganism. Have you ever had someone in your life kill themselves? Have you ever known someone who died of a terminal, debilitating, and/or painful illness? How do the issues associated with suicide and assisted suicide relate to Paganism?
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Dr. Kevorkian challenged social taboos about disease and dying, willfully defying prosecutors and the courts as he actively sought national celebrity. His critics and supporters generally agree on this: As a result of his stubborn and often intemperate advocacy for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die, hospice care has boomed in the United States, and physicians have become more sympathetic to their pain and more willing to prescribe medication to relieve it.
Hero or monster? Apparently, constructing suicide kits is the new knitting. San Diego’s KGTV reports:
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A 91-year-old East County grandmother is getting national attention for making suicide kits. The woman started making the kits after watching her husband die a slow, painful death from colon cancer.
“I’m doing what I can to improve the world,” she told 10News. “There’s a lot of heartache and difficulty here.” Charlotte makes the kits — which cost buyers $60 — by taking large plastic bags and sewing soft elastic bands around the opening. There is a slot in the bag for a plastic tube carrying helium gas to be inserted. Helium — when inhaled in its pure form — is deadly. Kit users are responsible for securing their own helium gas.
“If heaven is so wonderful, you know you’d naturally want to go there, wouldn’t you?” said Charlotte. Charlotte said her sales were nearly $100,000 last year.