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Baby Boomers Want Doctor-Assisted Dying







It seems the Baby Boomer generation is not going to go out quietly.  There appears to be a new movement to have Doctor Assisted dying by having doctors give prescribed medicine that will end their lives if they are suffering from a terminal disease.  Yes, this is the same generation that brought on sexual revolution in the 60s and demanded natural childbirth.  Now, Baby Boomers want to go out of this life at their own choosing.  Of course, this takes into consideration if a person has a terminal disease that is causing him or her great pain.  Their quality of life must be at the bottom of the scale. End-of-life choice has been a cause for debate since the 1990s with Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, who was providing this assistance himself.  Unfortunately, Kevorkian went a step too far and wound up in prison.  Dr. Kevorkian died  in June of 2011.  Baby Boomers are not wanting to die the way their parents did according to this report.    Many people die from prolonged illnesses such as Parkinson's Disease, Cancer, Emphysema and a variety of illnesses that cause grievous agony over the course of their lives. Baby Boomers are lobbying Congressmen to allow those with terminal disease to die of their own accord.  Like their parents, Baby Boomers do not want to be a burden on their children.  Thus, the reason for their last Cause Celebre.

I have mixed feelings on this issue of Doctor-Assisted dying.  On one hand, that seems to be in direct conflict with the Hippocratic Oath to practice medicine ethically and honestly.   Doctors have always been about saving lives.  It would put physicians in an untenable position.  Do they break their vows to preserve life or take action to prevent suffering of a patient who has no hope of recovering from a terrible, agonizing illness?  Then they have to know there are instances (rare though they be) where a patient with no hope of recovering has a miraculous recovery.  Indeed, those are rather rare instances.  Chances are that is not going to happen in 99.9% if cases,  Do we really want to go down this road as a society?  Who makes the final decision on who can or cannot give the doctor the approval to end a life?  The patient may be too incapacitated to be able to make a rational decision. There are no easy answers as some seem to think.  But, on the other hand, you have to walk a mile in someone's shoes before you can understand what they are gong through.  I don't pretend to judge people who want suicide over an agonizing life where each day is a struggle.  There are religious reasons why I say I could not do it.  But, not being in the shoes of someone suffering from a fatal disease, I refuse to say I would never do it.  I have no idea the pain that someone suffers to where they are at the point they no longer want to live.  I know I have a low threshold for pain.  So, it's possible I could be faced with this decision someday.  I pray I don't.  But, as a fellow Baby Boomer, that day may come for me.


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