On death and dying

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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1 Response

  1. Burt Likko says:

    You beat me to the Kevorkian memorial and meditation; I’ll just comment here rather than offer my own.

    When Kevorkian first broke on the national media radar screen, the idea of euthanasia was novel and shocking to most of the American public. The idea is at least no longer novel and while still controversial, the concept of a painless, dignified death as a better alternative to a long, lingering suffering is now a part of the conversation.

    We will associate Kevorkian with the ongoing debate for a long time, because unlike the pathos we might feel for a Terry Schiavo and her family, Kevorkian was an articulate and forceful advocate. And a reasonably effective one; a large percentage of Americans now support the idea of at least some kind of euthanasia as an option for the terminaly ill.

    I for one can imagine few things more compassionate than ending someone’s suffering when other medical options have been exhausted. I wouldn’t approve of euthanasia out of the starting gate but after a reasonable amount of effort searching for cures or at least palliatives have been pursued, the law needs to recognize that a person’s life is her own to do with as she pleases and trust that most people are not going to be casual when considering when and how to end their own lives.Report