“To Safeguard and Enhance Life”

Joel Connelly has been fairly sensitive about the criticism he’s been receiving over his opposition to I-1000, the Death with Dignity Initiative. I’ve certainly been contributing to his agitation, so I want to take the time to go through his latest column with a little less snark. There are a lot of important life-and-death issues involved here, but I don’t see them being addressed by Connelly. Instead, he gives us contrived ‘gotchas’ that have little relation to why this initiative is happening and why it’s so important.

The overall theme of his column is similar to what he’s tried to claim in the past, that I-1000 is something being foisted upon Washington State by an advocacy group. He writes:

If you read the 2007 report of the Death With Dignity National Center, however, what emerges is that the Evergreen State was carefully chosen, as it were, to revive a movement lately on life support.

It is a tale of behind-thescenes manipulation, candidly laid out by the manipulators:

“We have spent the last year actively researching and collecting data to determine the state which is most likely to adopt a Death with Dignity law,” said the annual report.

“Through these efforts we have identified Washington as the state most likely … We, at the Death with Dignity National Center, are proud to provide our political experience and expertise to these talented and committed people of Washington.”

This is neither unusual nor alarming. Nationally-based advocacy groups with limited funds are always making decisions like this. They rely mostly on donations from individual citizens and don’t have any interest in throwing their limited resources away for a cause they can’t win. Every state in the country has people advocating for laws like this. The Death with Dignity National Center judged (justifiably) that Washington is a state where they are most likely to succeed. If that’s “manipulation,” then so is every political donation in the country.

In our modern political climate, issues like Death with Dignity, which don’t find themselves allied with corporate interests, struggle to influence legislatures directly. Despite its faults, the initiative process is geared towards issues like this, issues that are strictly in the interest of individual citizens who find that government isn’t responsive to them.

Connelly cynically dismisses how the campaign has been putting the local media in touch with signature gatherers with a personal stake in this, as if they are merely puppets of special interests and not individuals with powerful and reasonable interests in changing the law. He couldn’t be more disingenuous. Or more hypocritical. He writes:

I will vote against I-1000. My reasons stem from personal experience, as well as my understanding of an underpinning of our democratic society: Its purpose must be to safeguard and enhance life, especially among the youngest, the weakest and the suffering.

When I first encountered Connelly’s opposition to this initiative, my initial thought was that I had incorrectly assumed that he was pro-choice. I hadn’t. The man who believes that the underpinning of our democratic society is “to safeguard and enhance life, especially among the youngest, the weakest and the suffering,” apparently also believes that the underpinning of our democratic society is something completely different when it comes to abortion.

This is the danger in trying to oversimplify the issue. Trying to come up with these kinds of absolutes about the value of life almost inevitably leads to irreconcilable contradictions. How many millions of people in this country believe that abortion should be illegal, but also believe that the death penalty is just dandy? How many people who fought tooth and nail to keep Terry Schiavo alive barely flinched when we went to war in Iraq?

This realization lacks the ability to be shrunk to a bumper sticker, but the value of “life” can never be the simple absolute that so many wish it to be, and demanding that government try to define it as such is a genuine mistake. Telling a terminally-ill person with a painful or debilitating illness that their own life is so in need of protection that it overrides their own wishes is not much different from telling a date-rape victim that the fetus she’s carrying is a life in need of protection that overrides her wishes as well. In both cases, difficult moral choices are being made by the government, rather than the individual, and this is what has motivated so many signature gatherers around the state this year.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Short of war, genocide, or mass abortions, no life-and-death issue is more compelling than justice gone awry — the sending of innocent defendants to their deaths or to life sentences (which is about the same thing, because it irretrievably takes their lives away from them).

    It turns out that square-jawed cigar-chomping Texas prosecutor Henry Wade achieved his legendary conviction rate by hiding exonerating evidence from juries and sending innocent defendants to death row or life’s row. Fortunately, enough of that evidence was preserved that Dallas County now holds the record among U.S. counties for the number of innocent people freed on DNA evidence.

    Wade (yes, he’s the “Wade” in Roe v. Wade, and the Henry Wade who prosecuted Jack Ruby) has been dead for several years now, so we can’t prosecute his perjuring ass, although maybe the Texas Bar Association should give consideration to posthumous disbarment.

    The problem we need to look out for is, there may be more lying Texans where he came from.

    Oh, by the way, most of the men he wrongly convicted were poor African-Americans.

    For story, see MSNBC.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Death With Indignity

    The military lied to us about the rescue of Jessica Lynch and the friendly-fire death of Pat Tilman. But there’s more the military has lied about.

    The military has labeled as “suicides” the deaths of a large number of female service members who were, in fact, murdered.

    For example, Pvt. LeVena Johnson was found dead in her barracks in Iraq in July 2005. The military told her family she shot herself with an M-16.

    Her family has spent years using the Freedom of Information Act to squeeze records out of the military. When her father, a Vietnam veteran and medical doctor, finally got hold of investigative records and autopsy photos, this is what he learned:

    There was a blood trail where his daughter’s body had been dragged from a contractor’s tent to her own tent, which had been set on fire (presumably to destroy evidence).

    Her body was covered with bruises, scratches, and teeth marks.

    Her elbow was bent into an unnatural position.

    Her genital area had been soaked with lye (presumably to destroy DNA evidence of rape).

    Cash in her possession at the time of her death, and a debit card she last used a few hours before her death, were missing.

    Yet there was no criminal investigation. Instead, the military called her death a “suicide,” and continues to tell her family the case is “closed.”

    The Johnson case is not isolated. There appears to be a systematic pattern of the military covering up homicides of female soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan by classifying their deaths as suicides.

    “According to Col. Ann Wright, a retired 29-year veteran of the U.S. military who is working with the Johnson family, 98 military women have died in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those deaths, 40 have been non-combat related. Of those, 19 have been considered suspicious. After investigation, 13 of those suspicious deaths were ruled suicides. In an article for CommonDreams.org, Wright tells the stories of 15 suspicious deaths of military women deployed overseas since 2003 that still require investigation; eight are classified as suicides.”

    http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/analysis/337

    How would you feel as a parent if you entrusted your daughter to the military, got back her mangled and acid-burned remains, and they told you she killed herself — and then you learned that was a lie? That she was raped, robbed, and murdered — and instead of a criminal investigation the military protected your daughter’s killer by slandering your dead child as a “suicide”?

    I’d want to kill someone. I’d want to find out who the lying bastards were, and then I’d be tempted to hunt them down, and cut their guts out with a dull knife. Starting at the top, and working my way down the chain of command.*

    * Hey, just kidding! Wingnut humor. I’ll settle for court-martials, honorable discharges, and imprisonment in Leavenworth at hard labor with forfeiture of pay. I’m committed to the rule of law no matter how infuriated I might feel about the Bush military’s culture of lying and coverup.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    We don’t really need laws giving people permission to kill themselves. I mean, what are they gonna do to ya?

    What we need is congressional hearings into why so many soldiers are committing suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head 3 or 4 times and then setting their bodies on fire so that, you know, it’ll look like suicide to honest hard-working military investigators.

    Somehow we’ve gotta get our noble soldiers to stop doing that to themselves. Especially if they’re girls.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    How is it possible that two Gallup polls, conducted on the same two days, come up with the following results?

    Obama 49%, McCain 40%
    McCain 49%, Obama 45%

    The answer, according to “The Stumper” in Newsweek magazine, is that the second poll factored in the likelihood of voters actually voting, which the first poll didn’t. And the reason for the McCain spike in the second poll is that Obama’s successful overseas trip negatively energized otherwise-apathetic GOP voters — in other words, McCain benefits from the fact that Obama’s success pisses off the jerk element of the electorate.

    That’s a hell of a reason to entrust the presidency to McCain, isn’t it? If Republican voters can’t do any better than this, maybe we need a law against letting Republicans vote.*

    * Hey, just kidding! Tim Griffin humor.**

    ** He’s the guy who uses scams to block soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from voting.***

    *** Bush rewarded Griffin’s illegal services to the party by appointing him to a U.S. attorney job during a Senate recess, and probably would have put him on the Supreme Court if he could have gotten away with it.

  5. 5

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    Speaking of being pissed off the MSM and the libruls have bombarded the public with how pissed off they are for the last four years and all they can come up with after Obama’s “magical European mystery tour” is a tie. Heehehehehee How pathetic. If McCain had any Reagan in him this would be a blow out. It will be fun to watch the thugery of the dems once McCain pulls to a comfortable lead.

  6. 6

    Quincy spews:

    joel also says, “One side should not be able to define, manipulate and spend its way to victory.” what in the world does that imply? could we make a law prohibiting “defining?” then the big bad out-of-state merriam-webster company would sweep into olympia with its highly paid lobbyists defining all over the place and maybe even demarcating, characterizing and distinguishing in an effort to overturn the law. then where would we be?

  7. 7

    proud leftist spews:

    Lee
    Outstanding post. Protecting “life” often entails respecting its essence–its essence, I believe, does have to do with choice. Freedom of choice supposedly distinguishes humans from primates. A beating heart is less than life. I think that’s how I reconcile my positions as a guy who is prochoice on abortion, anti-death penalty, pro-death with dignity, and antiwar.

  8. 8

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 4

    * Hey, just kidding! Tim Griffin humor.

    I’m not so sure about that. I have, for quite some time, been pointing out the irony in the fact that Republicans seem to insist on being the most compelling evidence in favor of a republican form of government.

  9. 10

    michael spews:

    We don’t really need laws giving people permission to kill themselves. I mean, what are they gonna do to ya?

    I do wonder how much something like I-1000 is really bringing the law more inline with what’s going on in the world already?

    When the pain and suffering get too much I’m sure a good chunk of the terminally ill take a few more pain pills than the doctor ordered.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Oh, let ‘em vote, but make their women wear burkhas.*

    * Just kidding! Rabbit humor.

    [raucous laughter from 500 rabbits in background**]

    ** Some of my kids are visiting this weekend.

  11. 12

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 2

    Her genital area had been soaked with lye (presumably to destroy DNA evidence of rape).

    How would you feel as a parent if you entrusted your daughter to the military, got back her mangled and acid-burned remains, and they told you she killed herself — and then you learned that was a lie?

    Excellent comment! However, LYE (NaOH) is a BASE, not an ACID. Where is Tlazlteotl when we need her expertise?

  12. 13

    michael spews:

    @2,12

    There have been so many things that have been done that are wrong. This is just horrifying.

    It’s time to disassemble the military industrial complex. But, that is for another thread and another day.

    Try to get some sleep.

  13. 14

    FricknFrack spews:

    Excellent post Lee! I gave Joel an earful in the Soundoff linked to his column too last night. Not sure how to link it so will copy here:

    Posted by FricknFrack at 7/29/08 3:34 a.m.

    I think that Joel does a disservice to the people that read his column. IF he chooses for himself to struggle when his Maker decides he needs to go through indignity at the end – GO for it Joel! You wouldn’t be asking for assistance anyways. Lord help anyone else in your family that you might have any POA or Medical POA control over.

    Just like the unfortunate Terri Schiavo case, where Bush was practically in his pajamas racing back to Washington DC, rallying Congress and the Supreme Court to intervene – in a PERSONAL & PRIVATE family matter – interference, no matter that it was none of their business. Seriously big money for the medical business, keeping people alive, who cares what that Individual is experiencing – so long as they are the ‘product’ to deliver the $payments$ for big industry?

    Joel apparently needs to bring in the ‘big guns’ (via his column in the P.I.), to make sure that government stays in control of personal decisions. Sad.

    This is a personal & private matter. The ONLY person able to jump those hoops (to request Dignity in Dying Assistance) is the one who is required to do the suffering! In order to make their OWN choice as to how much they themselves deem tolerable.

    Off topic – Will someone please tell me WHY I keep buying a newspaper subscription to the P.I.? Soon, I expect Joel Connelly will be preaching pro-life, anti-choice junk at me too. Probably will dump this P.I. luxury expense, come to think of it. They sure don’t share my “values”.

    BTW – in case nobody guessed
    I’m voting YES on I-1000, too.

    Posted by FricknFrack at 7/29/08 4:33 a.m.

    When I talk (as a Subscriber) it creeps me out that the P.I. ALSO thought it was okay to hide that information (for MONTHS) the fact that an Incumbent running for office was groping a new subordinate with the details on record – without the P.I. reporting it, until 9 days after other sources reported even.

    Very odd values, so I’m not sure Joel’s or the P.I.’s reasoning holds much credibility for myself.

  14. 15

    W. Klingon Skausen spews:

    re 5: It might almost be fun to watch a Republican president be forced to take responsibility for the shit-storm that is sure to fly upon us as the flu-ridden chickens from the Bush years come home to roost.

    McCain is beginning to look more and more like Herbert Hoover — except not as smart or personally honest.

    You faux-conservatives may cause a little more damage, but your ‘movement’, such as it ever was, is in retreat. Anyone who bases their political philosophy on ‘Plato’s Republic’ is a Fascist. And I wouldn’t lie to you — not even to promote a ‘noble’ cause — like stealing Iraq’s oil.

    And I know you don’t have a clue as to how that last statement relates to the neo-cons.

  15. 16

    FricknFrack spews:

    Lee, I totally missed out last January in Joel’s other column and your Effin Unsound thread “What?”

    So glad that you linked them here, interesting reading. That comment by Paddy Mac just blew me out of the water! I remember all the hoopla about Easter when Mrs. Shiavo stuff was happening, but I had NEVER made the connection:

    …Cruelty feels better when you can call it compassion.

    The Schaivo fiasco came to a head on Palm Sunday, by design.

  16. 17

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 2. Roger Rabbit
    Death With Indignity

    Thanks for finding that. The entire article was such a freaking unreal horror scene. The news media keep mentioning the “suicides” not surprisingly, but this puts a whole different perspective on it. Not sure I will sleep tonight.

    ETA: I’m sure you don’t mind that I shared it on another well read blog. This story NEEDS to get out!

  17. 18

    spews:

    Again you seem to make the assumption that terminal illness is associated with pain, suffering, debility, and shame. As someone who has attended the deaths of numerous patients I can attest that with the strides made in the field of palliative care and hospice this is not the case. We would be far better off funneling our efforts to improving symptom treatment at the end of life to truly improve quality and dignity instead of I-1000.

  18. 19

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Since the right wingers have convinced the DEA that all drugs, including those used for legitimate pain management in the terminally ill are bad, there’s no doubt that MOST people do spend the end of their lives in serious pain. While they may pass on a day when they are unconscious and therefore unaware of the pain – they spend the months, weeks and days leading up to this point in agony. And ANYONE who votes against this initiative deserves to themselves, along with their families, endure such pain in the most horrible and prolonged form.

    Karma is a mean son of a bitch you right wing fucktards. Vote against this bill at your own risk. You might just wish you had done differently when the grim reaper is boning you in your hypocritical asses there at the hospice where you will eventually lay dying.

  19. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    County Cuts Disabled Van Drivers’ Wages

    Not directly, because the county doesn’t employ the drivers. It awards contracts to private companies who employ the drivers.

    Currently, three companies provide “Access” van service to disabled and elderly citizens. Two of them are unionized, one isn’t.

    What the county did was terminate the contract of the highest-paying contractor and award that contract to the lowest-paying (and only nonunion) contractor — at a time when the union is seeking wage increases for the drivers.

    So, this week the drivers employed by that contractor were fired — and offered their jobs back by the new contractor … with a wage cut.

    Organized labor and its friends ought to be raising holy hell with Ron Sims and the county council about this. After all, as one union supporter pointed out, the county has plenty of money for management pay increases.

    Read about it in today’s fishwrapper.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....rs30m.html

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Economics 101: When business cuts wages, workers have less money, so they buy less and companies lose customers and sales.

  21. 23

    spews:

    @18
    Again you seem to make the assumption that terminal illness is associated with pain, suffering, debility, and shame.

    That’s a misreading of my post. I’m saying that it could be associated with pain, suffering, debility, and shame. Just as with the subsequent example for abortion, I was using a more extreme hypothetical.

    As someone who has attended the deaths of numerous patients I can attest that with the strides made in the field of palliative care and hospice this is not the case.

    I’m certain that we’ll improve on that front, and maybe one day the quality of palliative care will improve to the point where no one chooses this avenue. But that progression should be left up to the individuals themselves to determine, not the government.

    We would be far better off funneling our efforts to improving symptom treatment at the end of life to truly improve quality and dignity instead of I-1000.

    We need to do both, and there’s no reason why we can’t do both.

  22. 25

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 20

    True enough. But chemistry knowledge is still important. Our country is about a trillion dollars in debt and nearly 5,000 less populated because ordinary chemical factories were falsely represented as chemical weapons factories. So it is not surprising that severe chemical burns (regardless of which end of the pH scale) to sensitive body areas are falsely represented as suicide by our same government.

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Boeing Strike Appears Certain

    A Boeing machinists’ strike after Labor Day appears to be a near-certainty as Boeing — with record orders and profits on its books — attempts to impose take-aways on the union and threatens to outsource more union jobs to China. With only a few weeks of negotiating remaining before the contract expiration deadline, Boeing has offered its unionized workers nothing except reduced retirement benefits, more expensive health care, and fewer jobs.

  24. 27

    km spews:

    Good Grief! For a conversation that started off with a critique of Joel Connelly’s column, this got really out of hand!

    At least a couple of people stayed on topic, but most of this is unsolicited gibberish.

    The issue is the Death with Dignity Initiative. It’s a complex and deep philosophical issue that warrants serious consideration; not this wild and wondering nonsense.

  25. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 Our REPUBLICAN government, you mean. This shit doesn’t happen when Democrats run the Pentagon. On the other hand, Republicans are so fucking incompetent you can’t feel confident their cruise missiles will hit the right country, let alone the targeted factory.

  26. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 Plato’s Republic? They’ve never heard of it! These baboons based their movement on stealing and lying. And when you get right down to it, that’s all there is to their belief system.

  27. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 Yes, it needs to get out, the more the better. And people need to be asking why the MSM has ignored this story.

    The Joel Connellys of the world aren’t responsible for the butt-crack-in-the-air posture of today’s MSM, of course. They’re merely lowly reporters and columnists — wage slave employees. But I’m sure many of them can see what the rest of us see and media managements refuse to see: That MSM is dying, and the reason it’s dying is because it’s DOING A STINKING LOUSY JOB.

    This isn’t the media of your father’s or grandfather’s generation. All it’s good for is sucking the dicks of whoever is in power.

  28. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The next time you read in MSM about a soldier “suicide” think “murder.”

    The old saw that “you can’t believe what you read in the papers” has never been more true than right now.

  29. 34

    spews:

    @27
    I know. I wasn’t able to police the comment thread last night after posting this. Roger, next time you do this on a non-open thread, I’ll be deleting your comments.

  30. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 How much “quality and dignity” is there in laying unconscious in a hospice bed for weeks while your anxious relatives go crazy waiting for you to stop breathing?

    If you’re really a doctor, then you surely know there’s not a single, uniform, standard-issue way in which terminal patients die.

    All I-1000 does is give those facing a prolonged, agonizing, undignified death another option.

    It simply adds a tool to the final-phase treatment toolkit. One that only the patient can activate. It’s reasonable to conclude the only time it would ever be used is when it’s the least-worst alternative.

    Your argument is logically akin to sending a carpenter out with a toolkit containing only one hammer, and telling him he has to use the same hammer on every job, regardless of whether he’s building an outhouse or a skyscraper.

  31. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 Funny how those who bleat the loudest about how precious life is are the same people who work the hardest to make living as miserable as possible for everyone except themselves.

  32. 38

    SeattleJew spews:

    I am with Joel in his opposition to the assisted suicide/death with dignity act despite the fact that i fully believethat we all have an innate right to suicide. Indeed, such a right seems to me to be intrinsic to a society that largely accepts the Jesus story of a man-god who chose suicide.

    While I have the right to die (or should have that right) I do not believe that physicians should be authorized to kill.

    The dangers of relaxing our traditions in this regard are obvious. Put crassly, the old, sick and poor cost us money. One does not need to imagine a conscious policy of eliminating these people to be worried.

    Imagine two 67 yo (my age)

    George Bromwell, a prominent investor and successful blogger, decides that his MS is no longer bearable. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor evokes Georges wife and kids, the popularity of his blog, etc.

    One does NOT have to evoke the threat, as discussed in @6 above, of some big bad corporation promoting soylent green to worry about less open forms of discrimination ion the form of judgments that have to be made.

    Imagine two 67 yo (my age)

    George Bromwell, a prominent investor and successful blogger, decides that his MS is no longer bearable. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor evokes Georges wife and kids, the popularity of his blog, etc.

    Isaac Washington, after 20 years in prison, is released out of compassion for his MS. Isaac adapts poorly to the loneliness outside life. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor has a lot of clients like Isaac and the doctor is very busy.

    I will let others finish the stories.

    I also think that Lee and other advocates fail t tell us how common a problem this really is and who is faced with the problem? How many Georges and Isaacs now can not get the help they need. Surely George can find some doc willing to give him morphine to escape pain. Isaac is more likely to have trouble finding such a pleasant answer to his problems but the moral dilemma raised by the all to common Isaac examples seems to me to be overwhelming.

    Finally, Frick n Frack in 14 said,

    This is a personal & private matter. The ONLY

    person able to jump those hoops (to request Dignity in Dying Assistance) is the one who is required to do the suffering! In order to make their OWN choice as to how much they themselves deem tolerable.

