Cagey Cretins

Posted: January 11, 2016 in Body Count, It's not the heat, it's the humanity, Shovels

There is an important, reasonable and reasoned, and emotional post here from Kevin Drum.  Used to follow him a lot, fell out of the habit.  May have to rectify that.

America is resoundingly backward about Death with Dignity.  I am guessing it’s due to the number of ridiculously stringent reactionary and strident religionists that left other countries, mainly because they couldn’t get along with anyone else in their home countries, and saw America as a great place to be as severe and strict as they wanted to be.  And a fanatical devotion to the Pope…

And that has been working out SO WELL…anyways…

I recently did a draft post about our nephew, who some may remember took another way out; he blew his brains out in his parent’s backyard.  He was not sick, that we know of; he was young and had a checkered past and broke and desperate and seemed to find this was his best option; and I am unable to say he was wrong, because it was his life…

But the thing here is that the various Death with Dignity and Assisted Suicide laws do have one thing they pretty much all do:  anyone looking to avail themselves have to get medical reviews.  And if they have other issues, depression, treatable illnesses, weird noses…they get treatment first.

And I have to believe that would have made a difference for Mike.  No. I don’t HAVE to believe that, like it’s something that makes me feel better; I actually do believe it would have helped.  He had issues, he had depression likely; but that is workable.   Treatment and therapy at the least.  Removal from danger vectors (like access to a firearm).

Earlier this year, in the midst of The Event, I was suffocating in an ER.  I stopped being able to focus, didn’t even look at the medical professionals working on me.  Couldn’t take anymore.  Was thinking “here I go, hope I can meet Lou Reed…”  Wasn’t thinking any further ahead at the time, but it was the kind of thing that in retrospect could have resulted in Dain Barrage (“and who would have known” shut up assholes).  And Wife Sublime and I have medical proxies for those things, and I trust her to make those decisions; but if I had non-life threatening brain damage, what do I do?  Unplugging isn’t it, but even as crappy as this brain is, if it stops working I am going to be unhappy…

My parents both went relatively young, and had a very short period of decline.  They were conscious and coherent mostly up to the end, and passed peacefully and we all got our opportunities; both died in hospice without pain.

On the other tentacle, Wife Sublime’s parents both went after extended periods of dementia.  As a newcomer to the family, memory of me was one of the earliest things to go, and while it wasn’t painful because I am only an in-law, it was very uncomfortable at the end…

I have no doubt that WS’s mother would have chosen death with dignity – except she was Catholic.  Not so sure about her father ( mean, he was Catholic; I dunno about his choices).

None of this, of course, has anything to do with the imaginary “Death Panels” trumped up by the Teabaggers; Panels which never existed.  End Of Life counseling, which existed before the PPACA and still does, has little to do with that paranoid fever dream…

I am an educated white guy who is clinging to a middle class existence in an urban environment.  I am willing to bet that if it comes down, I will be able to find the support I need for Assisted Suicide, or Death With Dignity, whatever you want to call it.  But as a liberal, I hate that this situation gives people from lesser resources little ability to make the same choices, except for horrid ones like a damnable gun .

Like my nephew.  FSM love you Michael…



  1. Scott says:

    Powerful post, man. Glad you’re still around.

  2. Having watched a close family member spend the last six months of his life unable to communicate — he could talk, but it was gibberish and we couldn’t understand it — I am really happy that Oregon led the way with a decent death-with-dignity law. I just wish it had been available for him, and that he’d have taken the proper steps before losing his faculties.

    It’s a horrible feeling to be unable to help somebody who clearly needs something and can’t tell you what it is, even though he thinks he’s telling you and you just don’t get it. Sick, in pain, incontinent, and angry at everybody you love is no way to spend your dying days.

    Also, too: Still not gonna read Drum again (although I did read what you linked — as you might imagine, nothing in there was exactly new to me).

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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