Friday, June 03, 2011

Kevorkian and Multiple Sclerosis

Reading of the death of Jack Kevorkian, I could not help but pause and reflect.

Years ago I read an article in the Detroit Free Press chronicling those who had sought out his assistance.  Most did not have a terminal illness, in fact progressive Multiple Sclerosis often was the diagnosis.

At the time, we were stumbling around through not only just such a diagnosis but the daily realities. Patti was rapidly loosing her physical and cognitive abilities and facing a future of life long dependence on others.

“Right to die”, “assisted suicide”, “murder”, “right and wrong" and "quality of life” were words soon argued by lawyers, courts, advocates and media.

Lost in it all, was always the unimaginable choices made by those ‘real people’ facing a futureless future.

It’s a good day to ask ourselves individually and as a society, what have we done to make a dependent future any more civilized? Dignified? Caring?  
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. that is a good question, Patrick. What have we done? Individuals like you have done leaps and bounds, but what has society done?

    I don't know what the answer is to this all; I think we as people and individuals have some say in how our healthcare is provided and what we want and what we don't want in heroics, but when faced with multiple sclerosis or other similar diseases, what do we decide? how do we decide? how does a family member who is power of attorney decide? Its things I think about a lot as I sit and type medical reports all day; I think lots of debate over issues will be forthcoming in the coming years

    I wonder if he died how he wanted to die.....


  2. I know there are no simple answers...and I know that both of my parents were suffering with no (or extremely slim) chance of improvement or any quality of life when I (what some consider) "let them die." I'm still very glad & even proud that I did it.


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