    Of course this would not be true if this legislation passes. First, the private issue of suicide would know become a public matter involvng at least two physicains and a counselor. Second, the physicia’s role, now very confidential, would become public. I assume proponents of I-1000 are aware that physicians NOW have the right to help patients choose life promoting therapies vs. therapies that shorten life? Patients with terminal disease often suffer a lot and they, their families and their physicians make decisions about how aggressively to treat the suffering, even when that treatment means the pt’s life will be shortened. This is the issue addressed already by Country Doc at 17:

    country doc spews:

    Again you seem to make the assumption that terminal illness is associated with pain, suffering, debility, and shame. As someone who has attended the deaths of numerous patients I can attest that with the strides made in the field of palliative care and hospice this is not the case. We would be far better off funneling our efforts to improving symptom treatment at the end of life to truly improve quality and dignity instead of I-1000.

    I suspect that the Med societies will oppose I-1000 and believe I have a personal experience that supports their concern. Although I have not practices medicine now in decades, one reason I chose research over practice was that this decision was just to hard for me. I greatly admire my colleagues who have to help patients through this stage of life and would hope we could all keep that process out of the courts pf law. Contrary to Roger in 36, I am afraid that I-1000 would bring his fraternity, the law mongers, into yet another arena where there lack of morality would inflict pain.

    All in all, it seems to me that is unneeded legislation whose main effect maybe to hurt rather than to help sick people.

  33. 39

    ROTCODDAM spews:

    Telling a terminally-ill person with a painful or debilitating illness that their own life is so in need of protection that it overrides their own wishes is not much different from telling a date-rape victim that the fetus she’s carrying is a life in need of protection that overrides her wishes as well.

    Lee,
    There is no such thing as “date-rape”.
    It’s just plain rape. There is really no good reason to toss a qualifying adjective in front, if after all, it’s just plain rape. We all know that. Some folks may want to convince themselves that if the rape was preceded by dinner and drinks then it isn’t as bad.
    But it is.
    Just as bad.
    Rape is rape.

  34. 40

    spews:

    @38
    Once again, your argument is the equivalent of saying, “Abortion doesn’t need to be legal, doctors perform them in back alleys all the time.”

  35. 41

    spews:

    @38
    I suspect that the Med societies will oppose I-1000 and believe I have a personal experience that supports their concern.

    The AMA itself opposes it, but a poll of individual AMA doctors found that a majority support it.

  36. 42

    Steve spews:

    Lee says, “absolutes about the value of life”

    Life is no more a good in itself than any other value. Life is good when and if it is good, because of circumstance and because of context. When Connelly says of society that, “Its purpose must be to safeguard and enhance life, especially among the youngest, the weakest and the suffering”, he ignores individual responsibility and choice – personal freedom. For some individuals it might eventually come down to waiting for the chariot to descend from the heavens or responsible choice. Connelly, in effect, says that we must wait for the chariot. I-1000 would give a person the freedom to choose. I’ll vote for responsible choice.

  37. 43

    Steve spews:

    @38 “While I have the right to die (or should have that right) I do not believe that physicians should be authorized to kill.”

    While doctors should not be authorized to kill, they should be authorized to assist you with your suicide so that you might leave this earth in a more dignified fashion than, say, blowing your head off.

  38. 44

    Gloria spews:

    Doctors already hasten death (or “kill”) by increasing morphine, or removing feeding tubes and ventilators. Doctors may wink and nudge by telling people that if they take *this many* pills or turn the dial to *here* then the patient might die.

    Initiative 1000, the death with dignity initiative, would bring these practices into the open, allow people to have a real conversation about the end of their lives, and make sure that patients and their families are well informed about all of their options and that there are safeguards to protect against abuse.

    I trust terminally ill patients to make their own decisions about their own health care and their own end-of-life options.

    I’m voting yes on 1000.

  39. 45

    michael spews:

    @43

    Thanks for that. Yhat’s what I was wondering about @10

    @18 That’s not how it worked out for both my grandfathers. Black lung and esophageal cancer are bad ways to go.

    I’m voting no on this, but that’s because I get hung up on process. I’d like to see this worked though the Leg, not done as an an initiative.

  40. 46

    SeattleJew spews:

    @39 Lee

    “as usual” your mode of argument is to make up a quote and then argue with yourself as if the quote were mine.

    “Abortion doesn’t need to be legal, doctors perform them in back alleys all the time.”

    Those are your words so I think if they matter to you, then YOU defend them.

    FWIW, back alley abortions were very real, common and horrible events. If you have similar knowledge of doctors administering morphine to suffering folks, with the cops sniffin at the door, you really ought to cite it.

    Even AFTER passage, only about 150 folks used the Oregon law last year and we have no way of knowing either how many of them would have “passed on” with help for suffering anyway.

    It seems to me that initiatives like this one are a mistake because they create the problem they are suppose3dly trying to solve. If I were to play your game of making up quotes for you, I might suggest that you are saying, “we do not need affirmative action at the UW, everyone wants to recruit the best students.” I have no nidea why YOU believe that.

    I also think you toom lightly dismiss the idea that physicians should take the Hippocratic oath seriously:

    I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath.

    To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

    I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

    To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.

    Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion.

    But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

    I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

    In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

    All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

    If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

    Versions of this by Galen and by Maimonides are still used by most medical schools in the USA and are intrinsic to the traditions of medicine.

    Finally, I was surprised you did not address the concern raised by my two stories.

  41. 47

    SeattleJew spews:

    @40 The AMA is a democratic organization (believe it or not). So a “poll” to be taken seriously would need to be pretty hefty.

    In any case, such a poll would likley depend on the wording. If you asked,

    “Do you believe that you, as a physician, should be able to prescribe drugs that relieve anxiety and pain in severely ill people, even if those drugs lead to loss of life?”

    I suspect most docs would vote YES,

    If you then asked,

    “Do you believe that we need a law requiring your patient seek consultation with a second, independent physician and professional psychologic counselor to patient before administering such drugs?”

    I doubt that answer would be yes.

    ***********************************

    Frankly, I am VERY aware of how easy it would be to end my life anytime I want to. Of course, as a physician, I know more about how to use those drugs in the bathroom than other might, but I suspect that most folks who really want to end life can do so now and I do not hink they need ot look in a back alley for a bloood smeared Dr. Hyde to get the job done.

  42. 48

    SeattleJew spews:

    @42 Steve

    Doctors should be authorized to help with suicide.

    Why?

    They currently can prescribe medicine and give the information needed for most people to accomplish this act. Going one more step, as you propose, would violate an important tradition and open medicine to an abuse.

  43. 49

    SeattleJew spews:

    @43 Gloria

    About the only thing the law changes is that it allows a doctor to encourage a patient’s desire to die.

    That is discouraged now by law and by the Oath I cited. Do you know of any actual example where someone in need of this sort of helpo could not get it?

    I suspect that .. in the back of Lee’s mind, is the idea that people are now discouraged from seeing their physician when they need this help. Perhaps, but in any imaginable scale of things I suspect the problem of even having a physician you trust enough to dela with such is issue is .. for all but the upper third of our scoeity, simply not going to happen.


    Perhaps there is a compromise.

    DIY: Ending Life with Dignity

    Lee could spend a weekend going through some books and the net and come up with material for a new web site. That site could list a number of alternative forms of suicide (actually there are good ways of dying that do nto require a doc).

    Such information, of course, would be protected under our First Amendment rights.

    How would such a site different from I-1000?

    DIY ELD would require no new law and,ironically, such a site would INCREASE people’s freedom to choose death since it would not require them to pay two docs and a shrink for permission to go.

    Of course there might be the problme of finding a nice place to perform this act and supportive people. Is there some law against providing succor to folks determined to end their lives? Hell as a Minster of the Life Church, I suspect I could claim a first amendment right to assist my followers if they made such a choice.

  44. 50

    Steve spews:

    @47 “They currently can prescribe medicine and give the information needed for most people to accomplish this act.”

    I was not aware of this. Can you point me towards more information?

  45. 51

    spews:

    @49
    He’s wrong. It’s illegal, but since it happens and people don’t get caught, Steve thinks it’s legal. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about (as always).

    @45
    It seems to me that initiatives like this one are a mistake because they create the problem they are suppose3dly trying to solve. If I were to play your game of making up quotes for you, I might suggest that you are saying, “we do not need affirmative action at the UW, everyone wants to recruit the best students.” I have no nidea why YOU believe that.

    For starters, I actually agree with that quote to an extent. Affirmative action based upon race is wrong and counterproductive.

    But that’s not parallel to what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about would be similar to a situation where UW was educating minorities in violation of the law, and you would be saying, the law doesn’t need to be changed, the UW is violating it anyway.

    Finally, I was surprised you did not address the concern raised by my two stories.

    Your examples don’t make any sense at all. In fact, I dare you to find someone who understands the point you tried to make there. The comment was complete gibberish.

    When you give me concise coherent examples of why this law is bad, I’ll discuss with you. Until then, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

  46. 52

    spews:

    @48
    About the only thing the law changes is that it allows a doctor to encourage a patient’s desire to die.

    Steve, if you can find a second physician in the state of Washington who agrees with this statement and bring him to DL, I’ll buy your dinner.

  47. 53

    michael spews:

    @50

    It’s illegal, but since it happens and people don’t get caught, Steve thinks it’s legal

    .

    I think you’re talking about SeattleJew not Steve.

  48. 54

    Steve spews:

    @50 If you are refering to the two 67 year-olds in SJ@38, the point he was trying to make was lost on me. Whew, I’m glad I’m not alone on that.

    @52 I’ve gathered from previous posts at HA that SeattleJew’s name is Steve and that dialog between he and Lee goes back. Bye the bye, there’s another fellow here who has posted as Steve but I doubt if his posts will ever be confused with my own. I’m sure Marvin, at least, can tell the difference. Poor sap. I wonder how his therapy is progressing?

  49. 55

    Steve spews:

    @50 If you are correct as to the illegality, then to choose euthenasia would be illegal. However, SJ deserves a chance to respond. I prefer freedom of choice. If the end is near for myself or a loved one, and the decision is to check out, searching for a physician willing to break the law is not my idea of how it should play out. If such is the case, then I will strongly support I-1000.

  50. 57

    spews:

    @54
    Actually, euthanasia will continue to be illegal even after I-1000 is passed. SJ does deserve a chance to respond, but at this point, I would not count on that response being coherent.

    @53
    Exactly.

  51. 58

    Stephen Schwartz spews:

    Lee

    I am not sure what point you want me to respond to, most of your responses consist of snarky attacks.

    I will pick one … the legality of doctors prescribing medicines and providing information that could be used for suicide.

    A physisican may prescribe any drug that she or he considers is appropriate to address any legal need. For example, if your doctor felt that marinol would help you with an anxiety disorder, she could legally prescribe marinol even though anxiety disorder is “off label.”

    A physician may and actually is supposed to educate his patients on the properties of any drug.

    Thus, Gov. Gardner’s physician vould provide him with morphine to deal with intractible pain and could let Mr. Gardner know what the effects of doses might be.

    AM i describing a wink wink? Yes. Does this cause harm to our society? Show me how?

  52. 59

    Stephen Schwartz spews:

    Since “Steve” and lee found my stories challenging, here they are again:

    Two people seek assistance with suicide:

    George Bromwell, a prominent investor and successful blogger, decides that his MS is no longer bearable. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor evokes George’s wife and kids, the popularity of his blog, etc.

    Isaac Washington, after 20 years in prison, is released out of compassion for his MS. Isaac adapts poorly to the loneliness outside life. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor has a lot of clients like Isaac and the doctor is very busy.

    George does not commit suicide. Isaac does. Am I the only one who sees that the law would encourage discrimination based on the value the docs and cunselors put into the patients lives?

  53. 61

    Steve spews:

    How about the other discrimination – after a long time in the waiting room, Isaac’s’s Doc is willing to wink. George dismisses his Doc’s counselling, wants to die, but his Doc refuses to wink.

  54. 62

    spews:

    @57
    Wow, the level of illogic coming from you is stunning.

    You write:

    I will pick one … the legality of doctors prescribing medicines and providing information that could be used for suicide.

    OK, fine, let’s discuss that. Here’s your conclusion in the same comment:

    AM i describing a wink wink? Yes. Does this cause harm to our society? Show me how?

    So you start out by saying you’re going to show me how it’s legal. Then you conclude by saying that it’s not legal, and then daring me to explain how it harms society which is a totally separate point that I obviously agree with you on.

    Again, please try harder to make a coherent point so that we can discuss this. And Steve, Blue John, etc, please feel free to chide me if I’m being unfair here.

  55. 63

    spews:

    @58
    George Bromwell, a prominent investor and successful blogger, decides that his MS is no longer bearable. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor evokes George’s wife and kids, the popularity of his blog, etc.

    Is that it? What’s the point of this? In this case, if Bromwell doesn’t have 6 months to live, he doesn’t qualify under the law. If George’s wife and kids support his decision, who cares? What on earth does a blog have to do with any of this?

    Isaac Washington, after 20 years in prison, is released out of compassion for his MS. Isaac adapts poorly to the loneliness outside life. He approaches a suicide doctor who initiates counseling. The counselor has a lot of clients like Isaac and the doctor is very busy.

    I don’t understand what you’re saying here. Does Isaac have less than six months to live? These examples don’t make sense, Steve.

    George does not commit suicide. Isaac does. Am I the only one who sees that the law would encourage discrimination based on the value the docs and cunselors put into the patients lives?

    Yes, you’re the only one who sees that. It would not encourage discrimination in any way. There are numerous problems with your logic here, probably too much for me to cover just in this comment, so I’ll start with the obvious. This law cannot fix the larger flaws in our health care system. Expecting it to is foolish. Disregarding this law simply because the disparities in our health care system might manifest through it is like saying that abortion should have stayed illegal because poor people might not have had good access to it. Surely, SJ, a man with a PhD like yourself can grasp that, right?

    Second, assuming that George was a qualifying patient, you’re assuming in this example that if George doesn’t commit suicide, that he is benefitting, but that doesn’t make sense. George wanted to be able to end his own life prematurely. If he is not able to get the prescription from his doctor, then he’s the example of how the law doesn’t work for someone.

    Holy mother of god are you in outer space on this one.

  56. 64

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee,

    You asked me to tell you what was legal and I did. Under current law a physician can provide drugs for any indication she sees fit and can provide information. This includes information that a patient can choose to use for suicide.

    The ophysician can even support a patient’s decsion to end her life. The only thing a physician may not do is tke an active role ion killing another person .. including providing a drug specifically for that purpose. Do you think the Hyppocratic oath should be overurned?

    In much the same vein, physicians routinely prescribe drugs that promote growth, retard mentstruation, build muscles, etc. All of these are similar to the current practice in that they are off label. For better or worse, the ophyscian in these cases is supporting the patient’s desires while winking at the intended use of the drug.

    Unless you can point to someone being harmed by the current law, the only logic behind your position is that if we do not now have a law legalizing something, then we better make one. I have too little trust in our legalistic brilliance to believe in that premise.

  57. 65

    SeattleJew spews:

    @62 the point is that YOUR law would restrict George and Isaac’s rights and do so in class spec ific fashion.

    Requiring the wealthy to get two agreeing consults and a willing shrink is no big issue. Requiring the same of a poor person is a huge issue.

    As for the six months, I was unaware that was part of the proposed law. However, given the fact that most anything I know that kills in six months also caues a lot of discomfort and given that current law permits a physician to prescribe drugs to relieve exactly that problem, I am having troubl imagining the patient who would fit this criterion who can not now get all the help she or he needs.

    This seems to me to be an example of lrgislation that addresses no problem and may make real problems.

  58. 66

    spews:

    @63
    You asked me to tell you what was legal and I did. Under current law a physician can provide drugs for any indication she sees fit and can provide information. This includes information that a patient can choose to use for suicide.

    But not for the drugs themselves when it comes to suicide. And they also are not allowed under the law to assist with anyone who decides to use palliative care as a cover for euthanasia. That’s why the “wink, wink” is required, because it’s not legal. You said this yourself.

    In much the same vein, physicians routinely prescribe drugs that promote growth, retard mentstruation, build muscles, etc. All of these are similar to the current practice in that they are off label. For better or worse, the ophyscian in these cases is supporting the patient’s desires while winking at the intended use of the drug.

    Sure, and it’s technically illegal. I support changing a lot of those laws too. I believe we need to move away from the prescription model entirely when it comes to medical care. The government is way too far into issues that they shouldn’t be concerned with.

    Unless you can point to someone being harmed by the current law, the only logic behind your position is that if we do not now have a law legalizing something, then we better make one.

    If hundreds of people in Oregon have benefited from their law, then it’s fairly obvious that there are equivalent numbers of people in Washington who have been harmed by the absence of it here.

    @64
    the point is that YOUR law would restrict George and Isaac’s rights and do so in class spec ific fashion.

    Absolutely not. At worst, it would make no change to their rights, since a person can easily end their life prematurely without a doctor’s involvement now, and one may also find doctors who are willing enough to break the law (with a “wink, wink”) and allow for a depressed person to end their life, or for someone to be coerced into ending it. The law doesn’t change any of that. It just carves out an exception (with many safeguards) for a narrow case for people near-death and of sound mind.

    Requiring the wealthy to get two agreeing consults and a willing shrink is no big issue. Requiring the same of a poor person is a huge issue.

    The law can’t fix that, nor does it cause it. Again, your logic here doesn’t add up.

    As for the six months, I was unaware that was part of the proposed law.

    Here’s a suggestion. Why don’t you take the time to study some of this stuff before coming in and pretending to be the expert on it. You do this repeatedly, where you grossly overestimate your own knowledge on a subject before sounding like a pompous jackass trying to tell everyone they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    However, given the fact that most anything I know that kills in six months also caues a lot of discomfort and given that current law permits a physician to prescribe drugs to relieve exactly that problem, I am having troubl imagining the patient who would fit this criterion who can not now get all the help she or he needs.

    The point, as we’ve had to explain numerous times to you, is that this law makes that process legal, whereas before it was illegal. Just because it happened all the time does not mean that it wasn’t illegal. This makes the process above the table, so to speak. There is a lot of value in that for some people.

    Again, your argument boils down to saying, “Abortions are secretly performed all the time, there’s no reason to establish a law making them legal.”

  59. 67

    Steve spews:

    @57 “AM i describing a wink wink? Yes.”

    One thing I’ve wondered about concerning this issue is life insurance benefits and suicide versus euthanasia. Perhaps this is one difference between a wink and I-1000. Does a life insurance company pay benefits when the cause of death is suicide? If not, would this be changed if I-1000 passed and the cause of death is euthanasia? Is there a legal difference between suicide and euthanasia? If so, then why? If I-1000 passes and some poor soul, say Marvin, were to blow his head off in November over a Democratic sweep, would he have self-euthanized or would he have committed suicide? Just curious.

  60. 68

    Steve spews:

    @45 “Hippocratic oath”

    I don’t see the part addressing a winking physician.

    @64 “Requiring the wealthy to get two agreeing consults and a willing shrink is no big issue.”

    Then I reckon that the oath you folks take is already an issue, and will continue to be whether I-1000 passes or not.

  61. 69

    spews:

    @66
    Steve, this is actually an important point that the law does address. When someone chooses Death with Dignity under the law and they follow through with it, their cause of death is listed as the terminal illness. This is one way to protect against the insurance company trying to limit a payment.

    To be clear, I-1000 does not legalize euthanasia. All it simply does is legally allow for a doctor to prescribe a lethal cocktail to someone who is terminally ill and wants to end their life at a time of their own choosing. Euthanasia involves a doctor making the decision to end a life.

  62. 70

    Steve spews:

    From:

    http://www.medterms.com/script.....lekey=7365

    “The most commonly understood meaning of euthanasia today is more than the old dictionary definition of dying well — a good and easy death. It refers, for example, to the situation when a doctor induces the death with a lethal injection, of a patient who is suffering unrelievably and has persistently requested the doctor to do so (italics mine).

    Suicide, whether irrational or rational, for unrelated reasons is not euthanasia. Nor is the forced killing of another person.”

    @68 “Euthanasia involves a doctor making the decision to end a life.”

    That seems contrary to the Medterms definition.

  63. 71

    Steve spews:

    Using the internet tubes and the Google, it appears that life insurance policies usually have a “two year contestability clause”, and if you commit suicide within two years of taking out the policy then the insurance company wouldn’t have to pay. After two years, the insurance company pays.

  64. 72

    spews:

    @69
    You’re right, I should probably rephrase that to say that the doctor performs the act that directly causes the death.

  65. 73

    spews:

    @70
    Right, and that’s why it’s important that this initiative lists the cause of death for people who take advantage of it as something other than suicide.

  66. 74

    SeattleJew spews:

    #65 If hundreds of people in Oregon have benefited from their law, then it’s fairly obvious that there are equivalent numbers of people in Washington who have been harmed by the absence of it here.

    and where is the evidence that hundreds have benefited? BTW. since we both agree that something similar happens now without the benign glow of a law. when was the last persecution of a physician for this sort of activity in WA state?

    as fior legalizing all drugs??? You bubbelah are as naive as the last republican to leave the Bush campaign. Who do you think is going to sell these drugs? Howsa about legal growth hormone? You just watch Hoffman La roche’s bottom line when that happens (they own it).

    Oh, and you worry about the poor? Imagine the eploitation we could do of workers if we paid them in cheap synthetic opium.

  67. 75

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee

    “Requiring the wealthy to get two agreeing consults and a willing shrink is no big issue. Requiring the same of a poor person is a huge issue.

    The law can’t fix that, nor does it cause it. Again, your logic here doesn’t add up.”

    When you use this insult, you might try to be sure your insult gun is not loaded with jelly beans. We have NO law now allowing docs to kill poor people. Your law creates that possibility.

  68. 76

    SeattleJew spews:

    “As for the six months, I was unaware that was part of the proposed law.

    Here’s a suggestion. Why don’t you take the time to study some of this stuff before coming in and pretending to be the expert on it. You do this repeatedly, where you grossly overestimate your own knowledge on a subject before sounding like a pompous jackass trying to tell everyone they don’t know what they’re talking about. “

    Here’s a suggestion flipped back at you. Why don’t you take the time to study some of this stuff before coming in and pretending to be the expert on it. You do this repeatedly, where you grossly overestimate your own knowledge on a subject before sounding like a pompous jackass trying to tell everyone they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Lee, your willingness to advise people to inhale carcinogens is, to coin a phrase “breath taking.”

    Your willingness to discuss the Quran without ever, apparently having read it is worthy of any of George Bush’s aides.

    There is a lot more … you often claim to speak not only for your side of an issue but for everyone on the other side and then hold debates with yourself!

    You also out Orwell AND Newsweek in your willingness to redefine words like “medicine.”

    Oh yeh, you through around insults in the manner made famous by Biff Tannen in Back to the Future. rather than arguing your points form fact.

    Flames off …..

    I have no problme admitting when I do not know things and actually GREATLY appreciate it when I can learn something from someone else .. including you!

    So riddle me this oh darkeyed one, what purpose does it serve when you do trach someone else a useful fact (and you do) t do a lilly Tomlin,ike dance of victory?

    Trut be toilks I di not know that the WA statre legislation was only to serve the purpose of the last six months of life. Knowoing that, hoever increases my decsion to vote against it.

    1. defining “six months to live” is impossible.
    2. Most decisions like this in the terminally ill are already difficult without adding the burden of a second physician and some psychologist dubiously qualified to decide on whether a patient’s decsiion ios made rationally or not.

    Look, id this legislation passes, my gues sis that ti will not do a lot of harm .. until it leads to a law suit.

  69. 77

    SeattleJew spews:

    @72
    @70
    Right, and that’s why it’s important that this initiative lists the cause of death for people who take advantage of it as something other than suicide.

    so NOW you want the effin law to redefine cause of death???

    Given your pration on the need for not exceeding one’s level of expertise before passing as a pope, could you please tell me what the current medical and legal definition is of cause of death? Also, it sounds as if this law is going to require docs to define six months to live as well. Would you also use your expertise as an aeronautical engineer to inform this stupid person what procedure I should tell medical students to use to make this important judgement?

  70. 78

    SeattleJew spews:

    The six month idea is wierd.

    It owuld exempt the following from consideration under you kindness:

    Pts with Gherigs’s Disease. Prt of the nhorror of this disease is that a patient can be literally condemned to living in a forzen body with no means of communication.

    Pts undergoing bone marrow transplant .. This is often a very tricky affair and patients need to make decisions about the trade offs of quality of life vs. length of life. Should someone decide on a shorter expectation to allow then to do suicide under your law?

    Patients facinfg Alzheimers Disease.

    Quadriplegics with progressive pain.

    etc etc.

    Forgive me, but the more I think about this, the law as proposed violates my sense of a need to show special kindness to the dying. What the eff you think we get in return for this trade off, beats me!

  71. 79

    spews:

    @73
    and where is the evidence that hundreds have benefited?

    Several hundred people have taken advantage of the law since it took effect ten years ago.

    BTW. since we both agree that something similar happens now without the benign glow of a law. when was the last persecution of a physician for this sort of activity in WA state?

    I have no idea, but in the past, no doctor has been willing to do it above the table. That, as I said, has value to people. The fact that people take advantage of the law in Oregon demonstrates that fact.

    as fior legalizing all drugs??? You bubbelah are as naive as the last republican to leave the Bush campaign. Who do you think is going to sell these drugs?

    Pharmaceutical companies, just as is done now, with strict oversight from the government, but without the prescription requirement.

    Howsa about legal growth hormone? You just watch Hoffman La roche’s bottom line when that happens (they own it).

    People who want that already use it. In Switzerland, after they legalized heroin, the amount of new users plummeted. You need to do some research here, SJ, your assumptions of human nature are the ones that should be classified as naive, not mine.

    Oh, and you worry about the poor? Imagine the eploitation we could do of workers if we paid them in cheap synthetic opium.

    That’s not what I’m suggesting, but since your brain can only handle very simple constructs, I’m honestly not surprised that that’s what you figured I meant. Pathetic.

  72. 80

    spews:

    @74
    When you use this insult, you might try to be sure your insult gun is not loaded with jelly beans. We have NO law now allowing docs to kill poor people. Your law creates that possibility.

    No it doesn’t. Again, I will buy you dinner at DL if you can bring a physician along with you who agrees with that statement.

  73. 81

    Steve spews:

    @75 “without adding the burden of a second physician and some psychologist”

    From my personal perspective, one physician will suffice. While this might be an issue of how to die and when to die, it is also, perhaps foremost to me, an issue of personal freedom. It appears that if I were near the end, suffering, and wanted to end it, that you might be there to say “no, you cannot”. It seems that you believe that others, including you, know best and that you would force me to go through a humiliating search, while near deaths door, for a physician willing to wink and help me out. Either that or I would have to find some other means, say a gun or a rope. I don’t get it. Why? This smacks of those who know best, tut-tuting about how they believe the dying should die without assistance. When you say that someone will suffer less for the medication you would prescribe, that still leaves you in control, leaving one to die on your time table, established by your values. No thank you.

    I’ll still vote yes on I-1000.

  74. 82

    spews:

    @75
    Lee, your willingness to advise people to inhale carcinogens is, to coin a phrase “breath taking.”

    And I’ve already demonstrated to you, the UCLA study showed that one cannot get cancer from smoking marijuana, which caused you to completely lose your head and write contradictory comments. You can choose science or you can choose faith. It’s up to you.

    Your willingness to discuss the Quran without ever, apparently having read it is worthy of any of George Bush’s aides.

    I’ve never once claimed to be an expert on the Quran. That’s completely irrelevant to how you’ve accused people of being racist without proof.

    There is a lot more … you often claim to speak not only for your side of an issue but for everyone on the other side and then hold debates with yourself!

    How about this, I’ll bring all the instances of where you’ve done that to me on a printout next Tuesday and you do the opposite. Whoever has the most instances has their dinner bought by the other person. Deal?

    You also out Orwell AND Newsweek in your willingness to redefine words like “medicine.”

    Here’s the definition. Again, I’ll buy you dinner if you can point me to an instance where I’ve misused the term.

    1. defining “six months to live” is impossible.

    I’m well aware of this, but I trust doctors not to abuse it.

    2. Most decisions like this in the terminally ill are already difficult without adding the burden of a second physician and some psychologist dubiously qualified to decide on whether a patient’s decsiion ios made rationally or not.

    The psychologist is only required if the doctor feels it’s necessary. Please read the initiative.

    Look, id this legislation passes, my gues sis that ti will not do a lot of harm .. until it leads to a law suit.

    Did that happen in Oregon? If not, why not? And finally, why is it so hard for you to process these basic things on your own?

  75. 83

    spews:

    @76
    so NOW you want the effin law to redefine cause of death???

    It already does in Oregon.

    Given your pration on the need for not exceeding one’s level of expertise before passing as a pope, could you please tell me what the current medical and legal definition is of cause of death?

    In Oregon, when a person uses the cocktail to end their own life, the cause of death is listed as the terminal illness that they had. Doing this is just common sense.

    @77
    Forgive me, but the more I think about this, the law as proposed violates my sense of a need to show special kindness to the dying. What the eff you think we get in return for this trade off, beats me!

    Who cares? You don’t understand the law, you refuse to look at the experience in Oregon. Why does your opinion matter?

  76. 84

    SeattleJew spews:

    @80 Steve

    You and I mostly agree. Personally, I think it is no ones business other than my own, In practice, I think that is very much the reality now, esp for people close enough to death to qualify for this law.

    I would only vote for it if I found those of my colleagues who deal with this everyday telling me they need this in order to help patients.

    Remember, Less fusillades aside, it is perfectly legal NOW for a physician to do anything she can to make an ill person comfortable, even if that effort shortens life. If anything, I-1000 would restrict that freedom we now have.

  77. 85

    Steve spews:

    SJ, as I’ve said before, life is sometimes good, death is sometimes good. Life is no more a good in itself than any other value is. Life is good when and if it is good, because of circumstance and because of context. If I am in the late stage of a terminal illness and I decide that my life is no longer good and no longer worth preservation, who are you, or the state, for that matter, to tell me otherwise? You and the state should not have any right whatsoever to interfere with such a deeply personal decision. It should be a matter left between myself, my family, and my physician. Any interference, any removal of my freedom to choose, should be fully and completely justified. Sorry, SJ, I just don’t see it.

    Oh, and thanks for your thoughtful replies to my posts!

    Vote yes on I-1000.

  78. 86

    spews:

    @83
    If anything, I-1000 would restrict that freedom we now have.

    No, it doesn’t. Again, I will buy you dinner at DL if you can bring a physician with you who agrees with that statement.

  79. 87

    Steve spews:

    @83 “If anything, I-1000 would restrict that freedom we now have.”

    I don’t see the reasoning behind that. It appears the opposite to me – refer to my last post.

  80. 88

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee, your willingness to advise people to inhale carcinogens is, to coin a phrase “breath taking.”

    And I’ve already demonstrated to you, the UCLA study showed that one cannot get cancer from smoking marijuana, which caused you to completely lose your head and write contradictory comments. You can choose science or you can choose faith. It’s up to you.

    WADR, you lack the expertise to understand the UCLA paper and it most certainly does not show anything of the kind. It is entirely conceivable that you may have killed someone by that comment. Do you care?

    For anyone inert enough to still be reading this thread, I am a very experienced scientist in the life sciences. Though not a specialist in cancer epidemiology, I have worked int he relevant basic biology for many years. Lee, in contrast, is an evangelist with very extreme views,

    For the record, marijuan itself is probably not harmful. Smoking marijuana may or may not be as harmful or more harmful than smoking cigarettes but the burden of proof is on folks like Lee or the MJ manufacturers if the stuff becomes legal since the chenistry of marijuana suggests itrs should be very carcoinogenic due to compounds other than the THC repsonsible for the desired effect.

