Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Look how we do it in Oregon, the ethics guardian tells Gillard

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Places » Australia Donate to DU
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 11:13 PM
Original message
Look how we do it in Oregon, the ethics guardian tells Gillard
BARBARA GLIDEWELL has had hundreds of conversations with dying people who want to end their own life, or want the option to do so. And she wants the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to know it is entirely possible to formulate a law with appropriate safeguards.

Associate Professor Glidewell is an ethics adviser and recently retired hospital ombudsman from Oregon where physician-aided death has been allowed for almost 13 years. She has overseen the consultation process for roughly half the physician-assisted deaths under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act.

''The law has worked well,'' she said. ''Oregon has been too quiet about it; we didn't want hordes moving to the state.''

Ms Glidewell will address the biennial conference of the World Federation of Right To Die Societies in Melbourne next week. But she would like a word with the Prime Minister. Ms Gillard said on the weekend she was ''conflicted'' on the issue of euthanasia, and she found it ''almost impossible'' to conceive how there could be appropriate safeguards.

Oregon's law, Ms Glidewell says, has needed minimal tweaking since it was passed in 1997.

But the law has little to do with euthanasia which puts control of the ending of life in the hands of a doctor, she says. Rather it regulates physician-aided death which gives a fully competent, dying person the means to hasten the end with prescribed medication that must be self-administered.

Ms Glidewell, 66, said central to the law is an extensive screening process to ensure the dying person is not under duress, not depressed, and not seeking to move on for the sake of others.

''Just because a wife says she can't bear to see her dying husband suffer is no reason for the poor husband to feel he must end his life,'' she said.

As a neutral facilitator, Ms Glidewell has taken part in about 30 screening interviews a year with doctors and dying people. The patients must take part in two interviews, 15 days apart.

''These have been some of the most profound conversations I've ever been involved in,'' Ms Glidewell said. Those intent on maintaining control and dignity at life's end tended to be ''vigorous souls pragmatic, usually assertive people who know what they want They say 'why do I have to lie here day after day with people doing things to me? I don't want my granddaughter changing my diaper. I'm actively dying. Emotionally and intellectually I'm finished; now I choose not to go on. Life no longer offers enjoyment; I'm done.'''

But only a tiny group ended up taking the medication - last year 59 did so although 95 prescriptions were written.

More: http://www.smh.com.au/national/look-how-we-do-it-in-ore...
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-10 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's a tough call.
I agree that people should be allowed to die with dignity intact, but there must be stringent safeguards. Unfortunately, I have known people in my life who wouldn't have hesitated to put a relative out of the way for an inheritance. Death (and the prospect of inheriting) brings out the very worst in some people.

And I have seen dying people shamefully neglected by family - it can only add to their distress, and make them feel that life is definitely not worth living.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Jul 11th 2014, 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Places » Australia Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC