Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pat Buchanan Can Suck It

Last night Buchanan was yammering on about the "Death Panels" that (will, in some as yet hypothetical future) convene when terminal patients are given "options." Every option *except* refusal of treatment, which he neglected to add.

I have lost many dear friends to cancer. The hardest was my friend Anne; she was 40 when she died in 1998 after her *third* bout with breast cancer. She knew the news was bad at the appointment when she received her third diagnosis and the doctor (who happened to be my oncologist also) recommended experimental treatments. She had had chemo, radiation, a stem-cell transplant (the first in Indiana) and numerous surgeries. The doctor recommended teflon injections. You know, the non-stick surface in cooking pans?

She told me in our frequent conversations about the terminal state of her illness: "I want to die and my doctor won't let me."

She spent the last four months on Earth falling down stairs, in agonizing pain from the cancer which had spread to every bone in her body, not eating, vomiting at all hours of the day, not sleeping (despite the pharmaceutical soup she was served three times daily), and just generally too aware of what was happening to her.

Those fuckers kept her alive because her health insurance would pay them to. She had a cadillac plan, but she was ready for the end. The end of seeing her husband, family, and friends suffer because she was *so* sick; the end of the unbearable pain; the end of feeling dizzy and scared but acutely aware of her suffering no matter how much morphine they gave her.

She wanted to die.

The last time I talked to her was two weeks before she passed.

The final thing she said as we hung up the phone was: "I don't understand why God won't let me die."

That was Anne. A deeply devout woman who lived a short, loved-filled life and was made to suffer unimaginable cruelty at the hands of people who were trying to *save* her.

What part of terminal didn't the doctor understand?

Right now, a very dear friend of my mom's is losing his battle with liver cancer. He was hospitalized over the weekend and wants to go home to die. He wants to take a jacuzzi, feed the birds, tend to his garden, have one last fire in the hearth that forms the center of his home.

His doctors won't let him leave. They'd rather let him die in a hospital bed surrounded by machines and caregivers who are strangers.

Indeed, there are death panels... doctors who collect from insurance companies on terminally ill patients... suck the well dry. But the patient? There is no end for them until they have been bled dry and can no longer recognize family and friends.

We are fortunate to have the option to end the suffering of our pets... why can't we let those who are terminally ill end the suffering of themselves and those they love?

There are death panels... but they are not the same for everyone. They aren't government bureaucrats with a checklist of costs. They are doctors and hospital administrators who check your insurance and if you are fortunate enough to have good coverage, they will give you the longest death you can afford... and charge your family and dear friends for a ring-side seat to watch.

8 comments:

James September 9, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

Wow. You brought a tear to this old coots eye.

pottersfield September 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

Assisted suicide is such a misnomer. I think people who are terminally ill should be allowed to decide when and how they die. In peace, with loved ones, painlessly. They should be given the option so that they spend their money on the things they want to do. Not give their family's savings over to doctors and insurance companies.

Dr. Jay SW September 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM  

Personally, I don't have health insurance. As such, I don't go to the doctor unless I really have to--thus, you can forget about regular check-ups or screenings, prostate exams, etc. So, should I contract cancer (or--who knows?--if I already have contracted it), it'll probably be pretty advanced by the time it's detected, and I'll probably die, even if I manage to hit up relatives for the cost of treatment. Then, based on this post, I might be better off....

The fact that an overt racist like Pat Buchanan is given such a prominent place in respected newsmedia outlets is a disgrace....

Shady Lady September 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

In Oregon we have the Death With Dignity Act. There are those trying to reverse this all the time. So far, to my knowledge, they have failed. Thank goodness. s

Seeing Eye Chick September 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Aint that the truth. I am under strict orders from my mother to smoother her with a pillow should that ever come to pass.

Sadly enough, this is based on a belief system. The belief that a soul will go to hell if they kill themselves, and that helping someone die with dignity is murder, rather than a mercy.

Once again, religious beliefs have oozed into areas, where common sense and personal wishes should prevail. And not one person in the medical field questions the "Source" of this "transmitted wisdom."

I don't want to take anyone's life. I don't want to hurt anyone. But I include in that description of non-harm, making someone outlive their body to the point where misery is a tiny hell encapsulated in each breath. Where pain is a condition at the molecular level, and agony is a body at rest, too tired to struggle but strong enough to just barely hang on.

We should be evolved enough to avoid consigning people to either hell in this life in a hopelessly broken body, or hell in the next, for not wanting to breath through unimaginable pain.

Seeing Eye Chick September 9, 2009 at 6:37 PM  

Oh yea, and For lots of Reasons, Pat Buchannan can suck it!

Riot Kitty September 9, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

I watched my great aunt die of cancer and ask, "Why doesn't God just let me go?" I got so fucking mad when her sister (my grandmother) said, "God wants you here longer." Is God a sadist? At least in my state you can check out when you want to, peacefully, comfortably, and legally.

Chris September 10, 2009 at 2:23 AM  

#3 for Pat Buchanan sucking it!!!! And a kleenex grade post for sure.......thanks for sharing for a good cause!!!!

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