  81. 89

    SeattleJew spews:

    84. Steve

    we agree. However, to the best of my knowldge, terminal patients now get the sort of help they want short of being able to ask for a doctor ot condone their deaths.

    I have mi xed feelings on the latter issue, for reasonsstated here but would actually oppose I-100 for the same reaosn you suppo9rt it .. I think it restrcuts your current freedom.

  82. 91

    SeattleJew spews:

    #85 .. Lee first of all, I am a physician and have (literally) two MDs to prove that (one from Sweden and one from the US. Second, why would I insult a friend by asking them to put themselves int that spot just to satisfy your ego? Third, while I do not now practice medicine, many of my friends dela with exactly tis issue all the time. Subjecting them to your sort of abuse whould accomplish nothing.

    ASs with other issues, your seem only interested in making points. All I would accomplish by impinging on a friends time is having you call them names too.

  83. 92

    Steve spews:

    @88 We can respectfully agree to disagree on this one. Besides, I feel like I’m butting in between you and Lee here a little bit. I thank you again for your replies to my posts.

  84. 93

    SeattleJew spews:

    Syeve,

    before I leave Lee to finds more Jelly Beans for hsi gun, letg me invite you to talk sometime more on the subject of voluntary death. I am heavily influenced by Buddhism and actually consider it a religious right. It wold be interesting to talk to another person who may feel that way

  85. 94

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee,

    You must know Yoda:

    “expertise before passing as a pope, could you please tell me what the current medical and legal definition is of cause of death?

    In Oregon, when a person uses the cocktail to end their own life, the cause of death is listed as the terminal illness that they had. Doing this is just common sense.”

    As someone who has had the legal responsibility for filling out such forms I am impressed that you are so knowledgeable about the legal and medical meaning of cause of death.

  86. 95

    SeattleJew spews:


    Forgive me, but the more I think about this, the law as proposed violates my sense of a need to show special kindness to the dying. What the eff you think we get in return for this trade off, beats me!

    Who cares? You don’t understand the law, you refuse to look at the experience in Oregon. Why does your opinion matter?

    Pardon me Mr. software engineer, marijuana evangelist, aeronautical engineer, blogger … exactly why does your opinion matter?

    FWIW I have read the data form Oregon. But what does data matter to you>

  87. 96

    SeattleJew spews:

    I’ve never once claimed to be an expert on the Quran.

    Nope, just pontificated on what it means to be educated as a Muslim.

    Hell, I have not read anything by Stalin. Maybe he was a good guy?

    Look, this getting dumb. I think any purpose that can be served has been served. I gotta go eat a burger.

    One last thought .. off the subject …. many, many deities have been forgotten over the year, but that does not mean they were never real. Try invoking Shaddai next time you need a parking space, whe may surprise you!

    In the names of the much neglected deities of the past, be good!

  88. 97

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 70. Steve spews:

    Using the internet tubes and the Google, it appears that life insurance policies usually have a “two year contestability clause”, and if you commit suicide within two years of taking out the policy then the insurance company wouldn’t have to pay. After two years, the insurance company pays.

    I believe it depends on the policy. I know that my former City of Seattle Employee Life Ins. covered payouts, even in the case of suicide. A friend/coworker went the carbon monoxide route-his exwife said that policy was the only way she could hang onto the house & keep a roof over his son’s head.

    On the other hand, my own PEMCO Term Life policy and several other smaller policies my bank has offered with my accts over the years – denies coverage in the event of suicide – at any time.

    When I received the package with my I-1000 petitions, there were a couple of Oregon newspaper articles about the life insurance issues. In Oregon, they found the insurance companies cooperated and went along with the law – acting in good faith. Heck, they were going to have to pay out in 6 months or less anyways. Possibly, IMO, it would create pretty ugly Public Relations scenarios for any insurance company that tried to dispute, after the law went into place.

  89. 98

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 64. SeattleJew:

    “As for the six months, I was unaware that was part of the proposed law.”

    I am astonished – after ALL the comments and posts you have made and excuses for why this initiative fails your personal ‘wink’ test – that you didn’t know this! Not like that fact hasn’t been repeated time & again so MANY times as being the major factor of qualifying criteria. Seems like you are merely interested in blowing smoke and hijacking the discussions, frankly.

  90. 100

    Steve spews:

    @96 I believe this is an important point to be considered in evaluating the initiative.

    @97 I suppose I should read it too.

  91. 102

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 99. Steve spews:

    @96 I believe this is an important point to be considered in evaluating the initiative.

    Yes ITA, frankly that insurance issue was a very important item for myself. Was pleased to discover they had already addressed it.

    For decades I’ve been paying money that I could ill afford for my life insurance policy, alongside my inexpensive City policy. I knew that, once I left City employment, unless using the COBRA plan (which only goes an addl 18-mos, longer ?29?-mos for leaving due to disability) – the City offered no extended coverage for us retirees to purchase. With diabetes running in my family, couldn’t risk getting turned down, come retirement age or failing a physical.

    If I were forced to choose between leaving my siblings my Life Insurance “Nest Egg” versus doing 6-months of hell, I would very likely do the ‘martyr choice’ (just cause I’m a stubborn ol’ coot).

    So, when I saw that Sec. 17 provision, it just confirmed my belief that this was a fair and forthright plan.

  92. 103

    Stephen Schwartz spews:

    @97 Frick n Frack

    Sorry, and I agree the discussion has gotten carried away.

    FWIW, the provsion makes this worse legislation. I would be much more enthusiastic about a law that offered suicide to peole with chronic pain, quadriplegia, etc.

    My own uncle, a famous physician, had parkinsions and became incommunicado long before he died. We all wondered how he must have felt the YEARS he spent unable to talk/ I do not know if he would have wanted suicide, Ubfortunatley thius law does nto help those folks.

  93. 104

    spews:

    @102
    My own uncle, a famous physician, had parkinsions and became incommunicado long before he died. We all wondered how he must have felt the YEARS he spent unable to talk/ I do not know if he would have wanted suicide, Ubfortunatley thius law does nto help those folks.

    It may not help in that situation. But it doesn’t hurt them either, which is a claim you continually make (see comment #74 for one example). That’s where you’re wrong. You’re doing what a lot of people do with this initiative. You look to it to solve the myriad of issues that surround the desire for someone to end their own life. This initiative can’t do that. It only carves out a very narrow exception that allows doctors to freely prescribe a cocktail to a narrow subset of qualified patients choosing to end their own life on their own terms. That’s it.

  94. 105

    spews:

    @95
    Nope, just pontificated on what it means to be educated as a Muslim.

    Absolutely not, I only called you out for falsely accusing Muslims in this state of promoting hate. My own knowledge of the Quran is irrelevant to that.

    @94
    Pardon me Mr. software engineer, marijuana evangelist, aeronautical engineer, blogger … exactly why does your opinion matter?

    Because when someone challenges me on the facts, I don’t change the subject and start debating something completely different.

  95. 106

    spews:

    @93
    As someone who has had the legal responsibility for filling out such forms I am impressed that you are so knowledgeable about the legal and medical meaning of cause of death.

    What have I said so far that’s incorrect? For your information, I learned about the ins and outs of this from someone who opposes I-1000, but unlike you, has informed and intelligent reasons for doing so (even though I don’t agree with his logic).

  96. 107

    spews:

    @90
    Lee first of all, I am a physician and have (literally) two MDs to prove that (one from Sweden and one from the US.

    Bring one to DL. If what you say is true, it shouldn’t be hard to find more.

    Second, why would I insult a friend by asking them to put themselves int that spot just to satisfy your ego?

    I’m not doing this for the sake of my ego, I’m doing it for the sake of yours.

    Third, while I do not now practice medicine, many of my friends dela with exactly tis issue all the time. Subjecting them to your sort of abuse whould accomplish nothing.

    I don’t intend to subject them to abuse. I simply plan to show up with a printout of about 4-5 things you’ve said that are clearly false, and will have him/her explain to you directly that they are false. Then I will enjoy watching you spin and bob and change the subject in order to cover the fact that you had no idea what you’re talking about.

  97. 108

    spews:

    @87
    WADR, you lack the expertise to understand the UCLA paper and it most certainly does not show anything of the kind.

    Excuse me?

    It is entirely conceivable that you may have killed someone by that comment. Do you care?

    Really? I’ve killed someone because I’ve pointed out to you that the largest study ever conducted on the link between marijuana and lung cancer – a study that was pushed by the government in order to prove such a link, conducted by a researcher who was convinced that a link existed and wanted to prove it, yet concluded the complete opposite – is somehow a biased study. Really? Are you sticking with that, Mr. Scientist?

    For anyone inert enough to still be reading this thread, I am a very experienced scientist in the life sciences.

    You’re also someone who recently said that you want to see “science acquire some of the attributes of a religion.”

    Though not a specialist in cancer epidemiology, I have worked int he relevant basic biology for many years.

    Which makes this all the sadder, especially when I had a student researcher, who knows far more about this particular topic than you do, get frustrated at how stubborn you were to let go of a number of false assumptions you had.

    For the record, marijuan itself is probably not harmful. Smoking marijuana may or may not be as harmful or more harmful than smoking cigarettes but the burden of proof is on folks like Lee or the MJ manufacturers if the stuff becomes legal since the chenistry of marijuana suggests itrs should be very carcoinogenic due to compounds other than the THC repsonsible for the desired effect.

    As I’ve explained to you a number of times already (remember, you’re the “scientist”, right), the burden of proof in science does not just fall on the people whose beliefs seem the most implausible. The burden of proof in science falls on everyone. It’s sad enough that I have to explain this to someone with a PhD, but that’s where we’re at right now.

    And beyond that, the fact that study after study is showing that marijuana does not cause lung cancer, you continue to assert that the working assumption should be that it does. Why? Other than the faith-based formulation you’ve devised above, why else should we be doing that?

  98. 109

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee,

    “Excuse me” … no. You are pretending to have expertise in a subject where you are unqulaified but also a subject where opinions lkke yours may harm other people. Ignorance is not an excuse when we knowingly advise on matters that can threaten their well being.

    The UCLA study you hang on to is reassuring that adding marijuana to cigarette smoke may not produce something to worry about. It certainly does not prove that marijuana smoke does not cause cancer and, if that were true, I can guarantee you there would be huge funds available from industry and government to find out why the expected effect did not occur.

    If you want to have an honest discussion of the paper, inviter Sunil and the three of us can read it together,

    In the mean time please do not do the experiment I suggested as a challenge. The fact remains that any material rich in these compounds is and should be treated with great care. Placing the tars from a reefer on your skin could produce some very ugly reactions that you do not want.

  99. 110

    SeattleJew spews:

    As for your attacks on me, Boobelah, they really do nto serve any purpose and might even deprive you of a chance (Shaddai forbid) to learn something or teach something .. both rather valuable experiences.

