Monday, November 28, 2011

Who decides if I will live or die?

I am not afraid of dying. But I am deathly afraid of dying in a hospital.

The one thing that must never be allowed to be part of our health care system, is the ability for a health care person to have any power to decide whether I will live or I will die.

I have been up close and personal to: negligent, complaining, arrogant, lying, non-caring, rude "health care professionals". No, they are not all like that. Many of them are not negligent, never complain, are humble, tell the truth and care.

But it's the former group I worry about, should they ever be able to practice euthanasia.

Here's what else I've encountered:
  • I've been told a loved one needs to vacate their bed because it is costing $1600 dollars a day.
  • One nurse complained to me that she was working without a signed contract and all I could think was, "and what does this have to do with the care of my loved one? You're still being paid right? Oh you are, so then why would I care that you don't have a signed contract?"
  • I've had a loved one be sent home from emergency only to return the following night to the very same emergency department with the very same problem.
  • I've had a loved one die from what I believed was a lack of care and neglect. A subsequent complaint to the regulatory body involved, concluded that no, there was no negligence and guess what? "The care provided this patient by Dr. X not only met, but in several instances exceeded the standard of practice expected in the profession." Exceeded? I think not.
I know that working in the health care profession can be hard, and that some are overworked, etc. Fine, that may or may not be true, some of the time, or all of the time, maybe for some and not for others.

Check out what Derek Miedema from the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada has to say on the subject. He gives some startling evidence of euthanasia and assisted suicide gone horribly wrong:
"In Belgium, one-third of euthanasia deaths done by doctors occur without the explicit request of the person killed, according to a 2010 study of euthanasia in Belgium. Why? Some doctors decided for the patient that euthanasia was the best option. Though hard to believe, others thought the conversation about dying would be too stressful for the patient, so they killed them instead.
In Switzerland, a 23-year-old rugby player, paralyzed as a result of a training accident, was depressed. Who wouldn't be? He was euthanized despite research that shows people with a spinal cord injury can and do create a satisfying quality of life with time and proper societal and family support.
Reports from the Netherlands indicate that 500 people died without their consent in 2005 alone. A woman in the advanced stages of dementia was recently euthanized there. A long-time supporter of euthanasia, doctors killed her even though she was incapable of deciding for or against the euthanasia decision at the time of her death.
In Oregon, the law requires that patients get opinions from two doctors before they are approved to die. The problem here is that 58 of 61 patients who died under the law in one year got their second opinion from an activist doctor tied to the group pushing for legal assisted suicide all over the U.S."
In the end, all I know is, I don't want anyone from that profession deciding whether I can live or I can die.

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