    So, oh condescending grasshopper, I am very serious about my ideas of the relationship of science to religion. Of course, there ideas are not only mine. In large part they grow from the ideas of my mentors … Soleveitchik, Skinner, William James augmeented by exciting, at least to me, new confluence of lingustic and gnetic data pointing to an even about 70k years ago where “we” (I hope you do not mind being included in the genetic tree) acquired complex speech, improved tool making and religion all at one time.

    So, would it be too boring to you to ask if you think that such an event lacks ability to inspire awe that humans associate with the founding myths of Genesis or the Quran? Is this story, revealed b y scince, not as wonderful as the story about red clay turning into sdom?

  100. 111

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee,

    If you want to find a doctor who will help you abuse me then go ahead! I am not sure DL is the ebst place, but I am open to that.

    Shall we bring flintlocks or rapiers?

    FWIW, I do think you are smart person. If there are subjects, e.g. the carcinogenicity of coal tar products, that you want to LEARB more about, then sure I asm happy to set up a dinner or a lunch sometime. That would be fun.

  101. 112

    spews:

    @108
    “Excuse me” … no. You are pretending to have expertise in a subject where you are unqulaified but also a subject where opinions lkke yours may harm other people.

    I’m not the one pretending to be the expert here. I’m simply pointing out a study that an expert has done. If you think the expert or his study is flawed, explain yourself. You keep saying that there are flaws with it, but you don’t elaborate.

    Ignorance is not an excuse when we knowingly advise on matters that can threaten their well being.

    I’m sorry, but if the benefits a person receives from it outweighs the dangers, a doctor should recommend it. That’s not necessarily a scientific formulation, it’s a logical one. But in order to come to sound scientific conclusions, you must understand logic.

    It certainly does not prove that marijuana smoke does not cause cancer and, if that were true, I can guarantee you there would be huge funds available from industry and government to find out why the expected effect did not occur.

    I just explained this to you. The Tashkin study was funded by government in order to find out why all these other studies were concluding that marijuana didn’t cause cancer. What’s so hard to understand about that?

    If you want to have an honest discussion of the paper, inviter Sunil and the three of us can read it together

    I’ve already discussed this with Sunil, and he thinks you’re loony, but feel free to invite him back to DL.

    In the mean time please do not do the experiment I suggested as a challenge.

    What experiment?

    The fact remains that any material rich in these compounds is and should be treated with great care. Placing the tars from a reefer on your skin could produce some very ugly reactions that you do not want.

    What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that marijuana can cause skin rashes like poison ivy?

  102. 113

    SeattleJew spews:

    The fact remains that any material rich in these compounds is and should be treated with great care.

    Are you willing to stand by this statement. If so, then riddle me this: What evidence is there that there are a lot of people this close to death who can not get help now?

    Frankly, I think I-1000 is a waste of time. IT .. at best .. helps very few people, may endanger some, why bother?

  103. 114

    SeattleJew spews:

    By the way:

    ““Excuse me” … no. You are pretending to have expertise in a subject where you are unqulaified but also a subject where opinions lkke yours may harm other people.

    I’m not the one pretending to be the expert here. I’m simply pointing out a study that an expert has done. If you think the expert or his study is flawed, explain yourself. You keep saying that there are flaws

    I already have but you seem not to understand the statistics of such a study.

  104. 115

    spews:

    @109
    As for your attacks on me, Boobelah, they really do nto serve any purpose and might even deprive you of a chance (Shaddai forbid) to learn something or teach something

    I’m actually learning a lot from this. I’m learning exactly how far into a mental rabbit hole a human being can go when he’s absolutely determined to avoid having to admit that he’s wrong about something. You’ve done it in spectacular fashion. In fact, I may consider replicating a lot of our conversations and donating them to people who study mental health disorders because you’re truly fucked in the head.

    The fact that you think that I could actually learn something from you is terrifying.

    So, oh condescending grasshopper, I am very serious about my ideas of the relationship of science to religion.

    I know you are, and that’s what scares me.

    Of course, there ideas are not only mine. In large part they grow from the ideas of my mentors … Soleveitchik, Skinner, William James augmeented by exciting, at least to me, new confluence of lingustic and gnetic data pointing to an even about 70k years ago where “we” (I hope you do not mind being included in the genetic tree) acquired complex speech, improved tool making and religion all at one time.

    It’s likely that you’re not smart enough to understand what they’re really saying because the way you approach science would likely make any reputable scientist cringe (and yes, other people, including people in the scientific world, have said this to me about you).

    So, would it be too boring to you to ask if you think that such an event lacks ability to inspire awe that humans associate with the founding myths of Genesis or the Quran?

    If you’re asking whether or not religion and scientific discovery can both be inspired by natural phenomena, then yes, you’re correct. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about using faith as a way to determine truth, an idea that you appear to espouse (and practice), but which is anathema to scientists.

    @110
    If you want to find a doctor who will help you abuse me then go ahead! I am not sure DL is the ebst place, but I am open to that.

    As always, when it comes time to back up your bullshit, you always chicken out. Why is that? When are we meeting with that imam again?

    Shall we bring flintlocks or rapiers?

    I’ll be bringing printouts of the things you’ve written. Apparently that’s the most terrifying thing you can be faced with – the evidence of your own ignorance.

    FWIW, I do think you are smart person.

    I wish I could say the same. After all the bullshit that you’ve thrown out here recently, I really think you have some difficulties with basic intellectual concepts. You clearly don’t care and will clearly never be able to recognize this fact, but I still find it important to say it to you as directly as I can.

    If there are subjects, e.g. the carcinogenicity of coal tar products, that you want to LEARB more about, then sure I asm happy to set up a dinner or a lunch sometime. That would be fun.

    I’m not sure you understand this. I have nothing to learn from you. I think you’re an enormous blowhard who has an absurdly overinflated view of his own intelligence. And I’m far from the only person who thinks that. You probably have a good amount of knowledge about your own specialty in medical research, but you’re very limited intellectually at understanding culture, history, science, and a range of other topics that you seem eager to be the expert on. Sorry, I’ve tried for a long time to be nice about it, but I’m fed up. You’re a complete dolt, and I probably shouldn’t say this, but most people at DL quietly agree with me.

  105. 116

    spews:

    @112
    Neurons misfiring again? You know you have 15 minutes to edit your comments after you leave them, right?

    The fact remains that any material rich in these compounds is and should be treated with great care.

    Are you willing to stand by this statement.

    You made that statement.

    If so, then riddle me this: What evidence is there that there are a lot of people this close to death who can not get help now?

    The fact that Oregon has had a number of people take advantage of it. We’ve already gone over this.

    Frankly, I think I-1000 is a waste of time. IT .. at best .. helps very few people, may endanger some, why bother?

    You’re right that the number of people it will help will be very small, but it endangers no one (you have yet to provide a hypothetic example, let alone one from Oregon). Why bother? Because liberty is fundamental to how this country should operate.

  106. 117

    spews:

    @113
    I already have but you seem not to understand the statistics of such a study

    No, you haven’t. You’ve never provided a link to a study which showed that marijuana causes cancer (and sadly, you could probably find some with Google, although many have been shown to be flawed studies, which I’d be happy to explain to you in more detail).

  107. 118

    SeattleJew spews:

    @116 Lee

    Lee 1 to Lee 2 “You’ve never provided a link to a study which showed that marijuana causes cancer.”

    Lee 2 to Lee 1 “I thought you were talking with SJ about this, he has never said such a study exists. Or are yo talking to myyourself again?

    If you want papers on the components of the smoke you are inhaling that worry me, I am happy to send you those. No-one would ever paint that stuff onto their skin!

    BTW, if you want a rough idea of what the stuff is, find some old creosote soaked telephone poles. Would you smoke that stuff too?

  108. 119

    SeattleJew spews:

    The fact remains that any material rich in these compounds is and should be treated with great care.

    Are you willing to stand by this statement.

    certainly.

  109. 120

    SeattleJew spews:

    If so, then riddle me this: What evidence is there that there are a lot of people this close to death who can not get help now?

    The fact that Oregon has had a number of people take advantage of it. We’ve already gone over this.

    Not at all. First, the numbers are small. I believe the last I saw about 150 last year. Not nothing but one needs to ask how many of these poeple would have been able to accomplish their goas anyway?

    Neurons misfiring … certainly. I would not mind a little THC right now! But preferably not as a reefer.

  110. 121

    spews:

    @117
    Lee 1 to Lee 2 “You’ve never provided a link to a study which showed that marijuana causes cancer.”

    Lee 2 to Lee 1 “I thought you were talking with SJ about this, he has never said such a study exists. Or are yo talking to myyourself again?

    Oh, I forgot, you reached that conclusion on faith as part of your faith-based science initiative. Forgive me for forgetting that you don’t need scientific evidence to believe something.

    If you want papers on the components of the smoke you are inhaling that worry me, I am happy to send you those.

    Sure you can. But none of those will be proof that marijuana (even through smoking rolled up joints for decades) actually causes cancer, and you know this.

    No-one would ever paint that stuff onto their skin!

    What evidence do you have to back that statement up?

    BTW, if you want a rough idea of what the stuff is, find some old creosote soaked telephone poles. Would you smoke that stuff too?

    That’s irrelevant to this discussion. Studies have shown that there’s no link between long term marijuana use and lung cancer. You’re dismissing that out-of-hand, while providing absolutely no evidence at all to rebut it. You continue to refer to yourself as a “scientist”, but I have yet to see any evidence of that.

  111. 122

    SeattleJew spews:

    Frankly, I think I-1000 is a waste of time. IT .. at best .. helps very few people, may endanger some, why bother?

    You’re right that the number of people it will help will be very small, but it endangers no one (you have yet to provide a hypothetic example, let alone one from Oregon). Why bother? Because liberty is fundamental to how this country should operate.

    You may be very right about this, I really do not know. What worries me as a physician is the encroachment on medical practice by mutitudinous laws that were meant well but cost a large amount of money w/ no benefit. Here are a few examples:

    HIPPA This was intended to protect patients from the insurance companies, the one thing it does NOT do. I ahev heard estimates in the billions of dollars of what HIPPA enforcement costs us.

    Diagnostic Codes Again .. the idea was to help make good stats. Maybe it has except that now the pressure is on to dx the most expensive diseases.

    Rights of the Mentally Ill .. do you like street people? Do you know why people who used to be cared for by the state now live under our freeways?

    Physician Retraining ..s boon to the travel industries of Hawaii and Bermuda.

    Patient’s Rights in Research You can not imagine how LITTLE effort goes into actually protecting the patients vs how much goes into pretecting the Institutes from being sued.

    Lee,

    Call me a skeptic (you have tried everything else), but I would much prefer a simpler act that clearly states MY right to take my own life if I wish to do so. I see no benefit and much risk in limiting this to the “six months to go” dx. I suspect that would just become a convenient excuse.

    If I can flip the arguement back to you, since you seem (now)to be a (European meaning) liberal , then would you agree that removing restrictions on how medicine in practiced, with obvious attention to malpractice and quackery, would be a good thing? For example, I find the liberal (USA style( argument that increasing the doc supply is bad because more docs mean more costs mind jarring. Patients, IMHO, should be able to see docs and the best way to do that is to have enough of them.

  112. 123

    spews:

    @118
    Um, which one of us is having a conversation with themselves now?

    @119
    Not at all. First, the numbers are small. I believe the last I saw about 150 last year. Not nothing but one needs to ask how many of these poeple would have been able to accomplish their goas anyway?

    None of them would have been able to. I think you’re completely missing the entire point of the initiative. This initiative allows for doctors to prescribe a cocktail (a drink basically) that allows for someone to have a dignified death on their own terms that doesn’t involve overdosing on opioids or some other less dignified method. People wanted to have that as an option and the Oregon law gave it to them. Patients in Washington are legally barred from the doing the same thing.

    Neurons misfiring … certainly. I would not mind a little THC right now! But preferably not as a reefer.

    Vaporizers. That’s the way to go.

  113. 124

    SeattleJew spews:

    It’s likely that you’re not smart enough to understand what they’re really saying because the way you approach science would likely make any reputable scientist cringe (and yes, other people, including people in the scientific world, have said this to me about you).

    ah so grasshopper .. and so why have I been able to publish severla hundred papers and attract large audiences to the course I offer next week.

    Nothing like anonymity to promote slander.

  114. 125

    SeattleJew spews:

    BTW, if you want a rough idea of what the stuff is, find some old creosote soaked telephone poles. Would you smoke that stuff too?

    That’s irrelevant to this discussion. Studies have shown that there’s no link between long term marijuana use and lung cancer. You’re dismissing that out-of-hand, while providing absolutely no evidence at all to rebut it. You continue to refer to yourself as a “scientist”, but I have yet to see any evidence of that.

    Lee, and studies have shown that apricot pits cure cancer, vitamin E prevents Alzheimers, and vitaimin C prevents the flu. Good luck.

  115. 126

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee 1 to Lee 2 “You’ve never provided a link to a study which showed that marijuana causes cancer.”

    Lee 2 to Lee 1 “I thought you were talking with SJ about this, he has never said such a study exists. Or are yo talking to myyourself again?

    Lee 1 to Lee 2 “Oh, I forgot, you reached that conclusion on faith as part of your faith-based science initiative. Forgive me for forgetting that you don’t need scientific evidence to believe something.”

    Lee2 and Lee 1 at same time, “Um, which one of us is having a conversation with themselves now?”

    SJ to the Reverand Lee, you are forgiven.

  116. 127

    spews:

    @121
    Call me a skeptic (you have tried everything else), but I would much prefer a simpler act that clearly states MY right to take my own life if I wish to do so.

    So would I. But that’s a political impossibility. That’s why we have the initiative we have, which is far more narrow.

    I see no benefit and much risk in limiting this to the “six months to go” dx.

    The benefit is that the initiative can actually be passed. What’s the risk?

    I suspect that would just become a convenient excuse.

    Convenient excuse for what?

    If I can flip the arguement back to you, since you seem (now)to be a (European meaning) liberal , then would you agree that removing restrictions on how medicine in practiced, with obvious attention to malpractice and quackery, would be a good thing?

    Most likely.

    For example, I find the liberal (USA style( argument that increasing the doc supply is bad because more docs mean more costs mind jarring. Patients, IMHO, should be able to see docs and the best way to do that is to have enough of them.

    It’s not a subject I’ve looked into closely.

    See how that works? I didn’t know about a subject, so I said so up front. Isn’t that much easier than pretending that you’re an expert, saying a bunch of a bullshit that isn’t true, then stubbornly trying to change the argument when it’s clear you didn’t know what you were talking about?

  117. 128

    SeattleJew spews:

    “This initiative allows for doctors to prescribe a cocktail (a drink basically) that allows for someone to have a dignified death on their own terms that doesn’t involve overdosing on opioids or some other less dignified method. People wanted to have that as an option and the Oregon law gave it to them. Patients in Washington are legally barred from the doing the same thing.”

    Is this true? If I post the content of the cocktail on the web and you obtain the ingredients and then use them, do you go to jail for that?

    BTW, if I wanted to “go” I think I would rather do so with an IV. There are a number of bad tings that can happen with PO poison. Look at the end of Hamlet for some excellent thoughts of this clinical subject.

  118. 129

    spews:

    @123
    and so why have I been able to publish severla hundred papers and attract large audiences to the course I offer next week.

    As I said, I’m sure you know your stuff on your particular area of medical research expertise. You clearly know very little about the topics we’re discussing here.

    @124
    Lee, and studies have shown that apricot pits cure cancer, vitamin E prevents Alzheimers, and vitaimin C prevents the flu. Good luck.

    And real scientists can point out the flaws in those studies.

    @125
    If your belief that marijuana causes cancer isn’t faith-based, then provide a link to the evidence. It must be online, especially since every single person in the ONDCP would want to announce it to the world on a daily basis.

  119. 130

    spews:

    @127
    Is this true?

    Do you seriously not know?

    If I post the content of the cocktail on the web and you obtain the ingredients and then use them, do you go to jail for that?

    For one, the ingredients are controlled substances, so you’d either have to get them from a pharmacist or on the black market. And two, how could you go to jail if you’ve already used the cocktail to end your life?

  120. 131

    spews:

    @127
    BTW, if I wanted to “go” I think I would rather do so with an IV.

    That’s your choice. Others want this choice. That’s why it was made legal in Oregon, and that’s why it’s being made legal here.

    There are a number of bad tings that can happen with PO poison. Look at the end of Hamlet for some excellent thoughts of this clinical subject.

    A number of bad things can happen with any prescription medication you get from a pharmacy. What’s your point?

  121. 132

    Steve spews:

    I’ve thought further about one aspect of this issue since last night and I conclude that I couldn’t possibly ask a physician to break the law, wink, or anything of the sort. If it came down to it, without I-1000 I’d be on my own, Googling for ways to die a decent death on my own terms, or possibly suffering horribly until the chariot finally arrives to take me away.

  122. 133

    SeattleJew spews:

    @131 A pleasent interchange!

    , Steve, I do not think you understand the likely circumstances.

    Since Lee’s initiative only applies to people so sick that they are expected to die wi/in six months, in almost all cases the patient will be in enough pain or other discomfort that the patient and the physician will be working to make the patient as comfortable as possible. This often does accelerate death and the patient understands this.

    Calling it a “wink” is terribly cruel. Put yourself in the position of having a loved one in great pain , knowing that death was imminent and asking to die NOW. Would you want the doctor to kill tyour Dad or offer pain relief first? I think most people would say relieve pain first.

    Where people actually have access to a doctor, there is compassion and an effort to make the terminal patient as comfortable as possible. “Comfort” here includes many things … physical pain, depression, nausea, loss of sensations, hallucinations .. all of these may be treated. Some docs even prescribe Lee’s favorite medicine.
    It is not at all clear how or how this process changes under I-1000. Even with I-1000, any physician will be compelled (by her oath and by the standards of medical ethics) to relieve pain before agreeing to kill a patient. The patient, for his part, will know that this relief has as its price a shortening of life. If there is a “wink” that is it.

    To be fair to Lee’s argument, it is certainly just possible that there is a patient with “six months to live” (BTW that is an impossible term and subject to huge abuse.) who is feeling fine but decides he wants to die NOW. I honestly do not know how often that happens or how difficult it would be for such a person to get help. I suspect that this is a very rare situation.

    If this were a common event, would I vote for I-1000 as written? I would not because, as written it undermines the Hippocratic Oath. I would much rather see legislation that does not put a physician in the role of executioner but still allows a patient to get the fatal cup Lee describes.

    As an example, why not have a real Death with Dignity act that entitles terminally ill patients to hospice care, including attention of a physican? In that same law, we might include funding for Lee’s version to Socrates’ “cocktail” but have it administered by someone whose main functions are not so closely tied to maintaining life. More importantly, we would not have the ugoy (and common NOW) situation of the temrinally poor patient being forced to die at home or even on the street.

    Anyhow, as I have already said, I do not think I-1000 is very important. If it means anything, it addresses a rare problem and creates only mild damage to the system.

    BTW ..

    I would like to talk more, but not here. Even I get tired of being called names by Lee. Please visit my blog, seattlejew.blogspot.com and leave a message vua the email address there.

    Since the sun is receding while I write this, may I also wish all the peace of the sabbath.

  123. 134

    SeattleJew spews:

    @128

    Lee 2 said to Lee 1:

    “See how that works? I didn’t know about a subject, so I said so up front. Isn’t that much easier than pretending that you’re an expert, saying a bunch of a bullshit that isn’t true, then stubbornly trying to change the argument when it’s clear you didn’t know what you were talking about?”

    hmmm you mean like:

    claiming that coal tars in mj smoke are benign without knowing anything about cole tars

    or do you mean like:

    Claiming that you know the meaning of “cause of death” on death certificate, or “six months to live,”

    or could it be:

    claiming that islamic education is benign without having read the Quran, Hadith or the Freedom House report?

    or perhaps:

    freelance diagnosis of mental retardation

    and then there is the ever popular:

    claiming that mj has been proven not to cause cancer?

    Thank you Lee 2 for all your support.

  124. 135

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee 1 says

    There are a number of bad tings that can happen with PO poison. Look at the end of Hamlet for some excellent thoughts of this clinical subject.

    A number of bad things can happen with any prescription medication you get from a pharmacy. What’s your point?

    Lee 2 asks, what does this mean .. are prescription meds more dangerous than mushrooms, snake venom, shark cartilage, ??? Gee if we did away with restrictions we would be so much safer!

  125. 136

    SeattleJew spews:

    Lee 1 says “If your belief that marijuana causes cancer isn’t faith-based, then provide a link to the evidence. It must be online, especially since every single person in the ONDCP would want to announce it to the world on a daily basis.”

    Lee 2 says, “Why not show Professor Schwartz wg=her he has said this? Or to have more fun, why not ask him if his belief in Darwin extends to Darwin being able to create comoputer clouds out of random software?”

  126. 137

    Lee 2 spews:

    “This initiative allows for doctors to prescribe a cocktail (a drink basically) that allows for someone to have a dignified death on their own terms that doesn’t involve overdosing on opioids or some other less dignified method. People wanted to have that as an option and the Oregon law gave it to them. Patients in Washington are legally barred from the doing the same thing.”

    Could you tell us all why you think a lethal dose of morphine or some other sleep inducing drug is less dignified than the Oregon cocktail’s coma inducing level of barbiturates?